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Another day, another seven games postponed due to COVID.
The NHL postponed three New Jersey games as well as a pair for Buffalo and Minnesota. Three games were canceled on Thursday and Saturday, the Sabres and Washington for a pair, the Devils and Flyers on the 11th and 13th, as well as the Wild and Blues on the 11th and the Wild and Los Angeles on the 13th. In addition, the New Jersey-Boston game slated for Monday the 15th has been postponed.
There were still six games on Monday as only the Buffalo-Boston game was postponed.
TORONTO 3 VANCOUVER 1
Auston Matthews game-winner set a Maple Leaf record as he scored in his eighth straight game as Toronto swept the three-game series with a 3-1 win over Vancouver.
After being humiliated in the first two games, Vancouver came out on fire and outshot the Maple Leafs 27-7 in the first two periods but were only tied up at 1 apiece as Morgan Rielly opened the scoring with an unassisted effort.
Frederik Andersen finally stole a game for the Maple Leafs as only Elias Pettersson’s second period power play goal beat him. Andersen stopped 31 shots as Toronto outshot Vancouver 12-5 in the final stanza. Andersen is 8-2-1 this season as he lowered his GAA to 2.64 and finally got his save percentage over .900 as it sits at .904.
The Maple Leafs took control in the third as Matthews scored and then Alexander Kerfoot scored just 11 seconds later at the 9:33 mark.
Braden Holtby stopped just 16-of-19 shots to take the loss. He won three of his first four games but has now dropped four in a row. His save percentage sits at .885 and perhaps it is time to go back to Thatcher Demko.
Alexander Edler had seven hits.
Mitch Marner had an assist on Matthews goal to extend his scoring streak to eight games.
EDMONTON 3 OTTAWA 1
Mike Smith played for the first time this season and gave the Oilers excellent goalkeeping as he turned aside 27 shots in a 3-1 win over Ottawa.
The Oilers have been relying on Mikko Koskinen but he has been average at best and this effort has to boost the Oilers confidence level as Smith was solid in the Oilers cage.
Evgenii Dadonov was credited with the only goal of the first as he broke in on Smith only to have Adam Larsson catch him. Larsson got his stick on the puck and flipped it past Smith for the Senators goal. Dadonov picked up the goal as he was the last Ottawa player to touch the puck.
After that, the Senators (or for that matter the Oilers) could not beat the veteran Smith.
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist while Tyler Ennis, who was recalled from the taxi squad prior to Monday’s game, scored his first of the season on a beautiful toe drag that allowed him to easily beat Matt Murray.
There were a couple of fights in the game as Jujhar Khaira and Austin Watson battled at the 1:41 mark of the second, as did heavyweights Zack Kassian and Erik Gudbranson just two seconds later. Kassian suffered an injury during the fight and did not return, playing only 33 seconds.
Archibald had six hits in the game to lead both sides.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 NEW YORK RANGERS 0
Semyon Varlamov stopped all 30 shots to lead the Islanders to a 2-0 win over the New York Rangers. It was Varlamov’s second shutout over the Rangers this season, becoming the first Islanders goalkeeper in their history to do so over their cross-town rivals.
Varlamov’s performance was his third shutout of the season as the 32-year-old raised his record to 5-2-1 with a 1.88 GAA and a .932 save percentage, all outstanding stats.
As well as Varlamov played, Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin matched him shot-for-shot in the first two periods as it was scoreless with the Islanders outshooting the Rangers 21-19.
But the Islanders finally struck for a couple of goals in the third as Casey Cizikas with his second and Matt Martin (who also assisted on Cizikas’ goal) potted his first of the campaign as the Islanders fourth line did all the damage.
Shesterkin stopped 28 shots on the night as his record dropped to 3-3-1 with a 2-3-1 GAA and a .916 save percentage.
The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play while the Rangers failed to score on three chances.
Phillip Di Giuseppe led both teams with six shots on net while Jordan Eberle had five shots on goal for the Islanders.
Andy Greene blocked four shots.
COLUMBUS 3 CAROLINA 2
Jack Roslovic’s second goal of the season was the winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets exacted revenge for their controversial 6-5 loss on Sunday and beat Carolina 3-2.
Sunday’s contest resulted in a goal that was counted but should have been disallowed by Carolina as there was a mix up between the Situation Room in Toronto and the control room in Columbus and while the Toronto office was still looking at replays, the Blue Jackets received a penalty for delay of game due to an unsuccessful challenge as the referee dropped the puck, allowing the goal. There was only 1:15 left in the second and while the Blue Jackets killed off that portion of the penalty, when the teams were in the dressing room between the second and third period, the referees apologized to Columbus and rescinded the remainder of the penalty.
Anyway, that’s what happened Sunday and Monday saw Scott Harrington open the scoring for Columbus with the only goal of the first.
Brock McGinn scored for the third straight game to tie it at 2 heading into the third period and setting up Roslovic’s heroics.
Brady Skjei had five hits in the game.
Patrik Laine was benched for the last 26:19 of the game after McGinn’s goal.
"That's going to stay in-house," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "It's what I feel I need to do. The last thing I want to do is bench a player." Tortorella says that a lot but I think that he benches his players more than any other coach in the NHL. If not, it certainly seems that way.
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TAMPA BAY 4 NASHVILLE 1
Anthony Cirelli scored twice including the game winner on the power play as the Lightning beat Nashville 4-1.
Cirelli, one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL, has four goals this season.
Curtis McElhinney finally was healthy enough to get his first start of the season in relief of Andrei Vasilevskiy who had played every minute to start the season. McElhinney stopped 23 shots for the victory.
Pekka Rinne showed some old form as he turned aside 31-of-33 shots but that wasn’t good enough and he suffered his fourth loss of the season.
Forsberg had five shots on goal.
McDonagh blocked eight shots while Josi blocked six.
ARIZONA 4 ST. LOUIS 3 (Shootout)
Clayton Keller scored with one second left in the third period to send the game into overtime and eventually a shootout, and Christian Dvorak scored the winner, as the Arizona Coyotes came from behind and beat St. Louis 4-3.
It was a wild ending to the night as St. Louis outplayed the Coyotes but just couldn’t hold on.
Keller and Dvorak had big nights with a goal and an assist apiece. Conor Garland with his fifth of the season also scored for Arizona.
Darcy Kuemper was outstanding as he turned aside 40 shots for his second straight win over the Blues. He is 4-5-1 this season with a 2.50 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
Jordan Binnington managed to stop 23-of-26 shots and took the extra-time loss. He is 6-2-2 with a 2.64 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
Ryan O'Reilly – 2
Anthony Cirelli - 2
Nick Schmaltz - 2
Jakob Chychrun - 2
Shots on Goal
Phillip Di Giuseppe - 6
Leon Draisaitl – 5
Tyson Barrie – 5
Darnell Nurse – 5
Jordan Eberle – 5
Steven Stamkos – 5
Filip Forsberg – 5
Justin Faulk – 5
Mike Hoffman - 5
Alexander Edler – 7
Josh Archibald - 6
Erik Gudbranson – 5
Austin Watson – 5
Zack Kassian – 5
Jujhar Khaira – 5
Luke Schenn – 5
Mathieu Olivier – 5
Kyle Clifford – 5
John Hayden - 5