NHL News: Eric Staal wins it for Canadiens; Avalanche point streak hits 15; and more

canadiens host fans
Apr 5, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Eric Staal (21) reacts with teammates including defenseman Jeff Petry (26) and forward Tyler Toffoli (73) after scoring the winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the overtime period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens return on investment came quick as Eric Staal scored the game winning goal in OT. In Minnesota the Avalanche scored four times in the second period to extend their point streak to 15 games. Auston Matthews added two more goals to his league leading totals; and the rest of the NHL action from last night.

Brendan Gallagher breaks thumb; Montreal Canadiens win in OT

Marc Bergevin surprised plenty of people by acquiring Eric Staal less than 24 hours after he told the press he didn’t think he could make a move. In his first game for Montreal after quarantine; Staal buried the winner in OT to defeat the Oilers 3-2.

“This was a moment for sure that we’ll keep in the memory bank, but I’m hoping there’s even bigger and better ones here in the next while,” Staal said.

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brendan gallagher injury
Apr 5, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie (22) plays the puck and Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher (11) defends during the first period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately for the Canadiens not all the news from last night was joyous. Brendan Gallagher will miss the next few weeks with a broken thumb after being hit with a slapshot. The forward was effective for the Habs with 14 goals and 23 points in 35 games this season.

Colorado Avalanche point streak continues

avalanche point streak
Apr 5, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Colorado Avalanche players celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no hotter team in hockey than the Colorado Avalanche. A four goal explosion in the second period propelled the Avs to victory over the Minnesota Wild 5-4. Gabriel Landeskog scored his 15th of year in what was the eventual game winning tally in the third; Colorado extends their point streak to 15 games (13-0-2). They keep a 4 point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights who beat the Blues 6-1.

“Where we are in the standings, first, second, third, we know it’s important, but it doesn’t necessarily make you the best team,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “That has yet to be proven and has to be proven in the playoffs and not the regular season.” 

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In other West action the Coyotes continued their pummeling of the Kings with a 5-2 win. Coupled with the Blues loss Arizona now finds itself holing the last playoff spot by 5 points.

Auston Matthews now up to 27 goals; favorite for Rocket Richard trophy

AUSTON MATTHEWS STATS
Apr 5, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) celebrates after scoring a third period goal against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Leafs won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs forward, Auston Matthews added to his league leading goal totals by scoring twice. His 27 goals are good for a five goal lead over Connor McDavid who is running away the Art Ross Trophy for overall points. The two tallies helped the Leafs win their fourth straight over the floundering Flames 5-3. John Tavares also notched his 800th career point.

“It wasn’t a pretty one by any means, but it was a nice one to get our power play back on track and obviously a big goal in the game,” Matthews said.

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Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice to lift the Jets over the Senators by a 4-3 score and remain 6 points back of Toronto and 1 ahead of Edmonton.

Finally, the Flyers edged the Bruins in a shootout 3-2. The extra point narrows the gap between Philly and Boston to three points. The Bruins also have two games in hand as they fight to hold the last playoff spot in the East.