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Never count out Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, albeit with the cap and rise of Matt Murray being key reasons, were ready to move on from him in 2017 and went so far as to give the Golden Knights a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft (Drew Commesso) in they agreed to take Fleury in the expansion draft. Fleury responded by helping lead Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season of existence.
Fast forward to 2019-20 and Fleury was again falling out of favor. Vegas leaned heavily on Robin Lehner during their playoff run – which had to give Fleury some unfortunate déjà vu from his time paired with Murray – and Lehner was the clear starter going into the 2020-21 campaign. In fact, if Vegas could have found a suitor for Fleury, they likely would have traded him during the offseason to spare themselves of his $7 million cap hit through 2021-22, but it’s not surprising that there seemingly wasn't much of a market for that contract. As it turns out, it’s lucky that Vegas didn’t trade him.
Lehner has dealt with injury issues while Fleury is playing like a Vezina Trophy contender. After silencing the Avalanche on Monday, Fleury has an 8-3-0 record, 1.55 GAA, and .942 save percentage in 11 starts. Who knows what the future holds, but the 36-year-old goaltender clearly still has some gas left in the tank.
FLORIDA 3 DALLAS 1
Blake Comeau gave the Stars an early 1-0 lead in this game. It was his first goal and fourth point in nine games.
The Stars entered the first intermission with that led, but Aaron Ekblad tied the contest at 8:41 of the second period. He has six goals and 11 points in 17 contests.
Keith Yandle scored what would become the game-winning goal. He’s up to three goals and 13 points in 17 contests.
Chris Driedger stopped 24 of 25 Stars shots. He improved to 7-1-1 with a 2.20 GAA and .929 save percentage in nine games.
At the other end of the ice, Anton Khudobin saved 49 of 51 shots. He had to face an unreasonable 29 shots in the second period alone. Faced with that kind of onslaught, it’s impressive that he only surrendered two goals in the second frame.
TAMPA BAY 4 CAROLINA 2
Ondrej Palat scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. That gives him seven goals and 14 points in 16 contests.
Steven Stamkos also had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. He has nine goals and 17 points in 14 games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 34 of 36 Hurricanes shots. He’s 10-3-1 with a 2.01 GAA and .931 save percentage in 14 contests.
Carolina’s two goals were scored by Jesper Fast. Those were his first two markers in 12 games this season. He also has three assists.
James Reimer stopped 28 of 31 shots last night. He allowed two goals on 11 shots in the second period.
NY ISLANDERS 3 BUFFALO 2
Jean-Gabriel Pageau netted the game-winning goal. He has seven goals and 11 points in 18 contests.
Anders Lee also found the back of the net for the Islanders. He’s up to eight goals and 11 points in 18 games.
Semyon Varlamov kicked out 34 of 36 Sabres shots. He managed to bounce back after dropping his last two games, including his loss on Saturday where he surrendered three goals on just 18 shots.
Sam Reinhart scored a power-play goal for Buffalo. He has six goals and 11 points in 13 contests.
Linus Ullmark stopped 20 of 23 shots on Monday. This is the fifth time he’s allowed three goals in his last six starts.
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CALGARY 3 TORONTO 0
David Rittich stopped all 34 Leafs shots to earn the shutout. It’s both his first shutout and win of the 2020-21 campaign. He had a 0-3-0 record, 3.00 GAA, and .874 save percentage in five contests going into Monday’s action.
Mikko Lehtonen fired a team-high four shots on Rittich. The 27-year-old defenseman is searching for his first career NHL goal. This is his first campaign in the NHL after previously having stints in Finland’s SM-liiga, the Swedish Hockey League, and the KHL.
Michael Hutchinson stopped 30 of 33 Flames shots. Two of the three goals he surrendered were scored during Calgary power plays.
Matthew Tkachuk scored a goal and an assist for the Flames. He’s up to six goals and 13 points in 19 games.
Sean Monahan also had a goal and an assist for Calgary. That gives him three markers and 14 points in 17 contests.
LOS ANGELES 3 ST. LOUIS 0
Jonathan Quick picked up the shutout by making 31 saves. It was his 54th career shutout, which puts him in a three-way tie with Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for 23rd place on the all-time list.
Ryan O'Reilly fired four shots on Quick. He has six goals on 51 shots this season.
Dustin Brown scored twice for the Kings. He’s up to 10 goals and 16 points in 17 contests this season.
Los Angeles’ other goal was scored by Gabriel Vilardi. He has five goals and eight points in 17 games.
Jordan Binnington turned aside 28 of 30 shots last night. He has an 8-5-2 record, 2.50 GAA, and .914 save percentage in 15 starts.
VEGAS 3 COLORADO 0
Marc-Andre Fleury saved all 34 Avalanche shots that made it to him. He’s earned two shutouts in his last four starts to improve to 8-3-0 with a 1.55 GAA and .942 save percentage in 11 starts this season.
Bowen Byram dished out four hits against the Golden Knights. The rookie has 15 hits in 12 contests.
Philipp Grubauer turned aside 25 of 28 shots on Thursday. He allowed all three goals in the second period.
Alex Tuch scored a pair of goals for Vegas, including the game-winning goal. He’s up to seven goals and 13 points in 16 games.
Jonathan Marchessault accounted for the Golden Knights’ other goal. It was his sixth marker and 13th point in 16 contests.
ARIZONA 4 ANAHEIM 3
Cam Fowler found the back of the net and recorded an assist. The Ducks defenseman has two goals and seven points in 19 games.
The Anaheim Ducks got off to a 3-0 lead, but Christian Dvorak started a rally for Arizona when he scored a shorthanded goal at 8:15 of the second period. Then at 3:52 of the third period, he scored a power-play goal to put the Coyotes over the top 4-3.
Jakob Chychrun scored a goal and registered an assist for the Coyotes. He’s up to four goals and 13 points in 18 games.
John Gibson stopped 21 of 25 Coyotes shots. He has a 5-8-3 record, 2.67 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 16 starts.
At the other end of the ice, Darcy Kuemper saved 25 of 28 shots. He’s 6-7-2 with a 2.33 GAA and .915 save percentage in 15 starts.
MINNESOTA 6 SAN JOSE 2
Mats Zuccarello led the way with a goal and three assists. He’s up to two goals and seven points in just four games.
Victor Rask contributed a goal and two assists for Minnesota. That gives him five goals and seven points in 13 contests.
Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 31 of 33 Sharks shots. He has a 6-4-0 record, 2.41 GAA, and .915 save percentage in 10 contests.
Brent Burns found the back of the net for the Sharks. He has four goals and eight points in 17 contests.