Michael Hutchinson

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The Buzzer: Draisaitl nets four vs. Preds; Hutchinson’s winning birthday

THREE STARS

1. Leon Draisaitl, Oilers

Draisaitl recorded a four-goal, five-point night during a 8-3 win over the Predators. A back-and-forth game through two periods opened up in the third when the Oilers scored four times en route to the win. The Oilers forward put home three of his four goals in the final period and now has 43 on the season. You can read more about Draisaitl’s amazing two-year run here.

2. Connor McDavid, Oilers

While Draisaitl scored four times, it was his linemate McDavid who handed out four assists while also scoring his 32nd of the season. The Edmonton duo now have a combined 75 goals and 201 points this season.

3. Michael Hutchinson, Avalanche

It was a winning birthday for the goaltender as he debuted with the Avs. Hutchinson made 17 saves during a 2-1 win over the Red Wings. Vladislav Namestnikov scored his first goal with his new team and Nathan MacKinnon registered his 300th assist on Logan O’Connor’s winner.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT

Gabriel Landeskog took one for the team as he helped set up O’Connor’s goal:

STATS OF THE NIGHT

• The Avalanche have now won seven in a row and a franchise record ninth straight game away from Pepsi Center.

Roman Josi scored his career high 16th goal of the season in the Nashville loss.

Pekka Rinne was pulled after allowing a career-worst eight goals against the Oilers.

• Draisaitl now has consecutive 40-goal seasons with Edmonton and joins an elite group:

SCORES
Avalanche 2, Red Wings 1
Oilers 8, Predators 3

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

NHL Injuries: Frederik Andersen to miss Maple Leafs’ game Wednesday

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Checking in on some notable injuries around the NHL…

Frederik Andersen will not play for Maple Leafs on Wednesday

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ loss to the Florida Panthers on Monday night looks even more costly the next day.

Not only did they lose a 3-1 lead, at home, to a team they are directly competing with for a playoff spot, but they also lost their starting goalie to a neck injury.

Frederik Andersen will not travel with the team to New York for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers and is currently listed as being “day-to-day” with a neck injury. Backup Michael Hutchinson will start in his place and be backed up by Kasimir Kaskisuo who was called up from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies on Tuesday.

This is a pretty significant situation to watch because the Maple Leafs are going to be in a lot of trouble if Andersen is not healthy. Their goaltending depth has been a major issue this season as neither Hutchinson or Kaskisuo (only one appearance, for what it’s worth) have been consistent enough.

While Andersen is 24-9-6 in his appearances with a .910 save percentage, the other two are just 4-9-1 with a combined .882 save percentage.

Hutchinson replaced Andersen on Monday and allowed three goals on the 13 shots he faced.

Ekman-Larsson to miss second straight game for Coyotes

Huge game in the Pacifici Division on Tuesday night when the Arizona Coyotes host the Edmonton Oilers.

The Coyotes will be without Oliver Ekman-Larsson, their captain and best overall defenseman, for the second straight game as he continues to deal with a lower-body injury.

Arizona enters the game in the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks and three points back of the Oilers for the second playoff spot in the Pacific Division. Given that Edmonton still has two games in a hand a regulation win on Tuesday would be significant for the Coyotes.

They enter Tuesday on a five-game losing streak while also having lost eight out of their previous nine. They have collected just five out of a possible 18 points (1-5-3 record) during that stretch.

Samsonov shaken up in practice

The Washington Capitals received a bit of a scare in practice on Tuesday when goalie Ilya Samsonov was hit up high by an Alex Ovechkin shot and had to leave practice.

He was not expected to start Tuesday’s game, but the Capitals did call up Vitek Vanecek from the AHL as a precautionary measure.

Samsonov, one of the NHL’s top rookies so far this season, has also been the Capitals’ best goalie.

No word on Barkov for game against Columbus

The most impressive thing about Florida’s big win against Toronto on Monday night — they did it without star center Aleksander Barkov who missed the game due to a lower-body injury.

