1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
No team goes the way of their best player quite like the Edmonton Oilers.
McDavid played the role of McJesus on Thursday, saving the Oilers from another loss by scoring his second of the game with just eight seconds left on the game clock. With one point secured, McDavid made sure Edmonton took home the maximum, scoring the shootout winner against the Florida Panthers.
Yes, McJesus saves — including the blushes of his own teammates after this ugly own goal.
2. Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning
This kid should be an NHL All-Star (and he still could be if he wins the Last Men In vote).
He assisted on the tying goal in the second period on the power play and then rattled off back-to-back goals — his 27th and 28th — to secure a 3-1 come-from-behind win against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Point gets overshadowed by Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, but the 22-year-old is a special player and now has 60 points on the season. He now has back-to-back two-goal, one assist nights and has points 10 of his past 11 games.
Never mind being an all-star, he belongs in the Hart conversation.
3. Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers needed someone — anyone — to help them break out of their eight-game losing streak.
And it was Hart who produced that special effort, stopping 37 of 38 shots sent this way in a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars. Hart was just 2:51 away from his first NHL shutout when Jamie Benn finally found a way past him in the third period.
Hart doesn’t have a great record at 3-4-1, but his .920 save percentage would be a godsend for the Flyers if he could keep it hovering around there. The lack of run support is a big deal, but games like the one Hart had on Thursday make the win still possible.
Other notable performances:
- Jordan Binnington (the goalie you’ve never heard of) got his second straight win in as many NHL starts, stopping 28 of 29 shots. He picked up his first win in fine fashion earlier this week with a 25-save shutout on Monday.
- Jason Zucker scored twice, including the game-winner as the Minnesota Wild held on in a 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets
- John Tavares had two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 4-2 Toronto Maple Leafs win against the New Jersey Devils.
- Mat Barzal had a goal and two apples in a 4-3 win in the Battle of New York.
- Robin Lehner made it eight wins in a row to help lift the Islanders past the Rangers.
- Artemi Panarin, who is getting offers from all over the place to stay in Columbus, gave John Tortorella his 600th win with his overtime winner in a 4-3 defeat of the Nashville Predators. He also scored in regulation, along with Bonne Jenner’s brace.
- Sven Baertschi had two goals, including a third-period game-tying goal that secured a point for the Canucks.
- Richard Panik had two goals, including the game-winner to help the Coyotes beat Baertschi’s Canucks 4-3 in overtime.
- Chris Tierney grabbed two goals in a 4-1 rout for the Senators against the Kings.
Highlights of the night
Capitals 4, Bruins 2
Maple Leafs 4, Devils 2
Islanders 4, Rangers 3
Flyers 2, Stars 1
Blues Jackets 4, Predators 3 (OT)
Lightning 3, Hurricanes 1
Blues 4, Canadiens 1
Wild 3, Jets 2
Oilers 4, Panthers 3 (SO)
Coyotes 4, Canucks 3 (OT)
Senators 4, Kings 1