NHL Scores: Connor McDavid notches 5 points, Auston Matthews scores two more, Avalanche win at Lake Tahoe 8 hours later and more

Feb 20, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a second period goal by forward Connor McDavid (97), his third of the game against Calgary Flames at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are the clear cut early favorites to win the Hart Trophy this season. Honestly, I’m not sure it’s even a discussion if they both continue at this torrid pace.

NHL Scores: McDavid’s hat trick plus two helpers douses Flames

The Oilers (12-8) obliterated the Flames (8-9-1) in the second game of the Battle of Alberta 7-1. Leading the charge was none other than Connor McDavid who notched 5 points including a natural hat trick.

“You have some nights where the puck just goes in for you and you don’t feel that good, and nights where you feel amazing and it just doesn’t go,” the NHL’s leading scorer with 37 points in 20 games said. “Hockey is a crazy game like that. It felt good tonight and it went in for me, and I thought our team played really well.” 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who has been in the NHL rumor mill lately had a good night with two goals and three points. Sam Bennett returned from his third period benching to play 14 minutes, but no Flame played particularly well in this one.

NHL Scores: Auston Matthews scores twice as Leafs beat Habs

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Feb 20, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his goal against Montreal Canadiens with teammates during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matthews claim as the game’s most lethal goal scorer continues. In the Maple Leafs (14-3-2) 5-3 win over the Canadiens (9-5-2) he notched two more goals and now has 18 on the year. It’s not just him putting the puck in the net either as he had two assists for a four point night.

“I think night in and night out the recipe for our success is us competing and working hard and really just working to get that puck back,” Matthews said about his team rather than his own accomplishments. “I think we’ve just been focused on that and it’s been working. We’re winning games right now, which is the most important thing. As long as we’re winning, I’m happy, we’re all happy. We just want to continue that.”

The Leafs center has amassed 28 points during his 16 game point streak with an incredible 18 goals. One does sit here in awe and wonder how Matthews isn’t the league’s leading scorer. Which makes Connor McDavid all the more impressive.

NHL Scores: Melting ice delays Avalanche outdoor win by over 8 hours

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Feb 20, 2021; Stateline, NV, USA; Colorado Avalanche players head to the ice before a NHL Outdoors hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Lake Tahoe. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first game of two this weekend at picturesque Lake Tahoe was delayed over 8 hours due to warm weather and melting ice. The Avalanche (9-4-1) were up 1-0 when the NHL made the decision to resume after midnight east coast time.

Phillip Grubauer made 27 saves and Nathan MacKinnon led the Avs offense with a goal and two assists for the win over the Golden Knights (10-4-1) 3-2.

“The ice was bad, but we never thought of stopping. I didn’t realize that was a possibility. I thought we were just going to grind it out and head home,” MacKinnon said of the wild day. “This was definitely more enjoyable the second and third tonight. It [stinks] the lake and mountains weren’t in the background, but it’s just so sunny at altitude. It’s like that in Denver too. When it’s hot it’s tough. We got it done.”

The Flyers and Bruins were moved today from its original afternoon start to 7:30 E.T..

NHL Scores: Panarin helps Rangers get on track, Crosby picks up two points in 1000th game

Artemi Panarin picked up two assists, including a nice one on Alexis Lafreniere’s second career NHL goal. The Rangers (6-7-3) went on to beat the Capitals in Washington (8-5-3) by a score of 4-1. The Breadman leads all Rangers’ scorers with 18 points in 14 games.

The Blueshirts have been going through a tumultuous season but are bonding. “We clearly have more confidence on this team,” Panarin said. “We’re creating more mutual respect for each other and more care and love for each other and we’re moving in the right direction.”

Sidney Crosby celebrated his 1000th career game by picking up two assists to add to his incredible stats. He now has 1278 points after the Penguins (9-6-1) edged the Islanders (8-6-3) by a score of 3-2.

“It’s a special day regardless of the outcome, but it makes it so much better when you win,” Crosby said afterwards. “Just everything from the guys and the ceremony in the room and on the ice, I was just completely spoiled today. It was a pretty awesome experience and a day I’ll always remember.”

NHL Scores: Fully loaded slate of action

All and all the NHL had 12 games on the calendar. Let’s quickly run down the rest. The Sabres (5-7-2) finally pulled off a win after their COVID postponements and beat the Devils (6-4-2) 3-2. Sam Reinhart notched two goals (5) and Linus Ullmark picked up the win.

Believe it or not, the Red Wings (5-12-3) beat the red-hot Panthers (11-3-2) 2-1 on the strength of Jonathan Bernier’s 38 stops. The Predators (7-10) have made more noise in the rumor mill than win but they topped the Blue Jackets (8-7-4) 4-2. And the Hurricanes (12-3-1) shutout the Lightning (10-4-1) to complete the Central division action for the day.

In the West division, the Kings (7-6-3) on the strength of two Alex Iafallo goals (5) beat the Coyotes (7-7-3) 4-2. The Sharks (7-7-2) nipped the Blues (10-6-2) 5-4 with Logan Couture scoring twice (9). And the Wild (8-6) dominated the Ducks (6-9-3) 5-1 with Mats Zuccarello notching his first of the season.