1. Anton Khudobin/Roope Hintz, Dallas Stars
With a plethora of games on Tuesday’s dockets, let’s consolidate some of the stars picks as combos.
Khudobin generated 40 saves, only allowing one goal against Carolina. People made plenty of jokes about the Hurricanes actually needing to bring in David Ayers on Tuesday. After all, Alex Nedeljkovic allowed four goals on just 16 shots. It’s easy to overlook the difference Khudobin made in that game where there was a towering 40-16 SOG disadvantage. (The Hurricanes’ long tradition of dominating puck control while being let down by goaltending happened again. The Stars, meanwhile, subsist on their goaltending.)
Hintz provided a strong night of work in his own right, scoring a goal and two assists. Hintz scored the game-winning goal, and both of his assists were primary helpers.
2. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida Panthers
Florida left many — myself included — puzzled by trading away Vincent Trocheck for a questionable return. Maybe the Panthers will benefit from a post-trade deadline bump from Bobrovsky much like Columbus did after they decided not to trade him in 2018-19?
It’s way too early to confirm or deny that. Either way, he enjoyed a strong Tuesday, stopping 37 out of 38 SOG. Both the Panthers and the Coyotes needed Tuesday’s game, but Bob made the difference.
Speaking of sticking with players despite the temptation of getting something for a pending UFA, Mike Hoffman contributed to Florida’s two goals with a goal and an assist.
3. Kevin Hayes/Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers
Leafing through the options for third star was especially tough. Matthew Tkachuk, for instance, scored three points (1G, 2A) winning a battle of the pests with Brad Marchand.
An even tougher omission: the combination of Zach Sanford (2G, 1A) and Robert Thomas (1G, 2A) for the Blues. Sanford scored the GWG, and fired nine SOG. He made the difference in St. Louis squeaking by Chicago.
In this case, let’s direct you to this post, where the Blues got some attention.
Hayes (2G, 1A) also scored the game-winner for his team, while Konecny generated a goal and two assists. Both Flyers forwards generated +3 ratings apiece. Are their strong nights better than the comparable evenings for Sanford and Thomas? Your guess is a good, if not better, than mine.
Highlights of the Night
Marchand scored an impressive goal, showing his calm and skill. Then he turned on the menace in staring down Mikael Backlund, which really brought this clip up a notch:
William Nylander added to the bucket of cool between-the-legs goals in helping Toronto beat Tampa Bay. If forced to choose one video for highlight of the night, it would probably be this:
Not sure if this is a highlight of the night in the traditional sense. Regardless, this is just one big, entertaining mess between Tyler Bertuzzi and P.K. Subban. And maybe the officials?
- The Rangers set a franchise record with eight consecutive road wins by beating the Islanders in OT. Mika Zibanejad is on his own eight-game point streak, collecting a whopping 14 points during that span, including Tuesday’s empathic game-winner. (NHL PR)
- The Stars have an eight-game road point streak of their own. (NHL PR)
- The Flames beat the Bruins handily. Continuing with the theme of road warriors, Calgary’s 15-4-1 road record since Nov. 23 leads the NHL during that span. (Sportsnet Stats)
- Tyler Toffoli keeps bridging a hot end to his Kings’ days with a hot start with the Canucks following his deadline trade. By scoring Vancouver’s OT winner, he extended his current point streak to five games (7G, 2A). Looking specifically at his time with the Canucks, Toffoli has three goals and two assists for five points in three contests.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins improved to an impressive 29 points in his last 21 games. (Sportsnet Stats)
- Quinn Hughes became the first rookie to reach 50 points this season … not too shabby for a defenseman. He’s six points shy of the Canucks rookie defenseman scoring record. Hughes and Nicklas Lidstrom (1992) are the only two defensemen to reach 50 points before any other rookie during their respective first seasons. (NHL PR)
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau didn’t win the game for the Islanders. He did make a heck of an impression during his Islanders debut following their big trade deadline investment, though. (OK, this is more of an opinion-oid, but go with it.)
CGY 5 – BOS 2
VAN 4 – MTL 3 (OT)
TOR 4 – TBL 3
NYR 4 – NYI 3 (OT)
PHI 4 – SJS 2
WSH 4 – WIN 3 (SO)
DAL 4 – CAR 1
NJD 4 – DET 1
STL 6 – CHI 5
NSH 3 – OTT 2
MIN 5 – CBJ 4
FLA 2 – ARI 1
ANA 4 – EDM 3 (OT)
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.