It was a crazy night on the National Hockey League ice on Tuesday. It all started off in Boston where we had an epic comeback and/or collapse, depending upon your favorite team and fantasy allegiances. Five of the nine total games were decided either in overtime or a shootout, and we had one shutout from the goaltenders ... well, kind of. More on that below. We also had some big-time rookie performances and veterans turning back the clock a little bit. All in all it was an amazing day for fantasy players. Let's get started!
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The Panthers and Bruins game was a tale of three periods. The first period was the most uninteresting, as the teams were scoreless. Then, the fun started.
David Pastrnak, Joakim Nordstrom, Anders Bjork and Zdeno Chara each notched goals in the second period, with Bjork's goal coming on the power play. The four goals were enough for Joel Quenneville, as he yanked Sergei Bobrovsky after he faced 23 shots, making the 19 saves.
Quenneville changed to Sam Montembeault, and at the time it appeared he would be simply cleaning up before the team moved on to the next game. But a funny thing happened in the third period instead.
Aaron Ekblad scored 50 seconds into the third, and then Frank Vatrano and Mike Hoffman notched power play goals in the first 9:43 to slice the Bruins' lead to 4-3. With 1:39 to go, Boston native Keith Yandle scored a clutch goal to help the Panthers come all the way back, forcing overtime. No one scored then, sending it to a shootout. Vincent Trocheck and Charlie Coyle exchanged goals in the shootout before Hoffman beat Rask for the winner.
Huberdeau posted three assists with a plus-1 rating, while Yandle joined him in the three-point club with a goal and two assists. David Krejci was the only multi-point performer for the B's.
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Montreal Canadiens 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (SO)
Elvis Merzlikins was back from a short stint at Cleveland of the AHL so he could play with a little more regularity. It apparently helped. He allowed just two goals on 32 shots to go toe-to-toe with Carey Price. The Habs backstop allowed two goals on 35 shots, before the team had to decide things in a shootout.
Eric Robinson and Zach Werenski each scored for the Jackets in regulation, while Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Tatar lit the lamp for the Habs. Jonathan Drouin made a winner of Price in the extra session, scoring the only goal of the shootout.
New York Rangers 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (OT)
This one was all about Kaapo Kakko, as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft managed some important firsts. He opened the scoring at 6:42 of the first period and ended up putting a bow on the scoring with an overtime goal to beat Matt Murray. It was the first multi-goal performance of Kakko's career and it was his first game-winning tally, too. It was also his second multi-point game in the past five contests, too.
Adam Fox also had a goal and an assist, as he continues to light it up on Tuesdays. He scored his first NHL goal last Tuesday against Tampa Bay, and now he has his first NHL multi-point performance. He has posted two goals and six points during a five-game point streak.
The offense was great news for Alexandar Georgiev, who only allowed goals to Justin Schultz and Jared McCann on the power play. Matt Murray allowed three goals on 27 shots, but Kaapo got him in overtime for the tough loss.
Arizona Coyotes 3, St. Louis Blues 2 (SO)
Darcy Kuemper is proving that last season's outstanding run down the stretch was no fluke, as he turned back the champs in their own barn. He allowed just two goals on 35 shots in the shootout victory.
Conor Garland scored on the power play, while Clayton Keller was the other goal scorer for Arizona in regulation. Colton Parayko scored his first of the season for the Blues, while Jaden Schwartz had the other marker for the home team, backing Jordan Binnington, who slipped to 9-2-4 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. He is now 5-0-3 with a 2.07 GAA and .928 save percentage in eight starts for the Blues at home.
Colorado Avalanche 4, Winnipeg Jets 0
This game easily had the strangest start of the evening. Pavel Francouz started for the Avalanche, but he was knocked out just 31 seconds into the game due to a head injury suffered following a collision with Mark Scheifele. Adam Werner, on the roster because of the injury to Philipp Grubauer (lower body), was thrust into his first NHL action.
