NHL roundup: Stars win after scary hit, Hurricanes tie for league lead, and more

tanner kero brett connolly
Dec 18, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars center Tanner Kero (64) is carted off the ice during the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL had five games postponed due to COVID last night but still had five others on the schedule.

We start in Dallas where the Stars and Blackhawks played an exciting contest that needed OT to decide a winner. It was a difficult game to play as a scary incident took place just three minutes into the first period.

Let’s recap.

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Stars 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT)

John Klingberg scored at 2:13 of overtime to lift Dallas past visiting Chicago.

Joe Pavelski had two goals and two assists, Roope Hintz had three assists, and Jake Oettinger made 20 saves for the Stars, who ended a five-game losing streak.

Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik scored, and Kevin Lankinen made 35 saves for the Blackhawks, who have lost two in a row for the first time since the first week of November.

The game was overshadowed when Brett Connolly laid a huge hit into the chest of an unsuspecting Tanner Kero. The impact caused Kero’s head to whip back hitting the ice and boards. Kero would need to be stretchered off the ice and is reportedly doing well in a Dallas hospital.

Connolly received a 5-minute major for an illegal hit and was ejected from the game. He waited until Kero was being transported off to check on him before going to the locker room.

“I know Brett Connolly, and I know he’s not a dirty player,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “I coached him in Tampa, and he’s a great kid. It’s just hockey, and Brett Connolly would never intentionally hurt anyone.”

An emotional Pavelski was visibly shaken after the game saying, “It’s terrible. I’ve been there before,” as he fought back tears. “This win is definitely for him.”

Pavelski was referring to his own incident during the 2019 playoffs when he was with the San Jose Sharks. A cross check from Golden Knights’ Cody Eakins caused a head first collision resulting in a serious injury.

The NHL Department of Player Safety is expected to review the play.

Flyers 4, Senators 3

Travis Sanheim scored the game-winning goal at 1:35 of overtime to lift the host Philadelphia Flyers over the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Saturday.

Sanheim received a crisp pass from Cam Atkinson and connected. Oskar Lindblom had one goal and an assist for the Flyers, who have won four of five. Claude Giroux and Joel Farabee each contributed one goal. Travis Konecny added two helpers.

Flyers goaltender Martin Jones stopped 28 shots in the start after Carter Hart was scratched with an unspecified illness.

Alex Formenton led the Senators with one goal and one assist. Tim Stutzle and Artem Zub chipped in with one goal apiece.

Hurricanes 5, Kings 1

nhl roundup carolina hurricanes
Dec 18, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Jack Drury (72) is congratulated by left wing Josh Leivo (41) after scoring a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jesper Fast both had a goal and an assist, and Carolina wasn’t bothered again by using a restructured lineup, beating visiting Los Angeles in Raleigh, N.C.

Brett Pesce, Teuvo Teravainen and Jack Drury also scored for the Hurricanes, who are missing more than a half-dozen regulars because of COVID protocols. Brady Skjei assisted on two goals.

Goalie Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to improve to 10-1-3 all-time against the Kings. The Hurricanes have won six of their last seven games.

Carolina is now tied with the Washington Capitals for most points in the NHL at 43.

Oilers 5, Kraken 3

Warren Foegele scored twice, including a controversial go-ahead goal at 8:54 of the third period, as Edmonton defeated host Seattle.

Evan Bouchard and Colton Sceviour also scored, and Connor McDavid added an empty-netter for the Oilers, who won their second in a row following a six-game skid. Leon Draisaitl had three assists to tie McDavid for the NHL’s scoring lead with 49 points. McDavid had an assist in addition to his goal.

Ryan Donato, Jared McCann and Carson Soucy scored for Seattle, which lost its second in a row. Chris Driedger stopped 36 of 40 shots.

Red Wings 5, Devils 2

Dylan Larkin recorded his first career hat trick and host Detroit downed struggling New Jersey.

Tyler Bertuzzi had two goals and Thomas Greiss stopped 31 shots for Detroit.

Michael McLeod and Dawson Mercer scored for the Devils, who have lost five straight and nine of their last 10 games.

–Field Level Media

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