James O'Brien

Patrick Kane contained: Avalanche end streak at 26 games (and win)


On a night where streaks were the word, the NHL’s biggest one in ages finally came to an end.

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 on Tuesday. To many, it’s more important that they also ended Patrick Kane‘s historic point streak at 26 games.

Despite Kane failing to even register a shot on goal, it felt as if the Blackhawks sometimes forced the puck No. 88’s way, maybe to their detriment.

The conclusion of Kane’s streak shines a spotlight on the kind of hot run Semyon Varlamov is enjoying, with this shutout win providing the exclamation point.

He’s now on a four-game winning streak and hasn’t allowed more than two tallies during a six-game stretch in which he’s managed a 5-1-0 record.


As mentioned earlier, it was far from the only streak on the line, even if it was the most prominent one.

Looking around the league, here are some of the more noteworthy ended or extended streaks:

  • The New York Rangers ended their three-game drought, stopping the six-game winning streak for the Edmonton Oilers in the process.
  • The San Jose Sharks beat the Montreal Canadiens to stem the tide of their six-game skid.
  • Calgary beat Nashville 2-1 in overtime, bringing the Flames’ winning streak to an impressive six straight contests.
  • The Islanders saw their three-game winning run end with a thud as the Florida Panthers beat them 5-1.

Again, there may be others, but it certainly feels like a theme for the night. Kane’s towered over the others, yet now this means that other runs will get their due.

Stamkos largely upstaged in Bolts’ high-scoring win vs. Leafs


Hey, this is probably pretty obscure to Canadian hockey fans in particular, but Steven Stamkos played in Toronto on Tuesday.

Yeah, pretty wild, right?

Hockey games have a way of occasionally spoiling fun storylines, although in this case, it’s all mostly funny. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning lit up the scoreboard in Tampa Bay’s 5-4 OT win … and Stamkos finished without a single point.

Nikita Kucherov (one goal, one assist) and Vladimir Namestnikov (also one goal, one assist) stole the show at times, which adds a little bit of humor in that they spent time lining up alongside Stamkos.

Come on, that’s pretty amusing.

Stamkos continues to play coy through it all, or maybe he just has ice water running through his veins …

Speaking of narratives, Jonathan Bernier wasn’t exactly lights out in his return from that AHL mojo-boosting stint, falling to 0-8-2 on the season.

At least his teammates aren’t throwing him under the bus.

Stamkos-to-Toronto talk will likely persist as long as there are media articles to click and pending free agency for the sniping center, but maybe it will slow down just a tad.

Then again, maybe not.

Sharks snap six-game skid on rough night for Habs’ Tokarski

Dustin Tokarski, Mike Condon

Could this be a night of broken streaks?

After the New York Rangers ended their lull by halting the Edmonton Oilers’ winning run, the San Jose Sharks stormed out against the Montreal Canadiens to stop their skid at six games.

For a while there, the game was looking like it could be a laugher; the Sharks chased Dustin Tokarski about halfway through the game with three goals on 12 shots, but that represented the extent of their offensive output, as they ultimately won 3-1.

The Sharks won without Tomas Hertl, who was a late scratch with a lower-body injury. (Some Sharks fans were worried that Hertl was about to get traded.)

This is obviously a huge relief for the Sharks, and it keeps them alive in the preposterously putrid Pacific.

Still, it’s easy to see some red flags in the victory. While they generated 13 shots on goal in the second period, San Jose managed just three in the first period and two in the final frame.

Even with some injuries, those numbers are troubling, especially when you consider the fact that the Sharks needed to block 28 shots.

Indeed, the Natural Stat Trick possession chart screams “You have a lot of work to do.”


A win’s a win, however, and San Jose needed this one badly. Maybe they owe Martin Jones an extra stocking stuffer during the holidays …

Gost is most: Flyers overcome Skinner’s hat trick for OT win


Inevitable (?) bad joke: You know, you can’t spell OT without Gostisbehere.

The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t always generated the happiest stories this season (see: the sad ballad of Jakub Voracek‘s 2015-16 campaign), but Shayne Gostisbehere‘s already doing great things.

That includes stealing some of Jeff Skinner‘s thunder on Tuesday, as “Ghost” scored the overtime-clincher in Philadelphia’s 4-3 OT win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

He now has three overtime game-winning goals in just 15 career games.

Three was kind of a magic number in this one, really, as Skinner generated his second hat trick in three games. This post will be updated when all three of his tallies find their way into one clip, but here’s the goal that secured Carolina a standings point:

You can watch Gostisbehere’s OT-GWG in the video above this post’s headline.

Spoiled: Rangers halt Oilers’ winning streak at six games

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Well, it had to end some time.

That’s a possible reaction from both the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers – or maybe their fans/critics – on Tuesday after the Rangers managed a 4-2 win.

On one hand, the Oilers saw a surprising (if occasionally lucky) six-game winning streak conclude. Conversely, the Rangers can let out a little sigh of relief as they snapped a three-game slump.

Rick Nash was one of the stories of this one, as he showed his combination of speed and a solid burst while grabbing the game-winner on a power-play goal. His line with Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard generated two of New York’s three goals.

It was a pretty quiet game overall, with the two teams combining for just 41 shots on goal, but the Rangers will take it.

The Oilers saw their streak end, but what about the bigger picture? PHT Extra covers that issue in the vieo below.