Associated Press

The Buzzer: Hutchinson gets first win as a Maple Leaf; Kane hits 200

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Three stars

1. Michael Hutchinson, Toronto Maple Leafs

Hutchinson was only brought into the Maple Leafs fold this week. Now he’s started two games for them has his first shutout in those iconic threads to boot.

Being thrown into the melting pot that is Toronto and thriving like Hutchinson did on Saturday, stopping all 28 shots he faced, is a feat in itself. It’s not easy to under that microscope. But after allowing four on 34 shots in a loss to Minnesota two days ago, Hutchinson rebounded against the Elias Pettersson-less Canucks to right the ship.

Hutchinson showed at times in Winnipeg that he could play well in a Canadian market. He showed it again on Saturday.

2. Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks

It takes a special effort to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning these days.

Kane delivered one of those, scoring twice in the game to reach 14 goals on the season and 200 for his NHL career. Kane is now riding a four-game point streak, with three goals and three assists during that span.

Kane helped the Sharks snap Tampa’s seven-game winning streak.

3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Normally, shutouts make it high on these three stars lists. But consider that Quick only saw 16 total shots from the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-0 win.

That’s not to discount the feat. No one asks you how you go the shutouts, just how many. And he had to make 25 percent of his saves of the stick of Connor McDavid, so that counts for something.

Quick hasn’t been special this season outside of a few performances. He allowed six goals on 33 shots in his last outing. But he’s got two shutouts now on a bad Kings team.

Other notable performances: 

  • Islanders goalie Robin Lehner picked up his seventh straight win. He’s got a .927 save percentage this season and is fitting in nicely in his new digs on Long Island.
  • Zach Parise had a goal and two assists, including the game-winner, in a 4-3 win for the Wild over the Senators.
  • Auston Matthews had a goal and two apples for Toronto.
  • Brent Burns had three assists and now has seven points in his past two games
  • Craig Smith had two goals in a 4-1 Predators win against the Canadiens

Highlights of the night

Great effort from Dubois to stick with it:

Tee it up:

Not bad for your first time:

Duchene has no time for your holds and slashes:

The goal that won the World Junior Hockey Championships:



Flames 3, Flyers 2

Wild 4, Senators 3

Bruins 2, Sabres 1

Maple Leafs 5, Canucks 0

Predators 4, Canadiens 1

Blue Jackets 4, Panthers 3 (OT)

Islanders 4, Blues 3

Kings 4, Oilers 0

Sharks 5, Lightning 2

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Trocheck hasn’t missed a beat for Panthers

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Vincent Trocheck wasn’t even supposed to be playing for the Florida Panthers this soon, let alone seemingly jumping right back to full-strength, as if his ankle was never fractured.

Heading into Friday, the Panthers were on a seven-game losing streak, facing a weekend that sure looked like it would set the stage for one or two additional losses.

Instead, the Panthers now have back-to-back wins, and they’ve done so against two legitimate NHL contenders.

On Friday, the Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. Trocheck assisted on Mike Matheson‘s game-winning goal, posted highly impressive possession stats, three shots on goal, and seven (!) hits.

That would have already been a highly impressive effort for a player coming off a pretty traumatic injury, but Trocheck was arguably even better during Saturday’s 4-2 win against the Nashville Predators.

While his fancy stats were a little choppier, Trocheck showed up on the scoreboard even more, generating a goal and an assist. He looked awfully spry on that goal, by the way:

That breakaway score ended up being the game-winner, actually.

After generating three points in his two games back, Trocheck now has 17 points in 20 games this season.

Now, the Panthers points as a team? They’re now at 46 points in 47 games played, leaving them at least 12 points behind the Penguins (who have 58 points, and could add more against the Golden Knights during a Saturday game that’s in progress). To put things mildly, the odds are stacked high against the Panthers for a credible push toward a berth in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Then again, the odds were also against Trocheck returning as soon as mid-January, and he’s instead making a big impact for Florida.

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

Ref pushing Blues’ Barbashev gives us some comic relief


In these trying times, sometimes you just need to see a zany mishap where a hockey player loses a skate blade, and hilarity ensues.

OK, that might be highly specific, but such bits of bad luck usually do provide some real comedy. Even by those standards, this was some good stuff, as Blues forward Ivan Barbashev got a boost from an on-ice official, and it was quite a boost down the ice.

You can watch that moment in the video above this post’s headline, and likely have a nice chuckle.

The Blues ended up beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday, so Barbashev & Co. can share a bigger laugh after the game.


Speaking of comic relief and needing a push, enjoy the Zamboni from Saturday’s Oilers game:

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

Bruins’ Rask helped off ice after huge collision


Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask needed help off of the ice – and took quite a while to leave the ice – after a frightening collision with New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil.

Moments after this post went up on Saturday, the Bruins provided an unsettling – if, sadly, not surprising – update that Rask suffered a concussion and will not return to the game.

You can see the collision (and get an idea of how long it took Rask to leave the ice) in the video above this post’s headline.

This is the Bruins’ final game before the All-Star break, and they won’t play again until they host the Winnipeg Jets in Boston on Jan. 29, so at least there isn’t much pressure for Rask to rush back to action too soon.

Rask began the game tied with Tiny Thompson at 252 wins, the most in Bruins’ franchise history.

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

Erik Karlsson misses Sharks game on Saturday

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Considering how much Erik Karlsson has been heating up along with the San Jose Sharks lately, it would have been fun to see him skate against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that once tried to acquire him.

That’s not happening on Saturday, as Karlsson was a late scratch for the game.

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reports that Karlsson was “limping noticeably” and favoring his left side following the Sharks’ 6-3 loss to the Coyotes on Wednesday. Kurz also reports that Karlsson hasn’t participated in practice or pregame skates for about a week.

Paul Gackle of the Mercury News points out that Karlsson was held out for most of the third period of Tuesday’s 5-2 win against the Penguins for “precautionary reasons,” yet Sharks coach Peter DeBoer indicated that the 28-year-old was expected to play on Saturday. Instead, Karlsson must have determined that he wasn’t good to go after skating a bit during warm-ups.

Saturday’s game against the Lightning marks the second of a four-game road trip. The Sharks are set to play against the Panthers in Florida on Monday (Jan. 21) and the Capitals in Washington on Tuesday (Jan. 22), then they’ll be off for the All-Star break.

Karlsson was one of the Sharks’ three selections to the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, but we’ll see if what seems like a lower-body injury ends up sidelining him from the event. Either way, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Swede miss at least one of the Sharks’ remaining two games before the break, considering that it’s a back-to-back set.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic is also out with an injury, so the Sharks are limping – can Sharks limp? – a bit into that run of off time.

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