There were a handful of strong player of the night candidates, so let’s rattle them off. Before you get angry that your guy was left out, please note that this is a lightning round, not a comprehensive list.
- Jakub Voracek is really starting to heat up, collecting three assists in the Flyers’ 4-1 win against the Canucks, Philly’s third consecutive win. This is the second time in three games that Voracek’s managed a three-assist night, with one assist sandwiched in between for seven points in three contests.
Instead of allowing mediocre shooting luck to be his downfall (seven goals on 108 SOG for just 6.5 percent success rate), Voracek is piling up points; he now has a whopping 37 points in 29 games. You could argue that he’s the greatest catalyst for a fantastic trio with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.
- Two guys with two-goal nights make the list because of context. David Backes managed two tallies despite the reasonable argument that he shouldn’t be playing so soon after having part of his colon removed. Sean Monahan, meanwhile, is starting to earn the nickname Mr. Overtime.
- Joe Thornton‘s three-point night helped the Sharks manage an impressive comeback against the Hurricanes, culminating in a 5-4 OT win. They had been down 4-2 late in the contest.
Stealing that ’70s Show
Jeff Carter‘s sadly on the shelf, but two other key cast members of “That ’70s Line” combined for a beauty. Tyler Toffoli did most of the work in befuddling the Senators – including Erik Karlsson – while Tanner Pearson scored the goal:
Backhanders: not dead yet
Boy, it seemed like there were some especially nice backhand goals tonight. Gabriel Landeskog and Steven Stamkos dueled with backhand goals in the time you’d reheat leftovers in the microwave (with Stamkos’ tally being my favorite of the two, style-wise):
Christian Dvorak broke a personal slump with one of the best goals of the night. The turnover he forced really sold it.
Vladislav Namestnikov and Steven Stamkos both were back to business in scoring one goal and two assists apiece, and the Lightning are just on another level. So consider those two as additional player of the night.
And one more Jumbo Joe note, because beating Jaromir Jagr in a stat is almost always a feat worth gloating about:
The Kings now lead the West with 41 standings points after rattling off their seventh win in a row on Thursday night. Impressive stuff.
Rieder returned soon after, but like with Crosby, it’s wise to monitor the situation.
Bruins 6, Coyotes 1
Penguins 4, Islanders 3 (OT)
Flames 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)
Lightning 5, Avalanche 2
Panthers 6, Jets 4
Blues 3, Stars 0
Flyers 4, Canucks 1
Kings 4, Senators 3 (OT)
Sharks 5, Hurricanes 4 (OT)