1. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals. Midway through the second period the Washington Capitals were trailing the New York Rangers 1-0 and struggling to generate any offense. At that point Ovechkin was rocked on a huge open-ice hit that knocked him to the ice. You could say that woke him up. Ovechkin responded in the third period by scoring a pair of goals in seven minutes to help lift the Capitals to a 2-1 win. Ovechkin now has 14 goals this season and is on a five-game goal scoring streak. He has seven goals over his past seven games overall. Oh, that also gives him 720 goals for his career. Vitek Vanecek was also strong in net for the Capitals as they extended their winning streak to seven consecutive games.
2. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights. There are not many duos in the NHL right now that are better than Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. Entering play on Friday they were controlling more than 57 percent of the shot attempts when on the ice together for the Golden Knights while the team had a commanding 26-12 goals advantage at 5-on-5 play. Those numbers only increased on Friday when Pacioretty scored two more goals in a 4-2 win over the Kings. The Golden Knights maintain their lead in the West Division and continue to have one of the league’s best records.
3. Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks are finally starting to win some games and it is almost entirely due to the play of goalie Thatcher Demko. Thanks to the Canucks 3-2 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, Demko has now won eight of his past nine starts with a dominant save percentage (.949) during that stretch. The Canucks still have a huge hurdle in front of them, and Demko is masking a lot of flaws, but they are at least keeping things interesting. Read more about the North Division race here.
Other Notable Performances From Friday
• Jordan Binnington stopped 30 shots for the St. Louis Blues in a 2-1 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks.
• Mark Giordano scored a power play goal that goes in the books as the game-winner for the Calgary Flames as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Friday night. They have now won four out of five under coach Darryl Sutter. The Maple Leafs are slumping. You can read more about that here.
Highlights Of The Day
J.T. Miller‘s overtime goal is a great effort to help the Canucks beat Montreal.
Alex Ovechkin’s second goal of the game gives the Washington Capitals the win.
Washington Capitals 2, New York Rangers 1
Vancouver Canucks 3, Montreal Canadiens 2 (OT)
Calgary Flames 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3
St. Louis Blues 2, San Jose Sharks 1 (SO)
Vegas Golden Knights 4, Los Angeles Kings 2