1. Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks probably had no business winning this game. They were badly outshot, outplayed, and needed to rely on their goalie to keep them in it. Fortunately for the Canucks, Markstrom was up to the challenge and played one of the best games of his career as he stopped all 43 shots he faced in a 1-0 overtime win. He held on just long enough for Elias Pettersson to score the game-winning goal thanks to a fluky assist from an unlikely source. Read all about it here.
2. Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers. The Rangers spoiled Bob Boughner’s San Jose coaching debut with a 6-3 win that was highlighted by another huge game for Panarin. He scored three goals and added an assist in the win to continue his incredible 2019-20 performance. His first year with the Rangers has been everything the team could have hoped for as he is now up to 18 goals and 41 total points in 31 games. The Sharks, meanwhile, are now 0-5-1 in their previous six games.
3. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres. His point streak is now up to 15 consecutive games thanks to a two-goal effort in a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. It is the second game in a row that Eichel has scored a pair of goals as he continues to climb the NHL’s scoring leaderboard. He is unstoppable right now and trying to carry the Sabres to a playoff spot all by himself.
Other notable performances from Thursday
- The Detroit Red Wings’ losing streak has finally come to an end. They were winners for the first time since Nov. 12 thanks to a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets to snap what had been a 12-game losing streak. Robby Fabbri continued his strong play since joining the team with a pair of goals while Filip Zadina recorded three points.
- The Calgary Flames improved to a perfect 7-0-0 under new coach Geoff Ward thanks to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Johnny Gaudreau scored a pair of goals as part of a three-goal third period for the Flames to get the win.
- Tristan Jarry recorded his third shutout in his past four starts for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they were 1-0 winners over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus coach John Tortorella had no words for his team’s lackluster performance. Read about it here.
- Clayton Keller scored a pair of goals for the Coyotes in their 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks to put them back in sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
- Eric Staal was in the lineup after a scary injury on Tuesday and scored a goal in the Minnesota Wild’s 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
- Oskar Sundqvist had a goal and an assist for the St. Louis Blues in a 4-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
- Another strong start for Jonathan Quick as he stopped 36 out of 37 shots for the Los Angeles Kings.
- Steven Stamkos scored twice for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a huge 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.
- Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee each had a pair of points in the New York Islanders’ 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers.
Highlights of the Night
It came in a losing effort, but Nashville’s Matt Duchene scored an absolute beauty of a goal in Buffalo.
Check out this quick tic-tac-toe passing by the Islanders to set up Mathew Barzal for a power play goal against the Panthers.
— NHL (@NHL) December 13, 2019
Eichel’s goal to extend his point streak was an absolutely perfect shot.
Blooper of the Night
The puck ended up getting lost in Markstrom’s equipment and he needed a lot of assistance in finding it.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) December 13, 2019
- Panarin’s hat trick on Thursday was the third of his career, all of them coming with different teams. [NHL PR]
- Joe Thornton played in career game No. 1,600 on Thursday, making him and Patrick Marleau the first set of teammates to have 1,600 games played in their careers. [NHL PR]
- The Islanders’ points percentage of .733 is the second highest in franchise history through the first 31 games of a season. [NHL PR]
Buffalo Sabres 4, Nashville Predators 3
Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Boston Bruins 2
New York Islanders 3, Florida Panthers 1
Pittsburgh Penguins 1, Columbus Blue Jackets 0 (OT)
Detroit Red Wings 5, Winnipeg Jets 2
St. Louis Blues 4, Vegas Golden Knights 2
Minnesota Wild 6, Edmonton Oilers 5
Calgary Flames 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Arizona Coyotes 5, Chicago Blackhawks 2
Los Angeles Kings 2, Anaheim Ducks 1
Vancouver Canucks 1, Carolina Hurricanes 0 (OT)
New York Rangers 6, San Jose Sharks 3