Player of the Night: Artem Anisimov
As you can read about here, Artem Anisimov enjoyed the best night of a hectic game between the Blackhawks and Rangers, generating the first hat trick of his career. That contest presented some twists and turns, with Chicago ultimately coming out on top 6-3.
Anisimov and Alex DeBrincat have been providing a big chunk of the Blackhawks’ offense lately, and its been much needed. Even while taking a lull of three games without a point in mind, the 29-year-old has eight goals and one assist in his past nine contests.
Highlights of the Night: On a Larkin
That wild line brawl between the Flames and Red Wings didn’t just take some spotlight from Detroit’s 8-2 win; it also might have distracted people from an impressive night via Dylan Larkin, a player who clearly seems to be back on track for a Red Wings team that could be feistier than many expected.
The top highlight features Larkin’s remarkable sense of timing and hockey geometry. (Was he good at geometry at school? If so, I’m jealous.)
The second reminded me of some early moments in Sidney Crosby‘s career, as Larkin used his skating ability and smarts to turn on the jets, only to make a sudden stop, assess the situation, and create a splendid play.
Some nights, Larkin is skylarking like vintage XTC. If you’re interested in violence, the real highlight of the game really was that brawl, though. If so, head here.
(Note: Johnny Gaudreau is on a hot streak of his own, albeit without the W-related results he wanted tonight.)
Caveats of the Night: The Ducks deserve a heap of credit for sticking with it, even as injuries seem to keep mounting. Or at least, might continue to mount.
Wildly underrated defenseman Hampus Lindholm is now dealing with a lower-body injury, while Corey Perry seemingly bounced back from this:
I say seemingly because, sometimes a player will return to a game in the heat of the moment. Then, when they wake up in the morning and/or have a doctor look at an injury, they realize something’s wrong and miss time. Kris Letang scored a game-winner injured, Paul Kariya famously bounced back from the Scott Stevens hit he can’t even remember, and so on. So we’ll see.
For a Ducks team that is besieged by injuries, so this is troubling.
The Ducks keep scrapping and, in this case, winning, though.
Factoid of the Night: The Mike Green resurgence: still pretty delightful.
Not enough is being made about John Gibson‘s continued climb up the goalie ranks. Where would Anaheim be without him (spoiler: probably the cellar):
Scores and more
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.