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It didn’t take Jakub Vrana long to give Red Wings fans a reason to cheer for him. The Detroit Red Wings dealt Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals on April 12 in exchange for Richard Panik, a 2021 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick, and of course Vrana. While Mantha is a promising forward and has been on a roll since the Capitals acquired him, one criticism of the trade is how much extra the Red Wings were able to get when Vrana alone is an arguably comparable talent. Vrana provided Exhibit A for that argument last night when he scored four goals to lead the Red Wings in a 7-3 victory over Dallas.
Detroit’s out of the playoff race, so Vrana’s incredible performance doesn’t really help them this season, but it does give a fanbase that’s endured tough years recently reason to hope that the Red Wings might find a way back to glory in the not-too-distant future. Vrana, who only turned 25 in February had 11 goals and 25 points in 39 games with Washington this season while averaging a modest 14:22 minutes. With Detroit he’s getting top minutes and he certainly doesn’t look out of place in that role.
Washington still has every reason to be happy with Mantha, but this trade could prove to be of significant benefit for the Red Wings.
TORONTO 5 WINNIPEG 3
Mitchell Marner scored two goals, including the game winner, and registered an assist. He has 16 goals and 58 points in 47 contests.
Auston Matthews found the back of the net and registered two assists for Toronto. He’s up to 34 goals and 58 points in 43 games.
Jack Campbell turned aside 34 of 37 shots last night. He has a 12-2-1 record, 2.30 GAA, and .919 save percentage in 15 starts.
Andrew Copp contributed a goal and an assist for Winnipeg. He has 15 goals and 36 points in 46 contests.
PHILADELPHIA 3 NY RANGERS 2
Jakub Voracek netted the game-winning goal. It was his ninth goal and 34th point in 43 games.
Philadelphia’s other two goals were scored by James van Riemsdyk. He’s up to 16 goals and 37 points in 46 contests.
Artemi Panarin found the back of the net for the Rangers. He has 17 goals and 53 points in 36 games.
Igor Shesterkin stopped 33 of 36 Flyers shots. After earning back-to-back shutouts, he’s allowed three or more goals in each of his last three starts.
At the other end of the ice, Brian Elliott saved 33 of 35 shots. He improved to 12-6-2 with a 2.88 GAA and .895 save percentage in 24 games.
BOSTON 5 BUFFALO 1
The Sabres’ lone goal was scored by Arttu Ruotsalainen. He has three goals and points in eight games.
Matt Grzelcyk scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He’s up to four goals and 15 points in 27 contests.
Boston also got a goal and an assist from Brad Marchand. He’s contributed 25 goas and 57 points sin 43 games.
Jeremy Swayman saved 29 o 30 shots on Thursday. The rookie goaltender has an incredible 5-1-0 record, 1.65 GAA, and .943 save percentage in six contests.
Dustin Tokarski fared far worse, turning aside 33 of 38 shots. Most of the damage came in the third period when he allowed three goals on 12 shots.
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WASHINGTON 1 NY ISLANDERS 0 (SO)
Obviously neither team scored a goal in regulation time. Semyon Varlamov got a bit more work between the two goaltenders, stopping 28 shots. He was beaten in two of three shootout rounds though and consequently lost the game.
Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves in his shutout. When it came to the shootout, he allowed a goal in three rounds.
TAMPA BAY 3 COLUMBUS 1
Seth Jones netted the Blue Jackets’ only goal. It was his fifth marker and 24th point in 49 games.
Elvis Merzlikins saved 25 of 27 Lightning shots. He’s 6-12-2 with a 2.93 GAA and .911 save percentage in 23 games.
Blake Coleman scored a pair of goals for the Lightning. He has 10 goals and 24 points in 46 contests this season.
The game-wining goal was scored by Ondrej Palat. He’s up to 13 goals and 39 points in 47 games.
Curtis McElhinney turned aside 24 of 25 shots last night. He improved to a 4-5-1 record, 3.23 GAA, and .872 save percentage in 10 starts.
CAROLINA 4 FLORIDA 2
Sebastian Aho scored a pair of goals for the Hurricanes. He’s up to 20 goals and 43 points in 46 contests.
Martin Necas assisted on three of Carolina’s four goals. That gives him 11 goals and 37 points in 41 games.
Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 32 of 34 shots last night. One of the two goals were scored during a Panthers power play.
At the other end of the ice, Sergei Bobrovsky saved 25 of 28 shots. He has allowed at least three goals in four of his last five games.
Both of Florida’s goals were scored by Aleksander Barkov. He has 21 goals and 46 points in 42 contests.
PITTSBURGH 5 NEW JERSEY 1
The Devils’ only goal was scored by Matt Tennyson. It was his first goal and second point in 14 games.
Kasperi Kapanen made his return from a lower-body injury on Thursday and made an immediate impact by scoring a goal and an assist. That gives him eight goals and 23 points in 31 contests.
Sidney Crosby also contributed a goal and an assist for the Penguins. He has 19 goals and 54 points in 46 games.
Tristan Jarry saved 30 of 31 Devils shots. He has a 20-8-3 record, 2.79 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 32 starts.
DETROIT 7 DALLAS 3
Jakub Vrana led the charge for Detroit with an incredible four goals. That gives him 16 goals and 31 points in 43 games.
Sam Gagner scored a goal and registered an assist for the Red Wings. He’s up to six goals and 13 points in 35 contests.
Thomas Greiss stopped 43 of 46 Stars shots. After Detroit took a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes, Dallas outshot them 19-7 in the second period. Greiss gave ground against that onslaught but didn’t fall apart and the Red Wings emerged from that frame still holding a 4-2 edge.
Joe Pavelski scored a goal for the Stars. He’s up to 20 goals and 43 points in 46 games.
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COLORADO 4 ST. LOUIS 2
Nathan MacKinnon assisted on three of the Avalanche’s four goals. He has 17 goals and 56 points in 40 games.
Andre Burakovsky scored two goals, including the game winner. He’s up to 14 goals and 29 points in 41 contests.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 25 of 27 Blues shots. That ended his run of four straight starts where he allowed three or more goals.
Both of St. Louis’ goals were scored by Jaden Schwartz. He has six goals and 16 points in 29 games.
Jordan Binnington turned aside 25 of 28 shots on Thursday. He has a 12-14-5 record, 2.72 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 33 games.
OTTAWA 3 VANCOUVER 0
Matt Murray earned a 31-save shutout. It’s his second perfect game in the span of just three games.
Bo Horvat fired four shots against Murray. He had two goals and an assist in the Canucks’ return on Sunday, but he’s been held off the scoresheet in the last two contests.
Thatcher Demko turned aside 22 of 24 shots last night. Both of the Senators goals occurred in the first period and while Ottawa was on the power play.
Drake Batherson scored a goal and registered an assist for the Senators. He has 16 goals and 30 points in 47 games.
Tim Stutzle netted the first and therefore game-winning goal. It was his eighth goal and 25th point in 44 contests.