NHL roundup: Avs rally by Leafs, Fleury beats Vegas, Hertl hat trick edges Flyers, Rangers dominate, and more

The NHL had a full plate of action on Saturday night as 11 games were played.

In the wake of the surprising news that the Sharks will terminate Evander Kane’s contract, Tomas Hertl lifted his team to an OT win by scoring all three goals. Marc-Andre Fleury made a triumphant return to Vegas and the Rangers put up a dominate performance in Anaheim.

However, we start our recap with a wild one between two of the NHL’s best teams the Avs and Leafs.

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Avalanche 5, Maple Leafs 4 (OT)

Devon Toews scored at 1:12 of overtime, Cale Makar and Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist each, and the Colorado Avalanche rallied from three goals down to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Saturday night in Denver.

Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher also scored, Mikko Rantanen had four assists and Nazem Kadri had two assists for the Avalanche, who have won four straight.

Pavel Francouz stopped 18 shots in relief of Darcy Kuemper to help Colorado win its 11th straight home game. The Avs trailed 4-1 until late in the second period.

“We started playing well in the second period. To me, it was just a matter of time before we started scoring,” Francouz said. “I was just trying to enjoy every minute on the ice, especially in a game like this when it’s possibly the two most talented teams in the League.”

Auston Matthews scored two goals, Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and two assists, Nick Ritchie also scored and Jack Campbell made 44 saves for Toronto.

Toews got the winner when Kadri dropped a pass to him at the top of the right circle and he beat Campbell through the pads. It was his sixth of the season.

“I take nothing but positives out of this game tonight,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “All things considered, this team we were playing tonight, they’re rolling. It’s a tough building to play in. It’s probably the loudest building we played in all year.”

Blue Jackets 4, Devils 3

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice — including the game-winner in the third period — for host Columbus, who salvaged a split of a home-and-home by edging New Jersey.

Bjorkstrand also scored the first goal for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the fourth time in their last 15 games (4-10-1). Boone Jenner and Yegor Chinakhov also had goals for Columbus.

Nico Hischier, Jimmy Vesey and Marian Studenic scored for the Devils, who beat the Blue Jackets 3-1 on Thursday and are 4-2-0 since returning from the holiday break.

Predators 4, Coyotes 2

Roman Josi collected one goal and an assist to lead Nashville past Arizona in Glendale, Ariz., for its fourth consecutive win.

Mattias Ekholm, Yakov Trenin and Tanner Jeannot all scored first-period goals while Ryan Johansen added two assists for the Predators, who are on an 11-1-1 run. Goaltender Juuse Saros made 38 saves to cap a perfect three-game road trip.

Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse replied for the Coyotes. Goalie Karel Vejmelka stopped 25 shots.

Sharks 3, Flyers 2 (OT)

tomas hertl hat trick
Jan 8, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) celebrates his second goal during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. He would score his third goal for the hat trick and the game-winner in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Tomas Hertl recorded a hat trick, including the game-winner 24 seconds into overtime, to lift San Jose Sharks over host Philadelphia.

Hertl now has 20 goals this season. Brent Burns registered three assists and Timo Meier had two assists for the Sharks, who won their second in a row. Sharks goaltender Adin Hill stopped 29 shots. San Jose is missing captain Logan Couture (health and safety protocol) and injured players such as goaltender James Reimer, Jacob Middleton and Erik Karlsson.

“I knew we needed to score some goals, so I tried to keep shooting,” Hertl said. “They give me the puck and I try to stay strong around the net. All the pucks are around the net, and it’s nice to see that I can help the team win some games with my goals.”

James van Riemsdyk scored both goals for the Flyers, who dropped their fifth straight. Martin Jones made 44 saves. The depleted Flyers continue to compete without numerous key players, who are injured or in the league’s health and safety protocol.

Bruins 5, Lightning 2

David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each netted two goals as Boston snapped Tampa Bay’s nine-game home point streak, toppling the host Lightning.

Anton Blidh found the net for the second time, and Taylor Hall notched two assists for the Bruins, who have chalked up points in nine of their past 10 road games (8-1-1).

Tampa Bay’s Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point each scored to give them three-game goal streaks, and Andrei Vasilevskiy (19-6-3) saved 25 of 29 shots but failed to win for the second time in his past 11 starts (9-1-1).

Stars 3, Penguins 2

Roope Hintz scored with 3:46 remaining in the third period as host Dallas snapped Pittsburgh’s 10-game win streak.

