1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
You can read more about a crazy night in Colorado here. The gist of it was that MacKinnon had four points, including an assist on the game-winner and an empty-net goal to seal an eventual 6-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. MacKinnon’s line with Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog continue to run roughshod on the NHL, combining for seven points on the night as they continue to easily lead the league in terms of points by a line.
2. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
The second half to Wednesday night’s wild affair in Denver. Crosby picked up his team and carried them after getting down 3-0 in the second period. With a minute to go in that frame, Crosby scored twice to pull the Pens to 3-2 and then completed the natural hat trick at 4:43 of the third period to pull Pittsburgh even. It wasn’t enough in the end, but Crosby showed the world why he’s still the best.
3. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
A month missed — 14 games — and Matthews didn’t skip a beat. AM34 had two goals and an assist as the Maple Leafs cruised to a 5-3 win against the San Jose Sharks. It’s the type of performance we’ve come to expect from Matthews, who doesn’t appear to suffer from any type of rink rust. Good news for the Leafs; bad news for the rest of the league.
Highlights of the night
Auston Matthews returns. Auston Matthews produces.
Red Wings 4, Blues 3
Ducks 3, Panthers 2
Maple Leafs 5, Sharks 3
Stars 4, Flames 3 (OT)
Avalanche 6, Penguins 3