The Buzzer: Win or lose, goalies shine on Sunday in the NHL

The Buzzer: Win or lose, goalies shine on Sunday in the NHL
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NHL Three Stars from Sunday

1. Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars, tops Korpisalo and other goalies shining in defeat on Sunday in the NHL

Generally speaking, Sunday in the NHL ended up being for goalies — many of whom ended up losing. Maybe scorers felt groggy because of daylight savings time?

On this Sunday in the NHL, the value of a win could really skew your personal three star selections.

Just look at the goalies in Stars – Blue Jackets, where Dallas won in a shootout. Do you go with Jake Oettinger, who made 29 saves and then prevailed in the shootout? Or do you (understandably) weigh that “skills exhibition” lightly, and award it to Joonas Korpisalo, who made 34 saves?

Tough calls all around.

Then again, for teams like the Stars and Blue Jackets, every point counts.

With things not going so well for Anton Khudobin (on and off the ice), and Ben Bishop recovering from surgery, the Stars season could have imploded totally. While this isn’t a perfect situation, Jake Oettinger has been absolutely crucial to keeping the Stars afloat.

If this keeps up, Oettinger might even burrow his way into the Calder Trophy conversation.

(Again, though, Korpisalo was great too.)

2. Drake Batherson, Ottawa Senators

If you rank the three stars of Sunday in the NHL by the best stories, then Batherson’s Senators teammate Joey Daccord takes the cake. Something came up for Matt Murray during Senators warm-ups, according Daccord the opportunity to earn his first NHL win.

Making 33 saves against the Maple Leafs isn’t too shabby, either. Wrap it all up in this emotional interview, and it’s pretty great #content from Joey Daccord.

Fantastic stuff.

Still, Daccord did allow three goals, and the Maple Leafs also saw a goal called off. Considering some of the other goalie performances (including Philipp Grubauer, who stopped 27 out of 28 shots in a win), it feels more appropriate to give someone like Drake Batherson the nod.

Batherson scored two goals for the Senators, both in the second period. His 4-1 goal ended up standing as the game-winner.

Ottawa is fighting it this season (especially vs. Connor McDavid and the Oilers), but they’ve been a nuisance for the Maple Leafs. Toronto’s facing some adversity lately, which is common for this team, but rare for this season.

3. Korpisalo, Blue Jackets, and those hard-working goalies

OK, let’s give Joonas Korpisalo the third star nod, shall we?

He secured a crucial (if already too little, too late?) point for the Blue Jackets, who can’t seem to buy a bucket lately.

Korpisalo also wraps up that theme of Sunday in the NHL. Jonathan Bernier nearly snared a win (or a point) for the Red Wings, who fell 2-1 to the Hurricanes despite Bernier’s 30 saves. Scott Wedgewood stopped 32 shots for the Devils, but they fell to the Islanders in a shootout. While allowing three goals won’t leave him with the greatest numbers, Cal Petersen looked fantastic at times for an overwhelmed Kings team vs. the Avs.

Honorable mentions

  • The Avalanche largely dominated the Kings, but Philipp Grubauer did have to work a bit more than usual for his latest win. Some might put him over, say, Korpisalo.
  • His Avalanche teammate Nazem Kadri scored a beautiful goal and added a tremendous primary assist. Another option, depending upon your taste.
  • Hey, the Wild can sometimes win games when Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello “only” grab an assist apiece. Kevin Fiala ended up with a goal and an assist on Sunday. If the explosive Fiala can provide the Wild with secondary scoring (or boost Kaprizov even higher by finishing more of his golden opportunities), Minnesota could get that much scarier.

Highlights of Sunday in NHL:

Check out that absolutely tremendous Nazem Kadri goal as part of the Avalanche – Kings highlight package:

Fiala scored the goal, but Matt Dumba set the table with an absolutely beautiful pass:

Sunday’s NHL scores

Wild 4, Coyotes 1
Hurricanes 2, Red Wings 1
Islanders 3, Devils 2 (SO)
Stars 2, Blue Jackets 1
Avalanche 4, Kings 1
Senators 4, Maple Leafs 3

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

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