NHL Recaps: Mats Zuccarello hat trick sinks Hawks, Yotes edge Isles, and Blues beat Flames

Mats Zucarello NHL recaps
Dec 16, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) celebrates his power play goal with teammates during the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Recaps:  December 16, 2022

Friday night in the NHL was a light one with just three games on the docket.

The Arizona Coyotes were able to rally by the New York Islanders for a big home win. The Calgary Flames continue to struggle dropping their match versus the St. Louis Blues.

We start our recaps in Minnesota where 35 year-old Mats Zuccarello posted a huge four-point night to lead the Wild over the Chicago Blackhawks.

NHL Recaps: Mats Zuccarello four points leads Wild

Wild 4 vs Blackhawks 1

Mats Zuccarello had a hat trick and an assist to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday in Saint Paul, Minn.

“You go through a season and go through surges where not everything is clicking and you feel like you don’t get the bounces,” Zuccarello said. “And then you end up with an extended time where everyone feels good, and confidence is up, and the puck bounces your way and the passes that you make and the plays that you make are there and goes through. I think confidence level when you win games is important.”

NHL.com

Zuccarello tied a personal best with four points. He has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) over the course of a nine-game point streak. Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists for Minnesota, which has four straight wins, while Sam Steel contributed two assists.

Jonathan Toews produced Chicago’s goal, scoring during a power play at 8:27 of the third period. The Blackhawks are 1-13-1 in their last 15 games, and have lost six straight. In those games, Chicago has been shut out twice and scored only six goals. The Blackhawks’ 67 goals are the fewest of any team in the NHL this season.

Minnesota goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury contributed to the Blackhawks’ scoring woes by stopping 29 of 30 shots. Fleury (who played for Chicago last season) earned his 11th win. Petr Mrazek stopped 18 of 21 shots for the Blackhawks.

Coyotes 5 vs Islanders 4

nhl recaps coyotes islanders
Dec 16, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Referees break up a fight between Arizona Coyotes center Liam O’Brien (38) and New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) during the third period at Mullett Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Keller was credited with two goals for host Arizona, which overcame a two-goal, first-period deficit to beat New York in Tempe, Ariz.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Nick Bjugstad and Travis Boyd also scored for the Coyotes, who have won three of four (3-1-0) following a six-game losing streak (0-4-2). Goalie Karel Vejmelka made 30 saves as Arizona completed a season sweep. Vejmelka and the Coyotes beat the Islanders, 2-0, in Elmont, N.Y., on Nov. 10.

Sebastian Aho, Mathew Barzal, Noah Dobson and Anthony Beauvillier scored for the Islanders, who have lost three straight (0-2-1) and six of eight (2-5-1). Goalie Ilya Sorokin recorded 24 saves.

“We have to be better,” Islanders coach Lane Lambert said via NHL.com. “We have to find a way to get it back.”

Blues 5 vs Flames 2

Jordan Kyrou scored twice and goaltender Thomas Greiss made 41 saves to lead visiting St. Louis to a victory over Calgary.

Ivan Barbashev and Pavel Buchnevich both collected one goal and one assist and Brandon Saad also scored for the Blues, who have won three straight games. Greiss was especially strong in stopping all 15 shots he faced in a one-sided second period.

Connor Mackey scored twice and goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 19 shots for the Flames, who have lost five straight games.

–Field Level Media

–The Daily Goal Horn contributed to this article

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