1. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
How often does this happen? You wake up on your birthday, sign a big-money extension and then go out and put up 26 save shutout against the Boston Bruins. If you answered never, you’d actually be wrong. Apparently, this is something Rinne does for fun. Yes, Rinne woke up, signed a two-year, $10 million extension and then went out and took care of business on the ice just hours later on Saturday. Rinne is now 5-1-0 this season and is making an early case for a second straight Vezina Trophy with his shiny .948 save percentage. Happy Birthday, indeed.
2. Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders
One of the reasons for the Islanders’ success this season has been the performances they’ve seen from their goalies. New York entered Saturday with the third-best team save percentage and only improved on that as the day ended. Greiss made 35 saves for his first shutout of the season, improving his record to 4-2-0 with a 1.85 goals-against-average and a .944 save percentage. The Islanders are now 8-4-1 without John Tavares and haven’t skipped a beat with Robin Lehner nursing a back strain, winning five straight.
3. Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs
Sticking with shutouts, Andersen posted a 31-save effort himself against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Maple Leafs came into the game 0-2 without Auston Matthews, who is out long-term with a shoulder injury. The Leafs hadn’t given their goalies run support in those previous two outings with a single goal in each of them. A lack of scoring wasn’t an issue on Saturday, however, as Toronto put up a five-spot on the Penguins. Andersen was a big factor in the win, stopping all five shots on the penalty kill as Pittsburgh went 0-for-5.
Bonus star: Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights
The fourth and final shutout of Saturday night belonged to Fleury, who made 34 saves to become the 29th player in NHL history to hit 50 clean sheets. Fleury’s second shutout of the season came against the team that puts up more shots per game than any other. Fleury also helped the Golden Knights end a two-game skid.
Other notable performances:
- Jason Pominville and Jeff Skinner went full beast mode in the Buffalo Sabres 9-2 thumping of the Ottawa Senators. Both Pominville and Skinner each scored twice and added assists.
- Kyle Brodziak had two goals, including the game-winner, as the Edmonton Oilers won their eighth game of the season.
- Jaroslav Halak didn’t get an ounce of support as he stopped 39-of-40 shots in a 1-0 loss to the Predators.
- Morgan Rielly scored twice to put him on six goals for the season, the same number he had in 76 games last season. His career-high is nine.
- Sean Monahan had two goals and Elias Lindholm added three assists as the Flames came from behind to win 5-3 against the Blackhawks.
- Dustin Brown had two goals (one shorthanded) and an assist for the Kings against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Anze Kopitar also scored shorthanded in the game. Torts won’t be happy.
- It was “Timo Time in Overtime” according to the play-by-play man Randy Hahn on NBC Sports California on Saturday. Meier scored his second of the game 13 seconds into overtime to seal the win for San Jose.
Highlights of the Night
Koskinen is huge. This save is also huge.
Dangles, dekes and game winners.
What a shot:
Sabres 9, Senators 2
Stars 4, Capitals 3 (OT)
Oilers 4, Red Wings 3
Islanders 3, Devils 0
Lightning 4, Canadiens 1
Maple Leafs 5, Penguins 0
Wild 5, Blues 1
Predators 1, Bruins 0
Golden Knights 3, Hurricanes 0
Flames 5, Blackhawks 3
Sharks 4, Flyers 3 (OT)
Kings 4, Blue Jackets 1