Four for Carter

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·6 min read
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Going out and getting a star player at the deadline isn’t without its risks. Beyond the obvious costs in picks and prospects to get someone of a high caliber, there’s also the question of how they’re going to fit in. Getting a top line player has a trickle-down effect that impacts everyone and a big name could also potentially change the dynamic of the locker room that got you this far. Sometimes getting a complimentary player is better than a star. Someone who can still contribute, but whose inclusion isn’t going to reinvent the wheel. Enter Jeff Carter.

He’s a former star who was routinely good for over 25 goals and 60 points in his prime, but at the age of 36, he’s more suited to a middle-six role. He doesn’t fundamentally change the Penguins, but he can chip in here and there and every now and then, he can buy his team a win as he did on Thursday.

Carter scored an incredible four goals in the Penguins’ 8-4 victory over Buffalo to earn his ninth career hat trick. It was also the first time in his career that he scored four goals. Granted, he was facing the last place Sabres who were sending Michael Houser out for his third career start, but it’s still an impressive feat.

Once we get into the playoffs, Carter isn’t usually going to be the hero, but he doesn’t have to be. This isn’t like 2014 when a younger Carter was a leader in the Kings’ championship. Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Bryan Rust can do the heavy lifting for Pittsburgh this time around. Instead, Carter will just be asked to provide the Penguins with a secondary scoring threat and in that capacity, he should do well.

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CHICAGO 2 CAROLINA 1 (OT)

Martin Necas put the Hurricanes up 1-0 midway through the first period with a shorthanded goal. He has 14 markers and 41 points in 51 games.

That lead held until 16:59 of the third period when Riley Stillman tied the game. It was his first goal and point in 19 contests.

Alex DeBrincat scored the overtime winner to complete the comeback. He’s up to 29 goals and 52 points in 50 games.

Collin Delia saved 36 of 37 Hurricanes shots. He earned his first victory of the 2020-21 campaign.

At the other end of the ice, Petr Mrazek stopped 25 of 27 shots. He has a 6-1-3 record, 1.77 GAA, and .934 save percentage in 11 starts this season.

BOSTON 4 NY RANGERS 0

Jeremy Swayman only needed to make 15 saves to earn the shutout. The rookie goaltender improved to 7-2-0 with a 1.44 GAA and .946 save percentage in nine games.

No Rangers player even had three shots on goal. Ryan Strome, Kevin Rooney, Tim Gettinger, and Filip Chytil all tied with two shots.

Patrice Bergeron scored the first and therefore game-winning goal. He has 22 goals and 47 points in 52 games.

Jake DeBrusk also found the back of the net for the Bruins. He’s up to five goals and 12 points in 38 contests.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 30 of 34 shots last night. He’s allowed at least three goals in six of his last seven games.

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NEW JERSEY 2 NY ISLANDERS 1

Michael McLeod scored the game-winning goal. It was his ninth goal and 14th point in 50 games.

Pavel Zacha also found the back of the net for the Devils. He has 16 goals and 34 points in 48 contests.

Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 32 of 33 shots last night. With that, he’s extended his winning streak to five games, giving him a 14-16-4 record this season.

The Islanders’ lone goal was scored by Anthony Beauvillier. He has 15 goals and 26 points in 45 games.

Semyon Varlamov turned aside 23 of 25 Devils shots. He’s 19-11-4 with a 2.02 GAA and .930 save percentage in 35 games.

PITTSBURGH 8 BUFFALO 4

Jeff Carter led the Penguins with four goals. That’s the ninth hat trick of his career, but it’s his first four-goal game and it came at the age of 36.

Jared McCann scored a goal and registered two assists. The Penguins forward has 14 goals and 32 points in 42 contests.

Frederick Gaudreau assisted on three of Pittsburgh’s eight goals. He has two markers and nine points in 18 games.

Michael Houser stopped 26 of 34 shots last night. He has a 2-1-0 record, 4.22 GAA, and .890 save percentage in three starts.

Drake Caggiula scored a pair of goals for Buffalo. That gives him three goals and 10 points in 37 contests.

Tristan Jarry kicked out 19 of 23 shots on Thursday. He allowed at least a goal in each period, including two on 13 shots in the second.

TORONTO 5 MONTREAL 2

Cole Caufield found the back of the net for Montreal. He has three goals and no assists in seven games.

Cayden Primeau stopped just 11 of 15 shots in the first period. Jake Allen came out for the second and kicked aside 19 of 20 shots the rest of the way.

Mitchell Marner scored a goal and registered an assist. The Maple Leafs forward is up to 19 goals and 66 points in 53 games.

Toronto also got a goal and an assist from John Tavares. He has 18 goals and 48 points in 53 contests.

Jack Campbell stopped 19 of 21 shots last night. He has a 16-2-2 record, 2.11 GAA, and .924 save percentage in 20 starts.

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news and updates. Plus, it allows you to easily track your favorite players. Get it here!

VANCOUVER 6 EDMONTON 3

Mikko Koskinen had just about the worst start imaginable. He faced four shots and allowed a goal on every one of them. After that he was yanked in favor of Mike Smith, who saved 21 of 23 shots the rest of the way.

Jayce Hawryluk scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. That gives him two goals and four points in 22 games.

Travis Hamonic also had a goal and an assist for Vancouver. He’s up to a goal and six points in 30 contests.

Thatcher Demko stopped 39 of 42 Oilers shots. He’s allowed at least three goals in four straight games, but he did end his six-game losing streak.

Connor McDavid assisted on all three Oilers goals. He has 31 goals and 96 points in 52 games.