1. Ryan O'Reilly, St. Louis Blues. The St. Louis Blues picked up a huge win on Friday night to pull back to within one point of a playoff spot in the West Division. They were 9-1 winners over the Minnesota Wild in a completely one-sided game that featured a four-point effort from O’Reilly. He recorded a hat trick in the win after a Blues’ third period goal was changed from Jake Walman to O’Reilly. Jaden Schwartz also scored two goals in the win for the Blues.
2. Jonas Johansson, Colorado Avalanche. Johansson stopped all 28 shots he faced in a 2-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks to help the Colorado Avalanche move into the top spot in the NHL standings. The shutout is the first of Johansson’s career. Valeri Nichushkin and Mikko Rantanen provided the offense for the Avalanche.
3. Reilly Smith, Vegas Golden Knights. Smith scored two goals, including a shorthanded goal, and recorded five shots on goal to help the Vegas Golden Knights get a big 7-4 win over the Arizona Coyotes to keep pace with Colorado in the West Division standings. This game was not as close as the final score indicated as the Golden Knights jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Just 10 minutes into the game Vegas was winning 4-0 with an 18-2 shots goal advantage.
Other Notable Performances From Friday
• Sidney Crosby recorded three points and Bryan Rust scored two goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils as they move to within two points of first place in the East Division.
• Artemi Panarin had two assists and a lot of the New York Rangers’ young stars (Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, K'Andre Miller) shines in a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders.
• Justin Schultz had three points (one goal, two assists) for the Washington Capitals in a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres as they compete for the top spot in the East Division.
• Brent Burns had three assists for the San Jose Sharks as they were 5-2 winners over the Los Angeles Kings to keep pace in the race for the fourth playoff spot in the West Division.
Avalanche make trade for defense depth
Not only did the Avalanche get a win on Friday night, but they also made a small trade before their game against Anaheim when they sent a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for defenseman Patrik Nemeth. He previously spent two seasons with the Avalanche in 2017-18 and 2018-19. In 39 games with the Red Wings this season he has two goals and six assists and will add some depth to an already loaded defense in Colorado.
Highlights Of The Day
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith makes one of the best saves of the night as he dives across the goal crease to keep the puck out of the net.
Alex Ovechkin gets a lucky bounce for career goal 727 as he inches closer to Marcel Dionne for fifth place on the all-time list.
The Los Angeles Kings were on the wrong end of a 5-2 decision but they did score this crazy goal.
O’Reilly gets his hat trick goal for the Blues.
Washington Capitals 4, Buffalo Sabres 3
Pittsburgh Penguins 6, New Jersey Devils 4
New York Rangers 4, New York Islanders 1
St. Louis Blues 9, Minnesota Wild 1
Vegas Golden Knights 7, Arizona Coyotes 4
Colorado Avalanche 2, Anaheim Ducks 0
San Jose Sharks 5, Los Angeles Kings 2
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.