Player of the Night: Nino Niederreiter, Minnesota Wild.
There were some strong contenders around the league. Quite a few players enjoyed impressive one-goal, two-assist nights: Ivan Provorov for the successful Flyers, Nino’s teammate Mikko Koivu (who was also bloodied), Taylor Hall, and Alex Radulov among them. Sebastian Aho‘s really close, too, with two goals and an assist.
Still, it’s worth noting that Niederreiter generated his hat trick about four minutes into the second period, and only logged 12 minutes of ice time in this game. It’s also the second time he’s generated a hat trick against the Sabres, as he also did so in November.
With all the headlines about a “bomb cyclone” getting weather on the brain, it only makes sense for “El Nino” to gust through the Sabres’ defense.
Highlights of the Night:
Carey Price pulled out a Dominik Hasek/Tim Thomas-style barrel roll trick here:
Actually, speaking of Aho, let’s give him the highlight of the night for this sweet goal. Teuvo Teravainen also scored a pretty one as the Hurricanes were too much for the Penguins to handle.
Blooper of the Night: Ouch, Frederik Andersen. Ouch.
(This was also a tough break.)
Beard pull of the Night: Nazem Kadri on Joe Thornton. If you somehow missed it, check here.
Auston Matthews, American hero.
In case you’re wondering, the Canadiens’ struggles aren’t really on Carey Price.
The Golden Knights’ run came to an end. More on that here.
Maple Leafs 3, Sharks 2 (SO)
Flyers 6, Islanders 4
Hurricanes 4, Penguins 0
Canadiens 2, Lightning 1 (SO)
Blues 2, Golden Knights 1
Wild 6, Sabres 2
Stars 4, Devils 3
Avalanche 2, Blue Jackets 0
Flames 4, Kings 3
Oilers 2, Ducks 1 (SO)
Coyotes 3, Predators 2 (OT)
Panthers – Bruins, postponed
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.