The Buzzer: Bank shots and three-pointers

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Three Stars

1. Anthony Mantha

You don’t often see someone get the top star in a losing effort, and people can certainly make an argument for a number of players being the standout from Monday’s action.

From here, it’s tough to argue with Mantha’s man-sized night. He tied for the Monday lead with three points via two goals and one assist, and Mantha really asserted himself with a whopping 10 shots on goal.

Despite being in such a high-scoring game and a losing effort, the Red Wings winger managed a +2 rating for the night.

There were other players from Columbus’ 7-5 win against Detroit who have an argument for top billing. Pierre Luc-Dubois generated three points, including the GWG. Then again, one of his points came on an empty-netter, while teammate Artemi Panarin‘s three points happened with a goalie in Detroit’s net.

You could put the trio of Mantha, PLD, and Panarin as the top three, but then you’d really be killing fun.

2. Jonathan Huberdeau

The Panthers needed every one of Huberdeau’s three points to edge the Devils in overtime on Monday.

To start, he grabbed a secondary assist to help Florida get back in the game, as they fell behind 2-0 early. Huberdeau scored the 3-3 goal that sent the contest to overtime, a significant tally that also stands as the 100th of his young NHL career.

(Imagine how many Huberdeau would have – and how many additional wonky Scooby Doo puns we’d experience – if he didn’t deal with occasional injury headaches?)

Mike Hoffman rightfully earned the most attention for his overtime-winner after nearly ending the overtime period moments earlier, yet Huberdeau also collected the primary assist on that OTGWG.

Overall, a very nice outing for a player who’d gain more recognition if he could consistently stay healthy and if the Panthers could enjoy some greater team success.

3. Tom Wilson

This post goes into detail about Wilson’s red-hot start to his season (which was delayed, of course, by that polarizing suspension). Long story short, the hard-hitting Capitals winger generated two goals and one assist in helping Washington beat its former coach Barry Trotz and the Isles.

Wilson finished Monday with six SOG, a +1 rating, two hits, one blocked shot, and won his lone faceoff.

His assist came on Alex Ovechkin‘s empty-netter, so number three he is.

Braden Holtby ranks among the goalies who had arguments for being included, as he shook off an early goal to make 32 saves. Frederik Andersen stopped 38 shots, but did allow two goals; his Maple Leafs teammate Mitch Marner‘s three assists ranks him as an honorable mention (getting dinged ever-so-slightly for one helper being on an ENG).

Highlights of the Night

Again, Hoffman would not be denied. Eventually.

Jack Edwards’ call was almost as impressive as Torey Krug‘s pass on one of David Pastrnak‘s goals from the Bruins’ losing effort:

That was a sweet dish, but this Panarin pass inspired the bank shots/three-pointers headline:

(Hmm, maybe Panarin should be one of the three stars. What do you think?)

Factoids

Patrick Marleau‘s keeping up pretty nicely for a guy who played in his 1,600th(!) NHL regular-season game, eh?

At first, this seems like a goofily specific stat, but it might make people feel better about wondering if we’re experiencing something of a throwback offensive season.

At this rate, Freddy Andersen might just grab a three star nod the next time he faces the Bruins:

Scores

TOR 4 – BOS 2
FLA 4 – NJD 3 (OT)
WSH 4 – NYI 1
NYR 4 – OTT 2
CBJ 7 – DET 5

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 phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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