1) Chris Kreider, New York Rangers
The Blueshirts were looking to end a three-game losing streak and Kreider’s back-to-back goals helped put the game out of reach for the flu-riddled Ducks. At 12:16 of the first period, the power forward intercepted a pass and converted a nifty deke on a breakaway as he recorded his ninth of the season. Then, early in the middle frame, No. 20 tipped in a pass from Mika Zibanejad to extend the Rangers’ lead to three goals. Kreider will be one of the most talked about names in the NHL as the trade deadline approaches and performances like these will only boost his value.
2) Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames
Calgary is looking to re-establish itself as one of the elite teams in the Western Conference and a 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars was a step in the right direction. Tkachuk buried a power-play goal when he wired a wrist shot from the left circle to give the Flames a 2-1 lead at the time. He added two assists including a pretty pass from the side of the net to set up Sean Monahan in the slot.
3) Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes
The Detroit Red Wings are having a historically bad season, but Keller’s two goals helped lead the Coyotes to a 5-2 win. The 21-year-old could be the biggest beneficiary of the Taylor Hall trade if Arizona’s opponents choose to focus on Hall and Phil Kessel. That would leave Keller with matchups against second and third pairing defensemen which could help him produce a lot more offensively as the Coyotes look to make a bid for the Pacific Division title.
Highlights of the Night
Filip Chytil has not quite lived up to lofty expectations yet, but plays like this help you realize why the Rangers front office is so high on the young center.
— NHL (@NHL) December 22, 2019
Hall’s snipe was his first with the Coyotes
Mikael Backlund snapped an 18-game goalless drought with this impressive rush toward the net
Stat of the Night
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 23, 2019
New York Rangers 5, Anaheim Ducks 1
Arizona Coyotes 5, Detroit Red Wings 2
Calgary Flames 5, Dallas Stars 1
Vegas Golden Knights 3, San Jose Sharks 1
Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.