The St. Louis Blues began a six-game home stand, which includes the Winter Classic next Monday, in style.
Facing the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, the Blues recorded a 6-3 victory thanks to Robby Fabbri‘s first career hat trick, which included a terrific individual effort in the third period to give St. Louis some insurance and ultimately secure the win.
It wasn’t that long ago the sophomore forward was a healthy scratch, with Blues coach Ken Hitchcock calling on Fabbri to be more tenacious during his early-season struggles.
At the time, Fabbri had one goal and three assists in 14 games. That drought seems to be behind him. He’s now up to 11 goals and 23 points in 35 games following his performance versus the Flyers.
For Philly, that’s a particularly difficult way to come back from the holiday break.
The Flyers took a 3-2 lead early in the third period on a goal from Brayden Schenn. But then the Blues broke out for four goals — one of those being into an empty net — on five shots in the final 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, though, for the Panthers, one of their top young players, Aleksander Barkov, was forced to leave the game early in the second period with an apparent injury.
Replays show Barkov was hit up high with the puck following an offensive zone faceoff. He finished his shift, which resulted in a scoring chance at the side of the net, but he was clearly in pain after the whistle went.
The Panthers forced overtime with a pair of third-period goals but lost 3-2 in the shootout, with Mitch Marner scoring the lone goal in the deciding breakaway contest.
There was no update on Barkov from coach Tom Rowe following the game.
“Losing him is like losing (Sidney) Crosby in Pittsburgh,” said Trocheck after the game.
Indeed, it would be a huge loss for the Panthers if Barkov is forced to miss time. He has nine goals and 27 points in 35 games, but is charging along with a 57.5 per cent Corsi For rating at five-on-five this season.
Video: Carey Price with a save-of-the-year candidate
One of the most dominant goalies in the National Hockey League made one of the most spectacular saves you’re going to see this season, as he denied Ondrej Palat during Wednesday’s game.
Palat had a wide open net, and it looked like Price was completely beaten, out of position, on the play. But the Habs goalie reached out and got the paddle of his stick on the Palat re-direct attempt, getting enough of the puck to keep it out of the net.
That incredible save maintained Montreal’s 2-1 lead at the beginning of the second period.
Murray had been busy, making 25 saves on 27 shots, too.
Updated: Per PHT’s Adam Gretz, Mike Sullivan said Murray suffered a lower-body injury, which occurred toward the end of the second period, but the Penguins coach didn’t have any further update tonight.
Fleury stopped all 19 shots he faced in the third period and the Penguins, on goals from Chris Kunitz and Carl Hagelin, came back for the 3-2 victory.