Top player in the NHL on Tuesday
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers ran their NHL best winning streak to 11 consecutive games with a come-from-behind win against the New York Islanders, winning 3-2 in overtime. Barkov scored all three Panthers goals in the game for his first hat trick of the season. Jonathan Huberdeau assisted on all three goals to take over the NHL’s scoring lead for the time being, but Barkov gets top star honors for the night thanks to this three goals including the overtime winner. The Panthers are now tied with the Colorado Avalanche for the best record in the NHL with 116 points.
Highlights from around the NHL on Tuesday
Matt Boldy and Kevin Fiala have given the Minnesota Wild a second dominant scoring line, and they have been outstanding together this season. They continued that on Tuesday by teaming up for a pair of goals in the Wild’s 2-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens who have still yet to score a goal for starting goalie Carey Price in his return to the lineup. This goal from Boldy is a thing of beauty.
The Toronto Maple Leafs win without Auston Matthews, beating a hapless Philadelphia Flyers team by a 5-2 margin. This Jason Spezza goal here is the highlight of the night for the Maple Leafs.
Matt Duchene scores to become the first Nashville Predators player to ever score 40 goals in a single season. Filip Forsberg scored his 39th goal in this game and is close to joining that group. The Predators were 3-2 winners over the Calgary Flames in a shootout. It is also the first 40-goal season of Duchene’s career.
Three takeaways from the NHL on Tuesday
Another shutout for Rangers
The New York Rangers recorded another shutout on Tuesday night thanks to Igor Shesterkin‘s 31-save effort in a 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets. It extended the Rangers’ shutout streak to three consecutive games, following wins against the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings. No, these are not powerhouse opponents but the Rangers are doing exactly what a Stanley Cup contender should do against these teams. Dominate them and win easily. They are.
Blues win streak comes to an end at nine games
On the same night that the Florida Panthers’ winning streak continued, the St. Louis Blues’ win streak came to an end at nine consecutive games in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins. While the winning streak is over the Blues’ point streak does still continue thanks to the point and now sits at 12 consecutive games (10-0-2 during that stretch). The Wild and Blues are rolling toward a First Round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the only thing to be determined who will have home ice advantage in that 2-3 Central Division series.
Marc-Andre Fleury wants to play another season
Marc-Andre Fleury has been a sensational addition for the Wild and he said this week that he is looking forward to playing another season in the NHL next year. While he has not yet completely matched what he did a year ago in Vegas in winning the Vezina Trophy he has looked like himself since getting away from the Chicago Blackhawks. Fleury will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and will no doubt have plenty of suitors on the open market.
Wednesday’s big story
After losing at home on Monday night to a bad New Jersey Devils team it is now must-win time for the Vegas Golden Knights. They are not getting an easy game, either, as they host a white hot Washington Capitals team that is coming off of a big win on Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Right now the Los Angeles Kings (the team Vegas is chasing) is on pace for 95 points this season and plays nothing but non playoff teams the rest of the way. If we assume it would take 96 points for Vegas to make the playoffs it would need nine points in its remaining five games. That is, at minimum a 4-0-1 record. The margin for error is gone.
Tuesday’s NHL Scores
Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Minnesota Wild 2, Montreal Canadiens 0
Detroit Red Wings 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3
New York Rangers 3, Winnipeg Jets 0
Florida Panthers 3, New York Islanders 2 (OT)
Nashville Predators 3, Calgary Flames 2 (SO)
Boston Bruins 3, St. Louis Blues 2 (OT)
Ottawa Senators 4, Vancouver Canucks 3 (SO)
Los Angeles Kings 2, Anaheim Ducks 1
San Jose Sharks 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 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.