They have another massive game in their playoff push on Tuesday night when they face a Columbus Blue Jackets team that is 17-2-5 in its past 24 games.

The Panthers held an optional morning skate on Tuesday, so there is no official word on whether or not they will get Barkov back.

The initial diagnosis on his injury is that he is “day-to-day.”

If he does not return Tuesday, the Panthers’ next game will be on Thursday at home against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Related: Another injury for Blue Jackets as Wennberg to miss 3-4 weeks

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.

Uh oh, Maple Leafs lose Frederik Andersen to injury

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The Toronto Maple Leafs figure to be in a tough fight for a playoff spot. Losing Frederik Andersen to an injury would make that battle even more daunting.

Andersen left Monday’s game against the Panthers with an upper-body injury. Andersen will not return. The Maple Leafs didn’t provide information beyond that game, so we’ll have to wait and see if this is serious.

Because, make no mistake about it, losing Andersen for even a little while would be a massive omission.

Andersen headed into Monday with 24-9-6 record and a .910 save percentage. Those are modest numbers, but he’s often carried a heavy burden behind a dicey Leafs defense. Michael Hutchinson, Andersen’s replacement, provides little reason for optimism.

People initially believed that a bump from Frank Vatrano injured Andersen. (You can watch that collision in the video above.)

Others brought up a few other possible instances:

 

Either way, it’s a big concern for the Maple Leafs. Most immediately, they face Monday’s challenge against the Panthers. If this ends up being significant, could this alter their trade deadline approach, and more? Again, we’ll see.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston shared an early, optimistic report:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

The Buzzer: Hat trick for Rantanen; Hutchinson shines for Maple Leafs

NHL Scores
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Three Stars

1. Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche. After routing the St. Louis Blues in their most recent, the Avalanche have now won back-to-back games thanks to their 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Mikko Rantanen shined in this one with three goals on three shots in the win. He has 15 goals and 31 total points in only 26 games this season. That is a 47-goal pace over 82 games.

2. Michael Hutchinson, Toronto Maple Leafs. Hutchinson has been having a miserable season for the Maple Leafs and has struggled to find his game from the very start. He has now won three consecutive decisions for and stopped all 33 shots he faced on Saturday against the New York Islanders to record his first shutout of the season. The Maple Leafs are now on a 9-0-1 over the past 10 games and are 15-4-1 in their first 20 games under new coach Sheldon Keefe. In Hutchinson’s first six starts this season he went 0-5-1, only once had a save percentage higher than .875 (never higher than .897), and allowed at least four goals in every game, including four games where he allowed five goals. He has allowed just five total goals in his past three starts.

3. Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks. Markstrom found out he is going to the All-Star game on Friday to replace Marc-Andre Fleury (read more about that here). He played like an All-Star on Saturday against the New York Rangers. Markstrom’s 36 saves helped the Canucks steal a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers to maintain their hold on a top-three spot in the Pacific Division and keep pace with the Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes. He has been one of the Canucks’ best players this season and really solidified their goaltending spot as he continues to play for a big contract this summer.

Other notable performances from Saturday

  • The San Jose Sharks won their second game in a row and snapped the Columbus Blue Jackets’ point streak with a 3-2 win.
  • Eric Staal scored a controversial goal in overtime to lift the Minnesota Wild to a big win over the Winnipeg Jets. Read more about that play here.
  • The Edmonton Oilers scored four consecutive goals to stun the Boston Bruins. David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 31st goal of the season for the Bruins.
  • Chandler Stephenson continued his strong play for the Vegas Golden Knights since being acquired in a trade from the Washington Capitals, recording two points in a come-from-behind overtime win against the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues. His goal, the overtime winner, is already his fifth goal in 16 games with the Golden Knights. Before this season he never scored more than six goals in a single season.
  • Sam Reinhart had a big game for the Buffalo Sabres as they chased Sergei Bobrovsky early in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Read more about Bobrovsky’s struggles here.
  • Matt Murray had a strong game for the Pittsburgh Penguins to help them get a 3-2 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens.
  • Tyler Johnson scored a late third period goal to help the Tampa Bay Lightning extend their winning streak to six consecutive games.
  • Clayton Keller scored two goals for the Arizona Coyotes in a big 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Coyotes did lose starting goalie Antti Raanta to a lower-body injury in the win. Read more about that here.
  • Rocco Grimaldi‘s two points and Pekka Rinne‘s 23 saves helped the Nashville Predators snap what had been a three-game losing streak in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Highlights of the Night

Kasperi Kapanen helped get things rolling for the Maple Leafs on Saturday with this slick assist.

