1)Ilya Samsonov, Washington Capitals
The rookie goaltender made 38 saves and became the second NHL goaltender to win his first eight road starts in the League. Braden Holtby has been the undisputed starter for a number of years in Washington and is a pending unrestricted free agent this summer. The Capitals’ front office will have a difficult decision to make with Samsonov proving that he can handle the responsibilities of a starting NHL goalie.
2) John Carlson, Washington Capitals
Carlson has established himself as the front-runner for the Norris Trophy this season and added to his prolific scoring totals with a beautiful assist in the Capitals’ 4-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes Friday evening. Petr Mrazek skated to the top of the crease and Carlson feathered a pass from the point to Evgeny Kuznetsov at the side of the net for the easy tap-in goal. It was Carlson’s 14th power-play assist and 51st point of the season, which leads all NHL defensemen.
3) Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars
Bigger things were expected when Pavelski inked a three-year contract with the Stars this past summer. However, the veteran forward displayed his two-way ability when he intercepted a puck in neutral ice, then wired a wrist shot off the post and into the back of the net in the Stars’ 4-1 victory against the Red Wings. It was his eighth of the season as Dallas extended its winning streak to four games which included a 4-2 win against the Predators in the 2020 Winter Classic.
Highlight of the Night
Roope Hintz scored the first of two shorthanded goals for the Stars on a 2-on-0 opportunity.
Stat of the Night
For the first time in franchise history, the @Capitals are the first NHL team to register 60 standings points in a season. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/p8rItmw9ay
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 4, 2020
News from around the NHL
- Ilya Kovalchuk signs one-year deal with Montreal Canadiens
- Corey Perry has been suspended five games
- Jim Montgomery checks into rehab for alcohol abuse
- 2020 NHL All-Star game coaches revealed
- Jacob Markstrom will replace Marc-Andre Fleury at All-Star Game
- Victor Oloffson of Buffalo Sabres out four-to-five weeks and Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech to miss remainder of regular season.
Washington Capitals 4, Carolina Hurricanes 3
Dallas Stars 4, Detroit Red Wings 1
Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.