NHL Three Stars from Saturday
1. Jordan Kyrou, Ryan O'Reilly, and David Perron, St. Louis Blues
Look out, the St. Louis Blues have two highly dangerous lines.
Now that Jordan Kyrou’s emerging, the Blues can combine that older line with Kyrou and two players who’ve really generated chemistry (Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron) to make opponents miserable. On Saturday, it was time for Kyrou, ROR, and Perron to take over.
If you want to be picky, maybe you only consider O’Reilly and Perron as the dual entry for the top star(s) of Saturday in the NHL. Those two managed four-point games on Saturday, scoring one goal and three assists. Kyrou wasn’t far behind, scoring two goals and one assist.
2. Derick Brassard, Arizona Coyotes
If you guessed that Derick Brassard would pull off a hat trick on Saturday — in 2021, not in NHL ’10 or something — and your last name isn’t Brassard, that someone might need to take the keys away from you. You’re not being honest with the class.
Heading into this one, Brassard scored four goals and 10 points in 30 games this season. He’s only crossed the 20+ goal mark twice during his career, with the most recent (21) coming in 2017-18.
In other words, this second Derick Brassard hat trick was unexpected.
For his first two goals, Brassard scored in ways maybe people wouldn’t picture for him (or for the version of Brassard who got traded for Zibanejad). He went to the “dirty areas” to make it happen. On the goal that completed the hat trick, we saw a little more skill from Brassard.
3. Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs
On Feb. 27, Jack Campbell made at least 30 saves to shut out one of half of the Battle of Alberta (30 saves against the Oilers). Almost a month later, Jack Campbell returned from injury to make at least 30 saves to shut out one of half of the Battle of Alberta (31 vs. the Flames).
Yep, you can say that Jack Campbell’s on a personal shutout streak, even if they happened multiple weeks apart.
The Flames were actually the last team to score against Campbell in a Maple Leafs win from Jan. 24. Yeah, it’s been that sort of season for Campbell. When he’s been able to play, he’s been fantastic, but he’s really been lucky enough to play.
If Campbell was rusty, it sure didn’t show during his 31-save shutout vs. the Flames.
Honorable mentions, including Thomas Hickey‘s inspiring night
- After the Avalanche clobbered the Wild for a second straight game, Zach Parise said this about Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen.
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 20, 2021
While Rantanen contributed a goal to the Avalanche’s 6-0 win over the Wild, Landeskog and MacKinnon stood tallest. Landeskog collected one goal and two assists, while MacKinnon piled on three helpers.
- Andrei Vasilevskiy won his 11th game in a row, stopping 30 out of 31 shots. His teammate Victor Hedman was in the NHL stars of Saturday mix, too, with three assists.
- Anton Khudobin ranked among the other NHL goalies who earned shutouts on Saturday, but had a relatively easy time, only needing 21 saves.
- Thomas Hickey earning two assists was already promising, especially consider what he’s gone through. But it goes deeper than that.
What a night for Thomas Hickey, who played his first NHL game since May 3, 2019. Incredibly challenging road. Brother passed away after a battle with cancer. Injuries hampered his career…but he persevered, and had two assists in NYI's 6-1 win over PHI. 👏👏👏 https://t.co/iCr9j2P6be
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 21, 2021
Highlights from Saturday in the NHL
Elvis Merzlikins played a huge role in the Blue Jackets squeezing out a shootout win vs. the Hurricanes. The highlight was this save:
Connor McDavid doesn’t always do it all by himself. Moments like these are a reminder of how often he can get really close to pulling that off.
Saturday’s NHL scores
Penguins 3, Devils 1
Panthers 2, Predators 0
Avalanche 6, Wild 0
Lightning 4, Blackhawks 1
Islanders 6, Flyers 1
Blue Jackets 3, Hurricanes 2 (SO)
Stars 3, Red Wings 0
Maple Leafs 2, Flames 0
Canadiens 5, Canucks 4 (SO)
Rangers 3, Capitals 1
Coyotes 5, Ducks 1
Blues 5, Sharks 2
Oilers 4, Jets 2