1) Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
The Blueshirts have been very fortunate to have Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes since 2005 and the goaltender of the future appears to be arriving on Broadway sooner than expected. Shesterkin made 42 saves to help lead the Rangers to a 4-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden Sunday. The young Russian netminder has improved to 5-1-0 in six starts this season and continues to push for more playing time. While Lundqvist is unlikely to be moved at the trade deadline, Shesterkin’s consistent play has allowed Jeff Gorton to consider moving Alexandar Georgiev in the next few weeks. A crowded crease creates playing time concerns for all parties involved, but for the rebuilding Rangers, it’s a good problem to have for the time being.
2) Andreas Athanasiou, Detroit Red Wings
Everyone knew wins would be tough to come by for the Red Wings this season, but the plan was to have a few pieces continue their development. Athanasiou was expected to be one of those players after scoring 30 goals last season. Sunday, he scored his seventh and eighth of the season in Detroit’s surprising 3-1 victory against the Boston Bruins. The 25-year-old broke a 1-1 tie with a short-side snipe midway through the third period. He later added an empty-net goal to seal the victory for the Red Wings.
3) Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets
The Blackhawks took an early two-goal lead, but the Jets stormed back in their third consecutive victory. Winnipeg scored five unanswered and moved into sole possession of the first wild card in the West with a 5-2 win against Chicago. Connor scored twice and added an assist, stretching his individual point streak to three games. The speedy winger benefitted from a terrific pass from Andrew Copp to cut Chicago’s two-goal advantage in half. Connor is two goals shy of reaching the 30-goal mark for the third consecutive season.
[NHL ON NBCSN: Ovechkin’s chase for 700th goal continues Monday]
Highlights of the Night
Copp put the right amount of sauce on this pass to set up Connor for a shorthanded goal.
Stats of the Night
Ryan Miller, the winningest American goaltender in NHL history, collected his 385th career regular-season victory to tie Mike Vernon (385) for 15th on the League’s all-time wins list. https://t.co/jWgIuIiy8L #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/CoiDXtrU26
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 9, 2020
At :15, Dominik Kubalík sets #Blackhawks record for fastest goal to begin a game by a rookie
Previous record: 17 seconds by Niklas Hjalmarsson on April 11, 2009
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) February 10, 2020
Detroit Red Wings 3, Boston Bruins
Anaheim Ducks 3, Buffalo Sabres 2
New York Rangers 4, Los Angeles Kings 1
Winnipeg Jets 5, Chicago Blackhawks 2
Ovechkin’s quest for 700:
- By the Numbers: Ovechkin’s 698 NHL goals
- Stunning Numbers as Alex Ovechkin closes in on 700 goals
- My Favorite Goal: Ovechkin scores ‘The Goal’ as a rookie in 2006
- Crosby, Kane, Ovechkin highlight NHL’s All-Decade Team
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.