Top player in the NHL on Saturday
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
If the Winnipeg Jets are going to make the Stanley Cup playoffs this season they are going to need to start stacking some wins. They got a significant win on Saturday night with a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. The star of the game was Blaker Wheeler with a five-point effort, scoring two goals and adding three assists to have a hand in all of the Jets’ offense. He also had eight shots on goal.
Highlights from around the NHL on Saturday
Patrik Laine continued his recent hot streak for the Columbus Blue Jackets with a game-winning goal with only 7.5 seconds to play in regulation against the Montreal Canadiens. Read more about his recent play here. Martin St. Louis is still looking for his first NHL win as head coach of the Canadiens.
The Detroit Red Wings are really building something special here for the future and defenseman Moritz Seider is going to be a major, significant part of that. He is having an absolutely sensational rookie season and he continued it here with an absolutely beautiful shot for his fifth goal of the season. You can not place this shot anymore perfectly.
Three takeaways from the NHL on Saturday
Bruins needed a game like this
It has been a tough stretch here recently for the Boston Bruins. They entered Saturday’s game having lost five out of seven games, lost Patrice Bergeron to an injury, lost Brad Marchand to a suspension, watched Tuukka Rask retire, and were coming off of back-to-back losses that saw them lose a 2-0 lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins and then get routed 6-0 by the Carolina Hurricanes. They were able to bounce back for a much-needed win on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators by winning a 2-0 decision. They got some depth scoring from Trent Frederic and Curtiz Lazar (something they have been lacking all season) and a 30-save shutout from goalie Jeremy Swayman, his second shutout of the season. Also from this game is the news that Senators forward Austin Watson will be facing a disciplinary hearing on Sunday for interference, which could result in a suspension. Read about that here.
Semyon Varlanov enters COVID protocol
The NHL’s COVID testing policy has changed for asymptotic players since the All-Star break but they still need to be tested for cross border travel into Canada. That resulted in New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov testing positive on Saturday. He was removed from the lineup after taking part in warmups before their game against the Calgary Flames.
Wild get impressive win over Hurricanes
If you are not thinking of the Minnesota Wild as Stanley Cup contenders it is time to start doing so. They have one of the best records in the NHL, have a superstar in Kirill Kaprizov, and excellent depth. On Saturday they were 3-2 winners against another of the NHL’s top teams in the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sunday’s big story
Sidney Crosby will be trying to score his 500th career goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins, becoming just the 46th player in NHL history to accomplish that, when they visit the New Jersey Devils. Evgeni Malkin is also expected to be back in the lineup for the Penguins. It is also possible that Alex Ovechkin could be back in the lineup for the Washington Capitals when they host Ottawa Senators. Also on Sunday the Colorado Avalanche look to extend their current point streak to 19 games when they visit the Dallas Stars. The Avalanche are 16-0-2 in their most recent 18 games and are also 29-3-3 since starting the season 4-5-1 through their first 10 games.
Saturday’s NHL Scores
Detroit Red Wings 4, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Boston Bruins 2, Ottawa Senators 0
Columbus Blue Jackets 2, Montreal Canadiens 1
Winnipeg Jets 5, Nashville Predators 2
Vancouver Canucks 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
St. Louis Blues 5, Chicago Blackhawks 1
Minnesota Wild 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2
Calgary Flames 5, New York Islanders 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.