NHL roundup: Pastrnak gets hat trick, Shesterkin blanks Sharks, Blackhawks controversial OT winner, and more

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Thursday night in the NHL was chock full of action with eleven games on the docket.

Before the puck was dropped, ESPN announced the All-Star rosters which showcased 18 first-timers. While there was some debate about who made it and who was left off, all were deserving. Including Chris Kreider who helped propel the Rangers to a win with Igor Shesterkin acting like a brick wall.

We start our recaps in Boston where another hat trick, this time by David Pastrnak helped Tuukka Rask return victorious.

Bruins 3, Flyers 2

David Pastrnak recorded his 11th career hat trick to punctuate the highly anticipated return of goaltender Tuukka Rask as the Boston Bruins held off the visiting Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Thursday night.

Rask made 25 saves in his first game since Game 6 of the Bruins’ second-round playoff series against the New York Islanders on June 9, 2021. The 34-year-old goaltender underwent offseason hip surgery and signed a one-year, $1 million deal to rejoin the Bruins on Tuesday.

“It was [emotional],” Rask said. “It was very much out of the normal, the way I was feeling before the game. It’s been many months since my last game. … It was great to see the fan support.”

Boston earned its season-high fourth straight victory and improved to 7-1-0 since resuming play after the league-wide pandemic schedule pause.

Cam Atkinson scored his team-leading 15th goal and Joel Farabee netted his 11th for the Flyers. Carter Hart stopped 33 of 36 shots for Philadelphia, which took its sixth consecutive defeat (0-4-2).

Kings 6, Penguins 2

Mikey Anderson, Viktor Arvidsson and Anze Kopitar scored 1:23 apart in the third period to help Los Angeles beat visiting Pittsburgh.

Kopitar finished with two goals and an assist, Sean Durzi had a goal and two assists, Dustin Brown had a goal and assist, and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the Kings, who have won five of six. Alex Iafallo and Trevor Moore added two assists apiece.

Kris Letang and Radim Zohorna scored while Tristan Jarry made 39 saves for the Penguins, who had won 11 of 12.

Sabres 4, Predators 1

Jeff Skinner scored twice and visiting Buffalo snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Nashville.

Mark Jankowski and Vinnie Hinostroza also scored for Buffalo, which was 0-4-2 during its skid. Aaron Dell made 29 saves for his first win of the season (1-5-0).

Matt Duchene scored and Juuse Saros made 17 saves for the Predators, whose five-game winning streak came to an end.

Islanders 3, Devils 2

Mathew Barzal scored the winning goal with 4:53 left for host New York, which returned to action after a 12-day pause and beat New Jersey in Elmont, N.Y.

Josh Bailey and Adam Pelech also scored for the Islanders, who have won three straight and are 6-2-1 since snapping an 11-game losing streak Dec. 7. Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves for New York.

Yegor Sharangovich and Nathan Bastian scored for the Devils, who have lost two straight. Jon Gillies, a third-stringer pressed into duty with Mackenzie Blackwood and Akira Schmid in COVID-19 protocols, made 22 saves in his third start of the season.

Rangers 3, Sharks 0

Jan 13, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) defends the goal during the second period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Goaltender Igor Shesterkin returned from COVID-19 protocol to make 37 saves as New York defeated host San Jose.

“A lot of the credit has to go to Shesterkin,” Rangers coach Kris Knoblauch said. “There were a lot of Grade-A scoring chances and he came up with some big saves.”

Chris Kreider scored twice, including an empty-netter, and Braden Schneider also tallied in his NHL debut for New York. Kreider, who ranks second in the NHL with 12 power-play goals this season, scored the first short-handed marker of his 10-year career.

After the game, Kreider was asked which milestone meant more to him, the shorthanded goal or his 200th career marker. “Shorthanded,” he quickly answered. “I’ve wanted that for a long time.”

Adin Hill stopped 28 of 30 shots for the Sharks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Jets 3, Red Wings 0

Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves and Andrew Copp scored two goals to lead Winnipeg over Detroit.

Hellebuyck recorded his second shutout of the season for Winnipeg, which was playing its first game in a week after games against the Seattle Kraken and Minnesota Wild were postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.

Alex Nedeljkovic had 29 saves in goal for Detroit, which has now lost four straight games and six of the last seven.

Lightning 4, Canucks 2

Steven Stamkos scored a historic power-play goal as Tampa Bay defeated visiting Vancouver.

In the opening period, Stamkos delivered his 173rd career power-play goal, tying him with Jean Beliveau and Ray Bourque for 30th on the NHL’s all-time list of goal scorers on the man advantage. Anthony Cirelli, Boris Katchouk and Brayden Point added goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves as Tampa Bay won for the eighth time in 12 games (8-3-1).

Vancouver’s Tyler Motte and Matthew Highmore each notched a goal and an assist, but the visitors were 0-for-4 on the power play after failing on all three against Florida on Tuesday.

Senators 4, Flames 1

Nick Paul scored twice and goalie Matt Murray won for the first time this season as visiting Ottawa beat slumping Calgary.

Connor Brown collected one goal and one assist and Drake Batherson tallied once for the Senators, who snapped a three-game skid in their first game since New Year’s Day. Murray, who lost his first six starts of the season, made 27 saves. Alex Formenton collected two assists.

Matthew Tkachuk scored for Calgary, which has lost four straight games and has just two wins in 10 outings. Goalie Jacob Markstrom, who has surrendered four or more goals in four of his past five outings, stopped 30 shots.

Blackhawks 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)

Jan 13, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Philipp Kurashev (23) scores game winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens in overtime at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Philipp Kurashev scored at 2:24 of overtime to give Chicago a victory over visiting Montreal.

It was the third goal of the season for Kurashev, who deflected in Brandon Hagel’s pass as he was sent crashing into the goal by Montreal’s Mike Hoffman. Patrick Kane and Dominik Kubalik also scored for Chicago, which won its third straight game. Erik Gustafsson logged two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 27 saves for the victory.

“Well, after the first review they said it was a good goal, then they said offside,” Kurashev said. “It was yes and no again. I was just hoping they’re going to count it, and thank God they did at the end. I’m really happy.”

Jeff Petry and Hoffman scored for Montreal, which was trying for its first road win since a 6-3 victory at Pittsburgh on Nov. 27. Sam Montembeault made 28 saves.

Blue Jackets 6, Hurricanes 0

Yegor Chinakhov scored two goals and this time Columbus finished strong for a shutout victory against Carolina in Raleigh, N.C.

Elvis Merzlikins made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season. Emil Bemstrom, Patrik Laine, Cole Sillinger and Jack Roslovic also scored for the Blue Jackets. Eric Robinson and Jake Bean picked up two assists apiece, and Roslovic added a helper.

Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 32 shots before he was pulled in the third period after Laine and Chinakhov scored in a 37-second span. Jack LaFontaine, in his first professional game, took over for Andersen and saved just one of the three shots he faced.

Blues 2, Kraken 1

Pavel Buchnevich scored the decisive goal in the third period as St. Louis rallied past Seattle to extend its home point streak to 13 games.

Robert Thomas also scored and Ville Husso made 31 saves for the Blues, who are 12-0-1 in their past 13 home games.

Alex Wennberg scored for the Kraken, who are 0-7-1 in their past eight games. Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger made 25 saves.

–Field Level Media