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The Buzzer: Is it too early to give Pettersson the Calder?

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Three Stars

1. Elias Pettersson

What’s easier: giving Pettersson the top star of Sunday, or just cutting through the red tape and handing him the Calder right now?

OK, the NHL can’t do that. After all, someone might close the 11-point gap between Pettersson (30 points) and every other rookie (Colin White‘s in second with 19), especially if the league is robbed of the glory of more Pettersson in the event of an injury.

His special Sunday really highlighted the gap between the Canucks wunderkind and everyone else. Pettersson scored the game-winning goal to go with four assists for a five-point performance. The kid is special, and you really don’t need the “for a rookie” caveat.

2. Brock Boeser

Normally, it might be best to lean away from placing two teammates in the top three, but sometimes you just have to acknowledge the truth. These two forwards are a blast to watch. The Boeser + Pettersson combo doesn’t merely make the Canucks palatable. If you’re not ready to go, they can absolutely dominate, stealing games for Vancouver in the process.

Boeser collected a hat trick as the Canucks bombarded the Blues by a 6-1 score:

3. Josh Morrissey

This is a tough call, as Morrissey’s teammate Mark Scheifele and Ducks forward Ondrej Kase also deserve serious consideration with their own three-point Sundays.

Morrissey gets the nod because his goal was a game-winner (Scheifele had three assists, while Kase’s goal and two assists lacked the GWG). Granted, it was the GWG in a lopsided game but … hey, we’re splitting hairs, here.

There were some nice goalie performances, yet with Mikko Koskinen being the only guy getting a shutout – and a light one, needings 24 saves – let’s hand the bronze to a skater.

Morrissey celebrated his first game in a week by collecting those three points as the Jets routed the Flyers. Along with the goal and two assists, Morrissey managed a +2 rating, three SOG, and one blocked shot.

Highlights

Admittedly, it’s strange to use the word “harmonious” to describe a hockey play, especially when Brad Marchand is involved. Such a description comes to mind here, though, as Marchand, David Krejci, and Torey Krug combine for an absolutely beautiful overtime game-winner:

While it doesn’t match the sheer beauty of that Krug tally, Connor McDavid scored the only goal of Edmonton’s 1-0 win against Calgary on another nice bit of puck movement:

Sunday featured at least a couple throwback “pad-stacking” saves, including this one by John Gibson:

Not hockey, but if you have even a passing interest in the NFL, this Miami Dolphins play is just bodacious. Honestly, “Miami Miracle” doesn’t even feel too over-the-top.

Lowlight

Here’s not how to help Cory Schneider, a goalie who’s been struggling for quite some time: the Devils were guilty of three own-goals on Sunday, with this one possibly being the most egregious:

Factoids

Montreal’s tight win against Chicago is more impressive when you realize the procession of penalties they faced, particularly during a high-stick-happy third period:

Could Mikko Koskinen be the latest goalie to flourish under Ken Hitchcock? He already started off pretty well for Edmonton, but the “low-event” Oilers have really helped him heat up:

More impressive: Marc-Andre Fleury‘s wins total(s), or his sweet, sweet pads?

Scores

VAN 6 – STL 1
WPG 7 – PHI 1
BOS 2 – OTT 1 (OT)
MTL 3 – CHI 2
ANA 6 – NJD 5 (SO)
VGK 4 – DAL 2
EDM 1 – CGY 0

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

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.

Cam Ward “scores” a goal

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This season has been downright terrible for Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. After only getting two wins from Nov. 23-Dec. 21, the Canes are now on a two-game winning streak thanks to a 4-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils, which marks just their third run of consecutive wins this season.*

Ward grew up idolizing Martin Brodeur, so he’s probably delighted to get a goal to his credit, although it wasn’t Ward who sent the puck all the way down the ice.

Instead it was Brodeur’s own teammate Ilya Kovalchuk, who tried to send the puck to the point but instead fired it into his own net. Darker minds might find that to be a symbolic moment, but either way, Ward received his first career NHL goal and the first in Hurricanes history.

* – The Canes won three straight games from Oct. 12-18 and collected two victories during a back-to-back set on Nov. 20-21.

Video: Carey Price vs. end-zone faceoffs

We here at PHT would like to congratulate Carey Price on his 100th victory yesterday. Now that he has the first 100 out of the way, he can start working on the next 100. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t how he wanted to start his assault on his next milestone:

We will say this: you have to give it up to Tomas Plekanec for such an authoritative faceoff win. He beat Carey Price clean.

It’s safe to say that Patrice Bergeron will never score an easier goal for the rest of his career.

Update (10:50 EST):  At least Carey Price had a sense of humor about the goal after the game.  “I just Bill Bucknered it.”

Video: Jaroslav Halak scores … on himself

Tonight was not a great night for St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak.

For one thing, the struggling netminder allowed four goals in the third period alone as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Blues 7-3.

That’s a low moment for sure, but that performance won’t make it onto various blooper reels. Nope, we’re bringing up this video because Halak joined the doomed ranks of Steve Smith, Dan Boyle and Ryan O’Byrne (among others) who scored goals on their one nets.

It was an unlucky accident, obviously, but that won’t stop us from chuckling at it a bit. I mean, isn’t that what professional sports are for?