The Buzzer: Richardson’s four goal game helps Coyotes stay in race

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Three Stars

1. Brad Richardson, Arizona Coyotes. It had been more than 20 years since a member of the Arizona Coyotes scored four goals in a game, and it was Brad Richardson, of all people, to snap that streak on Thursday night. He played the game of his life in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks to help the Coyotes stay in the Western Conference playoff race, an impressive accomplishment given where they were coming from a year ago and the brutal injury situation they have dealt with this season. The only other player in the NHL to score at least four goals in a game this season is Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine, who scored five a few months ago.

2. Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets. Seth Jones played 27 minutes for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night and scored his seventh career overtime goal to help lift his team to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. It is a big win for the Blue Jackets because it moved them back into a playoff position for now as they temporarily moved back ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers, meanwhile, fall a little further back in lose a point they could not afford to lose in the standings.

3. Reilly Smith, Vegas Golden Knights. Reilly Smith got the better of his former team on Thursday night by scoring a pair of goals for the Vegas Golden Knights against the Florida Panthers, including the game-tying goal late in the third period to send the game to overtime. He also scored a highlight reel between-the-legs goal that you can see below. The Golden Knights went on to win in a shootout 6-5 and continue to roll toward a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Other notable performances from Thursday

  • Hard to pick just one star for the New York Islanders as they completely crushed the Toronto Maple Leafs in John Tavares‘ first visit to Long Island in an opposing sweater (read all about it here). It was a pretty hostile environment, too.
  • The Boston Bruins delivered a pretty big statement win by crushing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
  • The Dallas Stars picked up a huge two points with a 4-3 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings. For the Kings this is their 10th consecutive loss in a season that has been a huge disappointment.

Highlights of the Night

Oh just Connor McDavid doing some Connor McDavid things in a rare win for the Edmonton Oilers.

This is an absolutely ridiculous stick save by Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. Did not prevent them from losing their 10th game in a row, however.

This is more of a lowlight for the Kings from this game, but still funny to watch.

 

Here is the aforementioned incredible between-the-legs goal scored by Reilly Smith for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Factoids

  • The Boston Bruins went an entire calendar month without a regulation loss thanks to their big win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. [NHL PR]
  • Artemi Panarin became just the third undrafted player to begin his career with four consecutive 70-point seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky and Peter Stastny. [NHL PR]
  • The New York Islanders needed only 63 games to reach the 80-point mark. It is the eighth time in franchise history they have done that. [NHL PR]

Scores

New York Islanders 6, Toronto Maple Leafs 1

Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3 (OT)

Boston Bruins 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 1

Edmonton Oilers 4, Ottawa Senators 2

Arizona Coyotes 5, Vancouver Canucks 3

Vegas Golden Knights 6, Florida Panthers 5 (SO)

Dallas Stars 4, Los Angeles Kings 3 (OT)

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.