The Stars overcame an early two-goal deficit before Hintz caught Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry out of position just 1:15 after Joe Pavelski tied the game.

Denis Gurianov also scored, Jason Robertson had three assists and Jake Oettinger made 27 saves to send the Stars to their fourth straight win.

Blackhawks 2, Golden Knights 1

marc-andre fleury vegas
Jan 8, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) tosses a puck to fans before the start of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves as Chicago snapped a six-game winless streak by beating Vegas in Las Vegas.

“It was weird,” Fleury said of returning to Vegas. “Obviously, they’ve got a few new guys that I haven’t practiced with, but so many guys I played hockey with every day pretty much for the past four years, so it’s sometimes a little bit of a mind game because you know what they like to do. They know that I know.”

It was the 502nd career victory, third all-time in NHL history, for the popular Fleury, who was facing the Golden Knights for the first time since being traded to Chicago last July. The Golden Knights honored the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, who went 26-10-0 with six shutouts last season, with a special tribute video before the opening faceoff.

“I just wanted to say thanks, obviously thank you to the fans for an amazing four years,” Fleury said. “They were awesome. Glad I got to say my thanks.”

Jujhar Khaira and Riley Stillman scored goals for Chicago. Ben Hutton scored for Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights, who lost for the third time in their last four games. Robin Lehner finished with 19 saves and had a personal six-game winning streak snapped.

“Obviously, a big night for ‘Flower’ and a big night for their team,” Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer summarized.

Panthers 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)

Anthony Duclair scored with 2:07 remaining in overtime to give Florida a road victory over Carolina in Raleigh, N.C.

Duclair intercepted Brady Skjei’s pass in the neutral zone and then joined Jonathan Huberdeau on a two-on-one rush. Huberdeau then passed to Duclair cutting in front of the net where he fired a wrist shot inside the left post for his 14th goal of the season.

Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and Huberdeau had a goal and assist for Florida, which moved into a tie with Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division. Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves for his 16th win of the season.

Wild 3, Capitals 2 (SO)

Frederick Gaudreau scored the winner in the shootout as Minnesota rallied past Washington in St. Paul, Minn., spoiling a record night by Capitals goaltender Zach Fucale.

Kevin Fiala also scored in the shootout and Kaapo Kahkonen made one save in the shootout and Washington missed on its other attempt. Kahkonen finished with 29 saves in regulation and overtime.

Fucale set franchise and NHL records by opening his career with 138:07 scoreless minutes. That string was snapped as Mats Zuccarello scored on a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle with 35 seconds remaining in regulation and an extra attacker on the ice, tying the score at 2-2 and forcing overtime.

Rangers 4, Ducks 1

ryan lindgren rangers
Jan 8, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) is congratulated at the bench after scoring an empty net goal in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Lindgren scored twice, and Jarred Tinordi scored the tiebreaking goal as New York rode a big night from its defensemen, dominated the third period and recorded a victory over host Anaheim.

“It’s extra special when guys that don’t score often and do such a good job defensively, and may not get credit as much, get to score,” Mika Zibanejad said. He opened the scoring with his 7th goal in the past 8 games.

New York won for the fourth time in five games. Tinordi and Lindgren scored during a stretch when the Rangers took the first 18 shots of the third and outshot the Ducks by a 20-3 margin in the final 20 minutes. Lindgren sealed the win by getting an empty-net goal with 31 seconds remaining, achieving his first career multi-goal game.

Isac Lundestrom scored for the Ducks, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

It was an overall dominating game for the Rangers who bounced back fro a disappointing 5-1 loss to Vegas the game prior. New York outshot Anaheim by a 40-14 margin despite missing several regulars including Artemi Panarin (COVID).

“We played a real good solid game,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We got a lot more rubber to the net than we had in the past, so I’m pretty happy with that.”

Kings 4, Red Wings 0

Cal Petersen earned his first shutout of the season as host Los Angeles rode a dominant first period to defeat Detroit and win its third game in its last four.

En route to his second career shutout, Petersen made 21 saves, his biggest a third-period glove stop on Pius Suter during a breakaway chance.

Phillip Danault, Drew Doughty, Adrian Kempe and Trevor Moore each scored, and Dustin Brown collected a pair of assists. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 38 shots for the Red Wings, who have lost three of four games and seven of their last 10.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report