The Buzzer: Kaprizov shines again; Saros helps Predators’ playoff push

NHL Scores
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Three Stars

1. Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild. Kaprizov has heard all of your discussions about Jason Robertson potentially catching him in the Calder Trophy race, and he decided to make a statement on Friday night. Kaprizov scored two goals, including a stunning highlight reel goal (see it below) to open the scoring, to give him 21 goals on the season. He has been one of the league’s most exciting players this season and has helped completely transform everything about the Minnesota Wild. They needed a star, and they got exactly that with him.

2. Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres are doing their best to play the role of spoiler during the stretch run of the regular season and were able to snap the Boston Bruins’ six-game winning streak on Friday night with a 6-4 win. Reinhart was the big star of the game for Buffalo with a hat trick to give him 20 goals this season. He has been one of the few bright spots in Buffalo this season and he has now scored 20 goals in four consecutive seasons and five of the past six seasons.

3. Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators. By going 2-0-1 in these three games against the Chicago Blackhawks the Predators took a major step forward in their quest for a playoff spot. They now have a five-point lead over the Blackhawks and have put some added pressure on the Dallas Stars in the race for that fourth spot in the Central Division. Saras has been one of the biggest driving forces in Nashville’s turnaround this season and he was outstanding on Friday, stopping 29 shots in the win. He has probably not been good enough to win the Vezina Trophy, but he should get some votes.

Other Notable Performances From Friday

Alexis Lafreniere ended up getting promoted to the top line and he responded with a goal and an assist in the New York Rangers’ 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The offense is starting to arrive for the No. 1 overall pick.

Sean Monahan had three points, including the game-winning goal early in the third period, to help the Calgary Flames get a much-needed 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. These games against Montreal are pretty much must-win games for the Flames as they try to erase that deficit in the North Division playoff race.

Highlights Of The Day

Kirill Kaprizov opened the scoring against the Los Angeles Kings with this absolute beauty of a goal.

The highlights for Sam Reinhart’s hat trick in Buffalo.

Nashville’s Erik Haula scores a goal from a nearly impossible angle to help put the score out of reach.

Scores

Buffalo Sabres 6, Boston Bruins 4
New York Rangers 4, Philadelphia Flyers 1
Nashville Predators 3, Chicago Blackhawks 1
Calgary Flames 4, Montreal Canadiens 2
Minnesota Wild 4, Los Angeles Kings 2

 

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

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