1. Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks
The Sharks coughed up a stunner by squandering a 4-2 lead late on Sunday, but don’t blame Kane.
Kane generated his second hat trick of 2019-20, scoring all three of his goals during the second period. Kane is delivering where many Sharks teammates are disappointing. The power forward bumped his season goals total to 18, giving him 32 points in 41 games.
Many of Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s moves look worse with each letdown — in a lot of cases, San Jose is just stuck — but Kane is doing some of his career-best work since joining this team. It just hasn’t been enough (not this season, and not on Sunday).
2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Ducks fans could definitely argue that Getzlaf deserves the top spot.
The big center loomed large over Sunday’s game, generating three assists to end an unsettling eight-game pointless streak. Getzlaf also scored the shootout-deciding goal.
3. Adam Henrique, Anaheim Ducks
Actually, some might place Henrique ahead of Getzlaf. These three stars stand out on a night where others settled for two points or less (and goalies had nice nights, but not outstanding performances). Two of Henrique’s three points were goals, so some might consider that better than Getzlaf’s output. Henrique fired an impressive nine shots on goal and went 10-3 on faceoffs, too.
Highlights of the Night
How can it not be Akil Thomas’ gold-medal winning beauty for Canada during a roaring World Junior comeback win against Russia? Goodness that was pretty, and so, so clutch:
The Los Angeles Kings selected Thomas, 20, with the 51st pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, in case you’re wondering.
For most of Sunday, Juuse Saros was, well, John Gibson-ing John Gibson. Saros kept the Predators in a lopsided game the Ducks mostly dominated. Gibson reminded the world of his brilliance with this dazzling overtime save, though, and Anaheim ultimately won:
OH. MY. GIBSON! 👀 pic.twitter.com/QlAKniwzGn
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 6, 2020
- The Wild congratulated Devan Dubnyk on his 500th game played. Considering how low things sank during the end of his run with the Oilers and that aborted Predators stay, Dubnyk must be proud to cross 500 GP.
- The Lightning won their seventh game in a row on Sunday, cementing the notion that they’re “back.” NHL PR explains that Tampa Bay managed five different winning streaks of at least seven games since 2018-19. The 1983-84 and 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers stand as the only team with more such streaks at six. The Lightning are tied with the Canucks for the longest active winning streak in the NHL at seven victories apiece.
- Another one from NHL PR: the Capitals are just the seventh team to overcome a multi-goal deficit in the last minute of a game and then win.
- The Blackhawks won for the fourth time in five games by rallying against Detroit. Chicago has also scored four goals or more in six of its last eight.
- Roman Josi extended his point streak to 10 games, the longest streak for any defenseman in the defensemen-rich history of the Predators.
WSH 5 – SJS 4 (OT)
FLA 4 – PIT 1
TBL 3 – CAR 1
CGY 5 – MIN 4 (SO)
CHI 4 – DET 2
ANA 5 – NSH 4 (SO)
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.