1. Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders
There was probably a little pressure inside the Islanders dressing room prior to this one. Sure, it was just another game in the 82-game slog that is the regular season, but for their head coach, it was a bit more special than that.
Barry Trotz made his return to Washington for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup as the Capitals bench boss last June. They gave him a classy tribute and then he and his Islanders made sure they wouldn’t forget him in a 2-0 win.
Greiss was instrumental in that, stopping all 19 shots he faced as the Islanders leapfrogged both Washington and Columbus to move into first place in the Metropolitan Division.
John Tavares who?
2. Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers
Sticking with goalies and their help in big wins… Luongo stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced in a 3-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s not a 40-save night, but consider that the Panthers came into the game with a seven-game losing streak as a heavy anchor. They needed something, and Luongo provided the near-perfect game to end the longest active streak in the NHL.
3. Sam Bennett, Calgary Flames
Bennett usually gets lost in the Johnny Gaudreaus and the Sean Monahans of the Calgary world.
Some nights the other two don’t light it up, allowing other Flames to shine. Bennett provided that spark, scoring twice and adding an assist in the game.
Bennett’s second of the came with under four minutes left and broke a 4-4 deadlock in a 6-4 Calgary win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Highlights of the night
Bennett’s winner came off a nice pick up on a not so nice pass:
Kuemper the keeper:
A nice tribute to Brooks Orpik, who played his 1,000th game on Friday:
When you celly too hard:
Panthers 3, Maple Leafs 1
Canadiens 4, Blue Jackets 1
Islanders 2, Capitals 0
Senators 4, Hurricanes 1
Flames 6, Red Wings 4
Penguins 3, Coyotes 2 (OT)
Canucks 4, Sabres 3