NHL roundup: Panthers blowout Jackets, Leafs edge Blues, top Metro teams all win, and more
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The NHL’s Saturday night offering was loaded as 26 teams squared off in 13 matches.
In the Atlantic Division, the Panthers’ high-flying attack absolutely crushed the Blues Jackets. The Bruins edged the Predators in a great contest, as the Leafs got by the Blues. Of course, you can’t leave out the Lightning winning as well.
Over in the Metro Division, it’s becoming a group of have and have nots. The Rangers, Hurricanes, Capitals, and Penguins all continue to win and distance themselves from the other four teams. Let’s recap all the action.
Panthers 9, Blue Jackets 2
Carter Verhaeghe and Anton Lundell scored two goals each as the Florida Panthers continued to dominate at home, crushing the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-2 on Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla.
The Panthers lead the NHL in goals this season, and they have the best home record in the league (21-3-0). In their past eight games, the Panthers have scored 50 goals, the best stretch for any NHL team since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995-96.
MacKenzie Weegar led Florida with a career-high-tying four points, including three assists. Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves, improving his record to 19-3-3. Aaron Ekblad also had three assists as 12 Panthers players produced points, including nine with multiple points as Florida came one goal shy of the franchise single-game record.
Columbus, which routed the Carolina Hurricanes 6-0 on Thursday night, managed goals by Gustav Nyquist and Boone Jenner. But the Jackets trailed 6-0 before they got on the board, and they lost to Florida for the seventh straight time.
“I think when their crowd starts chanting, ‘We want 10,’ and they’re one away, I don’t know if there’s a more embarrassing feeling in hockey to be honest with you,” Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski said.
Senators 6, Oilers 4
Josh Norris scored two goals, including the go-ahead tally with 3:42 to go, and Ottawa scored five third-period goals to stun host Edmonton.
Adam Gaudette and Alex Formenton each had a goal and an assist, and Zach Sanford and Artem Zub also scored for Ottawa, which snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Oilers. Matt Murray finished with 33 saves, while Chris Tierney added two assists.
Darnell Nurse, Zack Kassian, Kailer Yamamoto and Brendan Perlini scored goals, and Jesse Puljujarvi had two assists for Edmonton, which lost its sixth straight game (0-4-2). Stuart Skinner made 20 saves.
Hurricanes 4, Canucks 1
Martin Necas celebrated his 23rd birthday with a goal and an assist, and Vincent Trocheck matched that output as Carolina beat visiting Vancouver at Raleigh, N.C.
Sebastian Aho and Steven Lorentz also scored for Carolina, while Andrei Svechnikov had two assists to help the Hurricanes snap a two-game losing skid and avenge a road loss to the Canucks from last month. Goalie Frederik Andersen made 30 saves.
Bo Horvat scored in the first period for Vancouver, which fell to 0-3-0 to begin a five-game road swing. Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 29 shots. The Canucks went 0-for-5 on power plays as Carolina has killed off 35 consecutive power plays.
Capitals 2, Islanders 0
Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves, Tom Wilson scored early in the first period and Alex Ovechkin scored his 755th career goal in the waning seconds as Washington beat New York in Elmont, N.Y.
Washington rebounded from its 7-3 loss to Boston on Monday and improved to 5-4-3 since Dec. 6 thanks to Vanecek, who was sharp in his first start since Dec. 19 against the Los Angeles Kings. Vanecek notched his third career shutout.
The Islanders saw a modest five-game point streak halted and were blanked for the fourth time.
Maple Leafs 6, Blues 5
Ilya Mikheyev scored the game-winning goal with 3:15 left as visiting Toronto edged St. Louis, ending its 13-game home point streak.
Michael Bunting, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Timothy Liljegren and Auston Matthews also scored for the Maple Leafs, and Jack Campbell made 20 saves.
Ryan O’Reilly scored twice, and Brandon Saad, Robert Thomas and Niko Mikkola had a goal and an assist for the Blues. Jordan Binnington made 34 saves.
“That’s crazy, a roller-coaster ride,” Marner said after Toronto blew two leads. “Obviously that’s not the game we kind of want to play, but I think we did a great job with just staying with it, making sure we’re doing the right things no matter if we gave up the lead, they took it, or anything like that. We just kept fighting back.”
Bruins 4, Predators 3 (OT)
Taylor Hall flipped in a loose puck in the crease for the winning goal 1:41 into overtime to lift Boston over visiting Nashville.
Hall’s goal was his eighth of the season and was assisted by David Pastrnak.
