The DailyFaceoff Morning Report will be published on weekdays, summarizing the main news and events of the previous day.
We’ll highlight injuries that will affect today’s games, hot streaks, cold streaks, and everything for everyone from the casual hockey fan to the fantasy hockey grinder.
Matthews does what he does best
Coming into action Thursday night, Petr Mrazek had allowed less than three goals in just three of his 10 starts (6-4-0) and had yet to play a match where he was called upon to make a difference. Mrazek saved 29 of 30 shots Thursday, playing arguably his best game of the season, in a 3-1 win over the well-recorded Minnesota Wild.
Auston Matthews continued to make scoring easy, scoring his 35th and 36th goals of the season. Matthews has sole possession of the scoring lead and is currently on course to score 59 goals this season.
Caps can’t score, can’t win
Alex Ovechkin scored with 62 seconds left to spoil Igor Shesterkin’s shutout attempt as he made 36 saves on 37 shots in the New York Rangers’ 4-1 win. Shesterkin continues to have a truly remarkable season and has allowed two goals or less in each of its last six games (5-0-1).
In contrast, goaltending issues for the Washington Capitals continued as Ilya Samsonov allowed four goals on 21 shots and allowed three or more goals in eight of his last 12 appearances (4-6-1 ). There have been very few instances where a Capitals goaltender has stolen a win for the team this year. In the 19 games the Capitals have been held to two goals or less, they are 4-11-4. Last week, our Mike McKenna explained the Capitals’ need for better goaltenders to be a contender.
Bratt returns in style
Jesper Bratt returned to action after missing two games with an upper body injury and picked up three points (2G/1A) with Jack Hughes (0G/3A) and Nico Hischier (1G/2A) in a dominating victory 6-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bratt is in the middle of a breakout season and now has 46 points (16 G/29A) in 46 games.
Dougie Hamilton also made his return from injury after missing seven weeks with a broken jaw. He was kept off the scoresheet and recorded five shots and four hits while spending the majority of the game on the second power play.
Nico Daws played in his fourth career game with the Devils and had a career-high 37 saves on 38 shots. Daws could potentially see more action as he currently serves as Jon Gillies’ backup most nights.
The Predators win the duel of goalies
On a night where Pekka Rinne had his number retired by the Nashville Predators, Juuse Saros did his best to honor the franchise leader in wins and shutouts by saving 27 of 28 shots on a 2-1 shootout win over the Dallas Stars. Jake Oettinger was terrific in the Stars’ loss and has now allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last five games (3-1-1).
The Stars continue to struggle to score on the road, ranking fourth overall in goals per game, and have scored just two goals in their last three road games (1- 1-1).
Berube wins, Laine scores and life is good in Columbus
Jean-François Bérubé continued his NHL comeback, winning his third straight game after seeing his first NHL action in more than four years earlier in the week. Patrik Laine scored a goal in the 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers, extending his scoring streak to 11 games with 21 points (13G/8A). The Blue Jackets have won eight of their last 10 games (8-2-0), but are still nine points behind the Boston Bruins for the last Wild Card spot.
Bruins beat Kraken 3-2 (OT)
Jake DeBrusk scored two goals, including the overtime winner, and is doing his best to increase his trade value after requesting a trade earlier in the season. He now has four goals in his last three games. Frank Seravalli has DeBrusk listed as number 23 in his list of trade time goals.
The Canucks make their best impression of the Flames; instant 10 win streak
The Calgary Flames went into action Thursday on a franchise-best 10-game winning streak while beating their opponents 42-15. The Vancouver Canucks burst offensively, highlighted by a five-goal second period, in a 7-1 bombardment against the Flames. JT Miller had four points (2G/2A) and Elias Pettersson three points (2G/1A), helping the Canucks move to within three points of the final Wild Card position. After posting just 17 points (6G/11A) in his first 37 games, Pettersson has scored 10 goals with 10 assists (20 points) in his last 16 games.
Sharks break losing skid and spoil landmark nights for islanders
A day after fellow 2003 first-round pick Corey Perry scored his 400th career goal, Zach Parise scored his 400th in a 4-3 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. Both Perry and Parise have remarkably similar totals over their 17-year careers. Perry has 846 points (400G/446A) in 1144 games and Parise has 831 points (400G/431A) in 1107 games.
Zdeno Chara played his 1,652nd career game, setting the all-time record for most games played by an NHL defenseman. Chara was left off the scoreboard but got into a fight with Jeffrey Viel to celebrate the momentous event.
James Reimer was history on the ice as he had a stellar performance, stopping 44 of 47 shots, including a rush in the final 45 minutes where the Sharks were outscored 35-14. Reimer and the Sharks earned their first victory in eight games (1-3-4).
Other news and notes
- Tony DeAngelo (CAR) is expected to miss four weeks with a mid-body injury.
- TJ Oshie (WSH) returned from injury and played his first match in over a month.
- Mats Zuccarello (MIN) returned to the lineup after missing a game with an upper body injury.