NHL Scores: Auston Matthews lifts Leafs in OT, Kirby Dach returns for Blackhawks, Penguins blast Islanders, and more
The Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers faced off last night and gave hockey fans a show. Toronto and Edmonton feature some of the game’s great offensive talents and they didn’t disappoint.
NHL Scores: Matthews wins it in OT for Toronto
Connor McDavid picked up two assists and Leon Draisaitl scored a goal (19) with two helpers himself for Edmonton. On the other side, Auston Matthews had an assist on the opening goal and then buried the winner in OT. It was Matthews 22nd goal of the year to give the Leafs the 4-3 victory.
“Definitely wasn’t how we drew it up in overtime, but it was a fortunate bounce and we’ll take that any day of the week,” said Matthews, who also had an assist. “Just resiliency, though, we just stuck with it. The second period, we definitely didn’t play our best hockey, but the third period, we clawed our way back and got a couple huge plays from John [Tavares], William [Nylander] and Alex [Galchenyuk].”NHL.com
The Leafs win gives them a three point lead over the Oilers who are in third, and a two point lead over the Jets who lost to the Flames last night. To better understand the firepower in the Oilers/Leafs game McDavid and Draisaitl are one and two in points (62 and 53 respectively). With regards to goals, Matthews 22 is tops in the NHL and McDavid’s 21 is second as Draisaitl is tied for third at 19 goals.
NHL Scores: Blackhawks get reinforcements, Canes beat Lightning
The Blackhawks got one of their key injured players back in Kirby Dach. Unfortunately, they couldn’t beat the rolling Predators who won the game 3-1 and are just two points back of Chicago for the last playoff spot in the Central. It was also a missed opportunity for the Blue Jackets who fell 3-1 to the last place Red Wings. Columbus now sits in 6th, one point behind Nashville and three behind Chicago.
Meanwhile the Hurricanes storm surge continues as they take down the Lightning 4-3 and move one point back of them for first place. Martin Necas was the star for Carolina with two goals and two assists, as Dougie Hamilton also extended his point streak to 14 games. The Panthers also picked up ground on Tampa with a 4-3 OT win thanks to Aaron Ekblad’s 11th in OT. Florida is now 4 points back of Tampa for the Central’s top spot.
NHL Scores: Penguins blast Islanders, Flyers stop the bleeding
The Penguins lit up the defensively minded Islanders by a 6-3 final. Sidney Crosby continues to put the Pens on his back with a goal and an assist in this contest. The 33 year-old superstar now has 39 points in 34 games for Pittsburgh who move two points back of the Isles and Caps for first place in the East. Bryan Rust scored a hat-trick including the game-winner on the power play.
“The power play, I think, has really gained a lot of traction here over the last little while,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “They’re scoring goals for us. They’ve been a difference in a lot of games here. I think their confidence has certainly improved because of that, but they’re working hard as a group and they’re taking what the game gives them.”NHL.com
Meanwhile, Alain Vigneault got his Flyers to stop the bleeding as they edged the Rangers by a 2-1 score. And the Boston Bruins returned from COVID hiatus but without Brad Marchand who is on the list. Boston extended the Sabres winless streak to a remarkable 17 games. Craig Smith scored the game-winner in the 3-2 final.
NHL Scores: Golden Knights beat Avalanche in OT
Vegas narrowly regained sole possession of first place by beating Colorado in OT. Golden Knights Mr. Clutch, Max Pacioretty scored his 18th of the season in the extra session to give his team the 3-2 win.
“Tonight was a bounce,” Pacioretty said. “We don’t go out in overtime to defend, we go out there to try and attack. When there’s a chance to go the other way, we want to take advantage of it. It was a great battle to win that battle, and I saw the battle, trusted the guys in there and kind of took off. Great play by [Tuch] to give it to me early enough so I could keep a little bit of speed, and that momentum is what ultimately allowed me to pick up that rebound.”NHL.com
Of course this race is going to be a barnburner the rest of the year. The Avs have now picked up points in 10 straight games. Meanwhile, what a year for Marc-Andre Fleury who is just one win away from tying Ed Belfour for 4th all time on the wins list.
Hey! Don’t look now but despite all the disarray in the front office the Arizona Coyotes are tied with the St. Louis Blues for the 4th and final playoff spot in the West. Their 4-0 win over the Sharks thanks to Adin Hill’s 31 stops and Phil Kessel’s hat-trick have Arizona in prime real estate with a great chance of getting in.