1. Carter Hutton, Buffalo Sabres
Are the Sabres for real? Time will tell, but it’s clear that Hutton is on fire.
Buffalo fattened its lead to 3-0 just a few minutes into the second period, and were able to sit on that edge, even as the Kings fired a lot of biscuits at Hutton. The 33-year-old goalie generated a 47-save shutout on Thursday, giving him a two-game shutout streak after he stopped all 25 shots against the Stars on Oct. 14.
Hutton’s now 5-0-0 on the season, and only allowed seven goals so far.
There are some Sabres who are inevitably going to cool down. That’s not meant to be an insult; instead, it’s pretty much unavoidable because they’re playing at such a high level. Hutton is up there with the hottest skaters on that team.
2. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
It honestly might be a little on-the-nose for Pastrnak to have such a great “National Pasta Day” by scoring two goals and one assist for Boston on Thursday.
Then again, it’s really just another day for Pastrnak.
After a quiet start to 2019-20 where he didn’t score any points in two games, Pastrnak’s been boiling lately, with 13 points in his last five contests, and seven points over his last two games.
The only thing that went a little stale for the 23-year-old was that the Bruins couldn’t win, as the Lightning ended up winning via a shootout.
3. Casey Mittelstadt, Buffalo Sabres
Normally, tiebreakers would go to players who are on different teams, but while there were plenty of other strong performances on Thursday, Mittelstadt and Pastrnak were the top scorers with three points.
Like Pastrnak, Mittelstadt managed two goals and one assist. You could definitely make a case that Mittelstadt deserves the second star, as one of his goals ended up being the game-winner for Buffalo.
Either way, it was quite the way for Mittelstadt to make the most of his modest ice time of 12:19 on Thursday. The sophomore has been a feast-or-famine scorer so far in 2019-20, collecting two assists to start the season, going six games without a point, and then managing three points on Thursday.
Most painful moment of the night
The Wild are a mess, but Joel Eriksson Ek showed that they’re still able to show courage. He blocked three shots from Shea Weber, which left Ek in a walking boot, but gained Weber’s respect, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo.
Those moments were even more painful that these GIFs of unintentional comedy from the Kings.
Highlight of the Night
Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck robbed Islanders rookie Oliver Wahlstrom:
- Victor Mete scored his first NHL goal in his 127th game. More on that here.
- Via Sabres PR: Hutton’s 47-save shutout is the most in franchise history, and his streak of 128:36 is 2:15 shy of his career-best.
- Darcy Kuemper is the first goalie in Coyotes/original version of the Jets history to allow two or fewer goals over 12 consecutive starts, according to NHL PR.
- Remarkably, Jack Hughes is only the third-youngest Devils player to score a point in the NHL. Read about New Jersey’s win in this post, and the Rangers’ PP struggles here.
TBL 4 – BOS 3 (SO)
MTL 4 – MIN 0
NJD 5 – NYR 2
VAN 4 – STL 3 (SO)
NYI 3 – WPG 1
CGY 5 – DET 1
ARI 5 – NSH 2
VGK 3 – OTT 2 (SO)
BUF 3 – LAK 0
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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.