Brad Marchand netted his team-leading 20th goal, and Craig Smith and Mike Reilly also scored for the Bruins, who picked up a season-best fifth straight victory and have won eight of their last nine games. Linus Ullmark made 26 saves in net for Boston.
Lightning 3, Stars 1
Ross Colton scored the tiebreaking goal on a breakaway in the third period as host Tampa Bay topped short-handed Dallas.
Brayden Point tallied on the power play, and Nikita Kucherov produced two assists for Tampa Bay, which won its third straight overall and for the 10th time in its past 12 home games (10-1-1).
Andrei Vasilevskiy denied 19 of 20 shots to record his NHL-leading 22nd victory, and Mathieu Joseph skated in his 200th NHL game. Esa Lindell found the net for the Stars, who lost their seventh straight road game and fell to 4-12-1 away from Dallas. Anton Khudobin allowed two goals on 28 shots.
Avalanche 5, Coyotes 0
Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon each had two goals and an assist for visiting Colorado in a blanking against Arizona in Glendale, Ariz.
Darcy Kuemper recorded his first shutout of the season with 20 saves for the Avalanche, who are 7-0-1 in their past eight games and 12-1-1 in their past 14. Colorado defeated Arizona 4-3 in a shootout on Friday.
Karel Vejmelka made 27 saves for the Coyotes, who are 3-3-2 in their past eight games.
Rangers 3, Flyers 2
Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Filip Chytil each scored goals to lift New York past host Philadelphia.
Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox contributed two assists apiece for the Rangers, and goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves.
Oskar Lindblom and Cam York scored one goal each for the slumping Flyers, who lost their seventh in a row (0-5-2). Flyers goaltender Carter Hart stopped 24 shots in defeat.
“The long flight yesterday, the guys had 5 1/2 hours [on the plane], you get in at 7 o’clock in the evening, come all the way back here and then playing the next day,” New York coach Gerard Gallant said via NHL.com. “They played hard, they played a good, consistent hockey game, they played for 60 minutes, and I was really proud of everyone tonight. We competed and we played well, and everybody chipped in.”
Red Wings 4, Sabres 0
Alex Nedeljkovic made 22 saves to pace Detroit’s shutout over visiting Buffalo.
It was the first shutout of the season for Nedeljkovic and the fourth of his career, and it helped Detroit snap a four-game losing streak. After going 0-for-5 on the power play Thursday in a loss to Winnipeg, Detroit scored two power-play goals in the first period Saturday to take a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.
Buffalo lost for the seventh time in its past eight games (1-5-2). The Sabres went 0-for-5 on the power play and were outshot by the Red Wings 39-22. The Wings are 3-0 against the Sabres entering the teams’ fourth meeting of the season on Monday.
Blackhawks 3, Ducks 0
Brandon Hagel, Patrick Kane and Dominik Kubalik scored to back a 37-save shutout from goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and lift host Chicago to a win against Anaheim.
Chicago was outshot by Anaheim 37-36 en route to its fourth straight victory, while the Ducks fell to 2-6-2 in their past 10 games.
Lukas Dostal kept Anaheim afloat with 33 saves, but he was unable to stem the Blackhawks’ momentum early in the third period, when Kane scored off a feed from Alex DeBrincat at 4:22. In the opposite crease, Fleury registered his third shutout of the season and the 70th of his career.
Kings 3, Kraken 1
Phillip Danault scored twice and Adrian Kempe set a career high for goals in a season as Los Angeles defeated host Seattle.
Trevor Moore had two assists for the Kings, who earned their fourth consecutive victory. Goaltender Cal Petersen made 17 saves to win his third start over the past eight days.
Marcus Johansson scored the lone goal for the expansion Kraken, who lost their ninth in a row (0-8-1). Chris Driedger stopped 19 of 21 shots.
Penguins 2, Sharks 1 (OT)
Jake Guentzel scored 37 seconds into overtime to lift visiting Pittsburgh over San Jose.
Guentzel scored the game winner off a feed from Sidney Crosby. Guentzel and Kris Letang each had a goal and an assist, and Louis Domingue made 40 saves in his first start for Pittsburgh, which has won 12 of 14. Domingue notched his first win since Jan. 12, 2020, when he played for the New Jersey Devils.
“It was how I visualized it. It was a long time coming,” Domingue said. “Ever since camp, I was prepared for this moment. I saw an opportunity and you either take it or you don’t. I thought tonight I came in focused, and we played until the last whistle.”
Rudolfs Balcers scored, and Adin Hill made 25 saves for the Sharks, who had won three of four.
–Field Level Media