The Buzzer: Mike Smith on fire for Flames

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Player of the Night: Mike Smith, Calgary Flames

While Petr Mrazek pitched a 27-save shutout as the Red Wings lulled the Blackhawks to sleep, Smith deserves recognition for another strong game, but beyond that for defying expectations in 2017-18. He’s been red-hot in particular lately.

This marks Smith’s sixth consecutive win, and he’s faced 30+ shots on goal in all of those victories. Sunday represented one of his best performances of that stretch, stopping 38 out of 39 shots against the frustrated Carolina Hurricanes.

It’s not just a flash in the pan, either. Smith is now 20-13-3 on the season with a sparkling .924 save percentage.

Confession: few of us expected this level of work, and such durability, from the massive 35-year-old.

Highlights of the Night

Pretty sweet stuff from Michael Grabner for the Rangers in a loss to the Penguins.

It’s probably worth seeing Phil Kessel‘s 700th point again, even if it was typical, at least by Kessel’s sniping standards. More on Kessel’s milestone here.

After missing 21 games, Brandon Sutter scored the overtime game-winner for the Canucks against the Wild.

Factoids

Another Kessel tidbit:

Tyler Bertuzzi, like Dominik Simon, scored his first NHL goal. He gets the edge because of this great, very “hockey” photo.

Scores

Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 0
Flames 4, Hurricanes 1
Penguins 5, Rangers 2
Canucks 3, Wild 2 (OT)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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