1. Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
When the elite, Vezina-caliber Sergei Bobrovsky shows up on any given night, the Columbus Blue Jackets are nearly unbeatable. Such was the case on Friday.
‘Bob’ stopped a whopping 46 shots from the Corsi Kings (Carolina Hurricanes), who pelted Columbus’ No. 1 at every juncture, including 22 shots in the second period.
Bobrovsky was up to the task on each and every one of them, including multiple 10-bell saves to keep the clean sheet — the 30th of his career. Columbus, meanwhile, scored three times on 20 shots, including a shorthanded goal in the third period to win their second straight game.
They’re now on 83 points, tied with the Hurricanes and two points ahead of the idle Montreal Canadiens.
2. Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames
Five goals for the Calgary Flames and Tkachuk was in on each of them, following up on Johnny Gaudreau‘s six-point game three nights ago.
Keith’s son scored twice and assisted on the other three in a 5-1 win for the Flames over the New York Rangers.
Tkachuk has 10 points now in his past three games, which is insane. He’s got 32 goals and 73 points now in 71 games.
3. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto has a litany of weapons at its disposal, but the one they have in Matthews is by far the most clutch.
And Matthews came through in that clutch scenario on Friday, scoring twice in 2:11 in the third period to give the Maple Leafs a 6-5 and 7-5 lead. His second (which may have been a hat-trick goal if not for this) stood as the game-winner after James van Riemsdyk completed his own hat trick late (honorable mention to JvR, who was a force for the Flyers).
Toronto is two points back of the struggling Boston Bruins now for second in the Atlantic. Given that these teams are likely to play each other in the first round, there’s a mini-battle here now for who gets home-ice advantage.
Highlights of the night
We’ve seen several of this flip passes lately, and this one is just as nice as the others:
Pettersson’s shot is so smooth:
Pettersson has filthy hands, too:
Maple Leafs 7, Flyers 6
Blue Jackets 3, Hurricanes 0
Golden Knights 2, Stars 1
Flames 5, Rangers 1
Ducks 5, Avalanche 3
Devils 3, Canucks 2 (SO)