1. Bo Horvat
The Canucks were down … just about all their noteworthy players against the Golden Knights in Vegas, but Bo Horvat made it happen in a resilient shootout win. Horvat scored two goals on three shots on goal, delivered four hits, blocked a shot, and dominated in the faceoff circle (15-7).
About the only complaint you can make is that Horvat was unable to score during the shootout, yet the Canucks won anyway.
Horvat’s strong night stood out because, despite the stray nice game (Aleksander Barkov collected two assists in Florida’s comeback win), Wednesday was a great night for goalies.
OK, the Maple Leafs goalie wasn’t without a blemish. He allowed two goals during Winnipeg’s 22-shot third period as the Jets tried to get back into a game.
Andersen was pretty fantastic overall, though, stopping 38 out of 40 SOG. The Jets have a potent offense, something you could see on the two goals that ended up beating Andersen. It’s tough to really put those tallies on Andersen’s shoulders.
Similarly, Jacob Markstrom allowed two goals in an overall impressive win, making 33 saves. Andersen gets the edge from both quantity and quality perspectives.
Unlike Andersen, Andrei didn’t allow a goal … I mean, unless you ding him for the would-be Gabriel Landeskog goal that was negated by an offside call via a coach’s challenge.
The box score says he was perfect, though, as Vasilevskiy pitched a 22-save shutout.
The relatively light night of work makes Vasilevskiy’s shutout a little less impressive, although it doesn’t hurt his cause that four of those SOG came from Nathan MacKinnon, and seven overall were produced by Colorado’s deadly top trio.
(Perfectionists might place Vasilevskiy at second or first. To each their own.)
Highlights of the Night
What a thing of beauty: all five members of the Islanders power play touched the puck on Jordan Eberle‘s first goal of 2018-19. Maybe this will light a fire under the winger, who’s just begun a contract year?
Horvat’s second goal of the evening (also his second in a 64-second span) was quite pretty:
- Horvat’s Canucks now lead the Pacific Division with 12 points in 10 games. Seriously.
The margin is small, mind you, but Vancouver is alone in the lead following Wednesday’s games.
- Yes, Kasperi Kapanen is off to a strong start this season. No, he hasn’t really done this before at the NHL level.
- Bold prediction: Vasilevskiy will own the Lightning’s goalie records.
Panthers 3, Islanders 2 (OT)
Maple Leafs 4, Jets 2
Lightning 1, Avalanche 0
Canucks 3, Golden Knights 2 (SO)
MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule
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.