Cale Makar makes it look easy as he enters the offensive zone and finds Rantanen for one of his three goals for the Avalanche.

Roman Josi had the play of the night for the Predators as they get a much-needed win against Kings.

Blooper of the Night

Ottawa Senators forward Colin White found you can not head-butt the puck in the net. Read more about it here.

Factoids

  • The Maple Leafs are now on a 10-game point streak (9-0-1) for the first time since the 2005-06 season. [NHL PR]
  • The Golden Knights’ come-from-behind win on Saturday was the first three-goal comeback win in franchise history. [Vegas Golden Knights]
  • With the Sharks’ win against Columbus on Saturday general manager Doug Wilson became the 19th general manager in NHL history to reach 700 wins. [San Jose Sharks]
  • Leon Draisaitl has recorded at least one point in all but eight games this season for the Oilers. [NHL PR]
  • Thanks to his two goals on Saturday Zach Werenski is the first defender in Blue Jackets franchise history to score 50 goals for the team. [NHL PR]
  • Canucks rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes needed just 41 games to record his 30th point this season. That is faster than any rookie Canucks defenseman in franchise history. [NHL PR]
  • Roman Josi is on a nine-game point streak for the Predators, tied with Shea Weber for the longest run by a Predators defender. [NHL PR]

Scores

Edmonton Oilers 4, Boston Bruins 1
San Jose Sharks 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
Buffalo Sabres 3, Florida Panthers 2
Minnesota Wild 3, Winnipeg Jets 2 (OT)
Vegas Golden Knights 5, St. Louis Blues 4 (OT)
Toronto Maple Leafs 3, New York Islanders 0
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Montreal Canadiens 2 (OT)
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Ottawa Senators 3
Colorado Avalanche 5, New Jersey Devils 2
Arizona Coyotes 6, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Vancouver Canucks 2, New York Rangers 1
Nashville Predators 4, Los Angeles Kings 1

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.

Maple Leafs get holiday gift thanks to Devils’ own goal in OT

Maple Leafs
NHL
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The Toronto Maple Leafs won again on Friday night, picking up a 5-4 overtime victory in New Jersey to extend their winning streak to six games and improve their overall record to 12-4-0 under new coach Sheldon Keefe.

They have Devils defenseman Damon Severson to thank for the extra point in overtime.

It was there that Severson had the misfortune of accidentally scoring on his own net.

It all happened after he collected a loose puck between the circles and attempted to chip the puck behind the net. None of it went as planned as his chip ended up going on net and beating a stunned Mackenzie Blackwood.

Have a look.

William Nylander, the last Maple Leafs player to touch the puck, gets credit for the winning goal. It is already his 15th goal of the season, putting him on pace for 31 goals this season. He scored just seven goals in 54 games a year ago. His career-high is 22 goals.

Toronto still has its flaws — the play of backup goalie Michael Hutchinson was again an issue on Friday — but they still look like a completely different team under Keefe. They are more aggressive offensively, they are scoring more goals, and they are playing to their strengths.

They have scored at least four goals in all six of their wins on this streak.

The win on Friday keeps them in second place in the Atlantic Division, giving them a four-point lead over Montreal for that spot. They look to extend their winning streak to seven games on Saturday night when they return home to play the New York Rangers.

More Maple Leafs coverage

Ilya Mikheyev taken to hospital with ‘significant’ laceration to wrist
Maple Leafs are better, more dangerous team under Keefe 

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.