The Buzzer: Draisaitl, McDavid show no mercy; Wednesday in NHL

The Buzzer: Draisaitl, McDavid show no mercy; Wednesday in NHL
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NHL Three Stars from Wednesday

1. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers

The kids would probably say that, when facing the hapless Senators, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have no chill.

Whatever kind of slang you want to smother it in, the point is that McDavid and Draisaitl have really milked every game against Ottawa this season. Without those games, they’d be battling for the Art (Ross) and the Hart (Trophy), but loading up in these contests might leave them untouchable.

In Wednesday’s case, Leon Draisaitl left the NHL in awe with an outstanding five-point performance. That included a hat trick and two assists. With that absurd five-point outburst, Draisaitl now has 42 points in 28 games. In doing so, Draisaitl extended his point streak to four games (4G, 4A).

We’re combining dominant Oilers in this category, even if you could probably place Draisaitl then McDavid as the top two stars of the night. Or at least two of the three stars of the night for Wednesday in the NHL.

McDavid collected a goal and two assists, pushing his multi-point streak to three games (2G, 6A). After this stretch, McDavid now sits at 48 points in 28 games, about the only player who can actually create some distance in front of Draisaitl. For now.

[McDavid and Draisaitl will need to stay hot to hit the unthinkable 100-point mark]

2. Dylan Coghlan, Vegas Golden Knights

Coming into Wednesday’s game, Dylan Coghlan hadn’t yet scored a goal in the NHL. In 11 NHL games, Coghlan only managed a single assist.

He remedied that in a big way.

Just 1:42 into the Wild’s eventual win over his Golden Knights, Coghlan scored his first NHL goal. Two periods later, Coghlan gave a Golden Knights team down 4-1 a chance. He generated two more goals to generate an unlikely hat trick.

Understandably, Peter DeBoer sent out Coghlan more often, as he logged 18:23 TOI. With Alex Pietrangelo out for some time, maybe someone like Coghlan can step up? Read a little bit more about Coghlan in this post.

Joel Eriksson Ek enjoyed a nice game for the Wild, helping them win with two goals.

3. Antti Raanta, Arizona Coyotes

Here’s something that’s easy to forget. If goalie-related things went to plan, Antti Raanta would’ve been able to jump from a great backup to a very good No. 1 goalie. Darcy Kuemper came in with the hope of maintaining a recent uptick in backup goaltending, with some potential to create a platoon situation.

Instead, Kuemper’s game took off, while injuries really robbed Raanta of a chance to truly establish himself.

Granted, we saw some of that ability from Raanta when the Coyotes needed it the most. When injuries hit Kuemper last season, Raanta came up big, going 15-14-3 with a strong .921 save percentage. If the Coyotes gave him more goal support, Raanta likely would’ve gained more attention.

Well, Raanta probably once again felt like he had to do a lot on his own against a returning Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche on Wednesday. Raanta made an impressive 44 saves in a game where his opponent, Philipp Grubauer, faced just 14 shots on goal. The disparity was severe enough that the Coyotes tweeted about “quality over quantity.”

Raanta and the Coyotes fell in overtime, just 38 seconds from reaching a shootout.

Troy Grosenick creates one of the stories of Wednesday in NHL

If you’re in the running for best story in the NHL on Wednesday, you’d have a tough time beating Troy Grosenick’s start.

(Sorry, Leon Draisaitl absolutely picking on the Ottawa Senators.)

Back in November 2014, Troy Grosenick appeared in two games, earning a 45-save shutout in one of them. Dreams came true. Parents cried.

Unfortunately for Grosenick, he never got another shot with the Sharks, or any other NHL team. Until Wednesday, when the Kings were down without Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen.

Maybe some would look at this like an “emergency backup” situation. But there’s some evidence Troy Grosenick isn’t a mere fluke. As this post elaborates upon, Grosenick’s put up some impressive AHL stats.

Either way, Grosenick made the most of his long-awaited latest opportunity. He made 33 out of 34 saves to make sure that the Kings never had to really sweat things against an overmatched Ducks opponent.

Adrian Kempe stayed hot for the Kings, scoring two goals.

Highlights of the night, including magic from McDavid and Draisaitl

Fittingly, both Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid made plays worthy of highlight of the night consideration for Wednesday in the NHL.

You could say that this Draisaitl goal is almost a McDavid impression. As exciting as Draisaitl can be, some of his offense is a bit more “meat and potatoes” than that of McDavid. Most of the time at least, but not here:

Don’t sleep on McDavid’s tremendous no-look between the legs pass, between Artem Zub‘s legs, to Draisaitl, who then beats Matt Murray five-hole.

Poor Murray; poor Senators. They continue to have no chance against McDavid and Draisaitl.

Wednesday’s NHL scores

Wild 4, Golden Knights 3
Oilers 7, Senators 1
Avalanche 2, Coyotes 1 (OT)
Kings 5, Ducks 1
Canadiens 5, Canucks 1

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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    Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

    Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

    Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

    Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

    Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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    Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

    The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

    Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

    After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

    Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

    Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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    MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

    But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

    “I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

    Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

    “I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

    Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

    Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

    Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

    All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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    SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

    Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

    The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

    Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

    Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.