The Islanders captain scored his first hat trick of the season and the second five-point game of his career on Monday, pacing New York to a 7-3 victory over Dallas at Nassau.
The five-point outburst came just three games after Tavares went for four points — two goals, two assists — in a 5-3 win over Boston on Dec. 31, giving him 13 points in his last six contests.
Tonight, Tavares literally took over the game.
With the the Isles down 2-0 to start the second period, Tavares assisted on Ryan Strome’s power-play goal, then scored one himself, then set up Brian Strait’s marker early in the third period, then scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season. He was in on the scoring for five of New York’s seven goals and on the ice for six, finishing with a plus-3 rating.
So yeah, not a bad night.
A virtual lock for Team Canada’s Olympic roster announcement tomorrow, Tavares also set a number of personal marks against the Stars. He recorded the 300th point of his career, his fifth-ever hat trick and put himself back on pace to score 40 goals this season, which would eclipse his career-high of 31 (scored during the 2011-12 campaign).
Oh, and in case you’re curious, Tavares’ first and only other five-point game came against Vancouver during his rookie campaign.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger