Top player from Wednesday in the NHL
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
McDavid and Sidney Crosby did not get to face off very often, but when they have Crosby and the Penguins have mostly gotten the upper hand.
That changed on Wednesday in the Oilers’ 5-2 win that was highlighted by another dominant performance from McDavid.
He finished the night with four points (one goal, three assists) and was a plus-five in the win, while also making several big plays in the defensive zone to help start the rushes that produced several of those goals. That performance moves him into second in the scoring race this season (40 points) just one point behind teammate Leon Draisaitl (he had one assist in the win on Wednesday).
Highlights from Wednesday in the NHL
The Colorado Avalanche had a bit of a defensive breakdown in front of their net, allowing Auston Matthews to be left all alone. He used that opportunity to score an absolutely beautiful goal to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-0 lead in the first period.
Chris Kreider‘s 16th goal of the season was the result of some terrific passing by the New York Rangers.
J.T. Miller puts the finishing touches on the Vancouver Canucks blowout win against the Ottawa Senators with this incredible individual effort to effortlessly skate through the Senators’ defense.
Three Takeaways from Wednesday in the NHL
Flyers losing streak continues
Things are looking ugly for the Philadelphia Flyers right now. Their 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night was not only another ugly performance, it extended their current losing streak to seven consecutive games. It seems every year you can count on the Flyers to either win 10 games in a row or lose 10 games in a row, and right now they seem to be trending toward the latter. With their next four games coming against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, New Jersey Devils, and Vegas Golden Knights things do not look to be getting any easier.
Maple Leafs are rolling
They are the best team in hockey right now. They have won 15 out of their past 17 games and absolutely steamrolled a great Colorado Avalanche team on Wednesday night that was getting Nathan MacKinnon back in the lineup. Auston Matthews had a hat trick on Wednesday (including that beauty of a goal seen above) to help lead the offense in the win. Everything is clicking for the Maple Leafs at the moment.
Senators not showing any progress
This far into their rebuild the Ottawa Senators should be showing some kind of progress. They are not. They not only lost for the 15th time in their past 17 games on Wednesday, they were completely dominated by a last place Vancouver Canucks team that has its own set of issues this season. The Senators had some COVID issues this season that put a dent in their lineup for a while, but even without that there is nothing to like about the way this team has played this season. They are the worst team in the league right now.
Thursday’s big story
The New York Islanders are back in action against the San Jose Sharks after having their past few games postponed, and they are looking to snap an eight-game losing streak that has seen them score just seven goals. They have had a fraction of their roster during that streak with players being sidelined due to COVID protocols and injury. There is still time to turn the season around, but it is going to have to start happening sooner rather than later. The Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference is too good for them to keep losing too many games.
Wednesday’s NHL scores
New York Rangers 4, Philadelphia Flyers 1
Toronto Maple Leafs 8, Colorado Avalanche 3
Vancouver Canucks 6, Ottawa Senators 2
Detroit Red Wings 4, Seattle Kraken 3 (SO)
Anaheim Ducks 6, Vegas Golden Knights 5
Edmonton Oilers 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 2
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.