1. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks
Gibson was simply sensational, stopping all 37 shots he faced, including 10 on the power play, as the Ducks finally stopped their losing streak at 12 games in a 3-0 win against the Minnesota Wild.
Gibson’s in a race for the Vezina, and he’s been fantastic this season — one of few, if any, constants with the Ducks. The run support he’s received throughout the season, or lack thereof, just highlights further how important Gibson has been. Anaheim has just 116 goals for this season, ranking 30th out of 31 teams.
There are other cases to be made, but Gibson might just have the strongest one.
2. Jack Campbell, Los Angeles Kings
It’s a shame injury got in the way of Jack Campbell playing more. He’s been one of best backups in the NHL, despite missing nearly two months due to a meniscus tear.
His record might not reflect it, but never mind that: just check out his save percentage.
Consider this: In his past three starts coming into Thursday, Campbell has come out winless despite save percentages of .929, .979 and .972.
Campbell got the goals he needed at the other end of the ice and stopped 29 shots in a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars.
3. Sami Niku, Winnipeg Jets
Niku has gone from seventh-round pick to the AHL’s Defenseman of the Year and into the limelight on Winnipeg’s blue line in pretty short order.
Niku played his best game as a pro on Thursday as the Jets came into Nashville and embarrassed the Predators 5-1. Niku was a big part of that, doing it all on Winnipeg’s eventual game-winner with an assist and then grabbing his second assist of the night when his point shot was deflected past Pekka Rinne.
Injuries to Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Chiarot have put Niku into the lineup and he’s thrived in the opportunity, so much so that he’s made a case to stick in the lineup even when the blue line returns to health.
Highlights of the night
Body bag, indeed. What a hit:
Saad smacks this one in out of mid-air:
Vasilevskiy just being himself:
Given their long and storied history, this is impressive:
Rangers 4, Blackhawks 3
Islanders 4, Devils 1
Bruins 5, Blues 2
Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 2
Jets 5, Predators 1
Ducks 3, Wild 0
Kings 2, Stars 1