Stars, Islanders, and Flyers don’t get good breaks regarding their respective streaks
Tuesday was a bad day for streaks, whether teams wanted to end them (Islanders, Stars) or continue them (Flyers).
As discussed earlier, Tuukka Rask blanked the Flyers to end Philly’s winning streak at nine games. You can read more about that here, and get more info on Rask’s performance below.
Again, teams that wanted their streaks to end didn’t have luck, either. The Islanders put forth a valiant effort, taking the Canucks to a shootout. Vancouver took home the win, however, pushing the Islanders’ streak to seven straight losses. On the bright side, the Islanders are at least hanging in the wild-card races by managing four “charity points” during this skid (0-3-4). Still, being limited to two wins since Feb. 13 (2-7-4) is no way to secure a playoff spot. The Islanders also play eight of their next 11 games on the road, which won’t make things any easier.
The Stars aren’t in quite the same dogfight to secure a 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs spot, but they must be troubled by the Rangers extending their losing streak to six games (0-4-2). Home-ice looks unlikely after this slump, but Dallas seems reasonably insulated as far as holding onto the third Central spot is concerned … unless this really festers.
1. Nicolas Deslauriers, Anaheim Ducks
With some big performances in bigger games on Tuesday, it was tough to give this spot to a player who won a game between to dreary teams in the Ducks and Senators.
That said, a hat trick is tough to argue with … and a natural hat trick is nigh-undeniable. In this case, it’s fully undeniable, as I’m giving the nod to Deslauriers.
If you don’t like the highlight of the night pick later in this post, soothe your seething anger with this as the alt choice:
Deslauriers generated his hat trick 11:49 into the Ducks’ win, breaking Teemu Selanne’s old mark (12:58) as the fastest in franchise history. It’s also the earliest hat trick since Taylor Hall generated three 7:53 into a March 30, 2013 game as a member of the Oilers (both via NHL PR).
2. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
The Flyers probably have a point if they argue that they should’ve extended their winning streak to 10 games. They played quite well against the Bruins, but couldn’t accomplish enough to score against Rask. Rask managed a 36-save shutout to celebrate his 33rd birthday on Tuesday.
Rask helped the Bruins reach 100 points before any other NHL teams. This also happens to be the seventh time the Bruins reached 100+ points in 70 games or fewer (this time 70).
3. A tie between players with two goals and one assist
Look, if you have a convincing argument for Evgeni Malkin, Sebastian Aho, or Filip Forsberg authoring the superior two-goal, one-assist game on Tuesday, have at it. All three are excellent players, and I didn’t really see much that made one stand far above the other on this specific night.
Highlight of the Night
Hey, it technically doesn’t need to be the NHL highlight of the night, does it? Maybe not? Kings prospect and WHL goalie Lukas Parik scored a goal, and that’s good enough for me. Parik plays for the Spokane Chiefs, and may have a chance to score an NHL goal, as the Kings selected Parik 87th overall in 2019.
NHL Standings after a bad night for streaks
East, with wild card battles continuing to confuse
West, with a nice jump for Predators
TOR 2 – TBL 1
NSH 4 – MTL 2
PIT 5 – NJD 2
BOS 2 – PHI 0
CAR 5 – DET 2
NYR 4 – DAL 2
ANA 5 – OTT 2
VAN 5 – NYI 4 (SO)
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.