If Werner was nervous he wasn't showing it. He stopped all 40 shows the Jets threw at him, becoming just the ninth goaltender in NHL history to record a 40-save performance in his NHL debut since 1955-56. He is also the first tendy in Nordiques/Avalanche franchise history to pick up a victory in relief while making his NHL debut.
Nathan MacKinnon factored in on all four goals, scoring two and posting two assists, and he finished with a plus-3 rating, six shots on goal and five hits. Joonas Donskoi managed a power-play goal with two helpers, giving him four goals and two assists across the past three games. He has four multi-point showings overall on the season. Meanwhile, Matt Calvert joined the multi-point club with a pair of assists, giving him three goals and four assists across the past nine outings.
Vancouver Canucks 5, Nashville Predators 3
Thatcher Demko got the starting nod between the pipes against a difficult opponent. He passed the test with flying colors, however, stopping 34 of the 37 shots he faced to move to 5-4-3 with a 2.47 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Adam Gaudette, who has been in and out of the press box as a healthy scratch, scored a goal and assist on the power play. If he continues to get looks on the man advantage he might be a decent low-cost fantasy addition. Tanner Pearson erupted for two goals and three point, which was rather surprising considering he had no goals and two helpers in the past 14 outings dating back to Oct. 12. Elias Pettersson also had two goals, his second multi-goal performance in seven November contests.
For Nashville, Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund and Calle Jarnkrok lit the lamp for the visitors, but it wasn't enough offense to get Pekka Rinne off the hook for a rare regulation loss. He slipped to 8-2-2 with a 2.64 GAA and .907 save percentage.
Detroit Red Wings 4, Anaheim Ducks 3 (OT)
This was a wild finish, as the Wings were trailing with a minute to go. We've seen it before where teams pull their goalie for an extra attack, obviously, but this was different. The Ducks took too terrible penalties late to crack the door open a little. Dylan Larkin kicked the door open on the power play to force overtime.
Before that, Jakob Silfverberg and Josh Mahura scored two goals 29 seconds apart in the first minute of the second period to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead. Filip Hronek showed off his cannon with a screamer to slice the lead in half. Cam Fowler joined the goal party with his fourth of the season, while Andreas Athanasiou continues to warm up. He tipped one home on a shot from Valtteri Filppula, closing the Anaheim lead to 3-2.
Dennis Cholowski might have bought himself a more regular role, beating Ryan Miller in the extra session. Cholowski has been in and out of the lineup as a healthy scratch, so don't overvalue him for fantasy purposes based on this goal.
Los Angeles Kings 3, Minnesota Wild 1
Matt Dumba was the only goal scorer backing Devan Dubnyk, who allowed just two goals on 34 shots. Dubnyk has struggled this season, as is evident by his 3-8-1 record, 3.43 GAA and .893 save percentage, but this wasn't his fault.
Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar and Sean Walker were the goal scorers for the Kings. Walker posted a goal with an assist for his first NHL multi-point game. He added a plus-2 rating with three shots on goal and two blocked shots, too.
Jonathan Quick had a rare stellar performance, allowing just one goal on 28 shots for the victory. He is still just 3-8-0 with a 3.93 GAA and .874 save percentage, but he has allowed three or fewer goals in three straight starts, easily his best start of the season.
San Jose Sharks 6, Edmonton Oilers 3
Martin Jones coughed up three goals on just 24 shots, but that was easily enough against the visitors. He has now won four straight starts, improving to 6-7-1 with a 3.28 GAA and .887 save percentage after a putrid start. Of course, goal support also helps change Ls into Ws.
Brent Burns, Barclay Goodrow, Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Patrick Marleau and Timo Meier each chimed in with goals to support Jones. Goodrow and Meier were in the two-point club, adding one assist each. Erik Karlsson had his first three-point game since Jan. 8 last season, which also happened to be a game against Edmonton. There's something about blue and orange which gets him in the helping mood.
For the losing side, Leon Draisaitl managed a goal to push his point streak to 10 games, giving him nine goals and 20 points during the impressive span. Sam Gagner posted a goal and an assist for his first game with two or more points since March 17, 2018.