What’s New in the NHL

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The three stars of the week were announced on Monday and it was no surprise to see who they were as Jason Robertson, Nick Schmaltz and Igor Shesterkin were far and away the best players of the week.

Robertson received the first star for his back-to-back hat tricks this week, against Winnipeg and Minnesota. He also had a goal versus the Kings earlier in the week, giving him seven goals in three games this past week.

Schmaltz was the second star of the week as he had a seven-point game against Ottawa Saturday, scoring twice and setting up five others. It was the best performance in 10 years, since Sam Gagner had an eight-point game for Edmonton. He added a goal in his game against Colorado, giving him three goals and eight points in two games.

The third star was Shesterkin who went 3-0 with a 1.67 GAA and a .955 save percentage as he stopped 106-of-111 shots for the week with Sunday’s performance the best of the bunch as he made 45 saves in a 4-1win over Winnipeg. Shesterkin has stopped 40 or more shots on 10 occasions in the NHL and has won all 10.

There were five games in the NHL on Monday.

TORONTO 5 COLUMBUS 4

The Maple Leafs top line did it again as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting each scored to lead Toronto to a 5-4 win over the hometown Columbus Blue Jackets.

For Matthews, it was his 40th of the season as he became the first NHLer this season to hit the magic mark.

The Leafs struck for three in the first as Ilya Mikheyev with his 10, Marner with his 22nd and Matthews scored.

The Blue Jackets came back with a pair in the second as Sean Kuraly with his ninth and Oliver Bjorkstrand with his 20th, brough the Blue Jackets to within one after two periods.

The Blue Jackets completed the comeback in the third as Jack Roslovic on the power play scored his 10th of the season.

But the Maple Leafs did not fold as Alexander Kerfoot with his ninth and Bunting with the eventual game-winner, scored his 20th of the season to give Toronto a 5-3 lead.

Patrik Laine scored his 22nd of the season as he extended his points streak to four games as he has three goals and six points in the four contests.

Petr Mrazek got the start and picked up the win as he is 10-5-0 with a 3.28 GAA and a .890 save percentage. The Leafs goaltending is still in tatters at this time with Jack Campbell in a huge slump.

Elvis Merzlikins gave up five goals on 33 shots in taking the loss. He is 19-15-3 with a 3.47 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

T.J. Brodie has two assists as did Gustav Nyquist and Max Domi.

Bjorkstrand and Matthews each had seven shots on net while Laine had six.

LOS ANGELES 3 BOSTON 2 (Overtime)

After scoring twice on Sunday, Andreas Athanasiou continued to lead the Kings as he scored the overtime winner for his second game winning goal in two days as Los Angeles beat the Bruins in overtime 3-2.

Trent Frederic opened the scoring with a rare goal, his fourth of the season, to give Boston a 1-0 lead but Blake Lizotte evened the game at 1 with his eighth tally of the season.

Craig Smith made it 2-1 Boston in the second with his 11th, but Trevor Moore found the back of the net in the third to tie the game at 2 and send it into extra time.

Cal Petersen made 30 saves for the win as he is 16-8-1 with a 2.60 GAA and a .904 save percentage. His save percentage leaves something to be desired but his record and goals-against-average have been great for fantasy managers.

Linus Ullmark took the overtime loss, giving up all three goals on 28 shots. He is 17-9-2 with a 2.81 GAA and a .907 save percentage.

Charlie Coyle had a pair of assists.

Phillip Danault had seven hits.

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FLORIDA 6 BUFFALO 1

Brandon Montour returned to Buffalo with a flourish as he scored once and added an assist in the Panthers 6-1 win over the Sabres.

Montour played parts of three seasons with the Sabres before he was dealt last April for a third-round pick to the Panthers.

It was his first game back to Buffalo since the trade, as well as for Sam Reinhart who was traded in the off-season to Florida. Reinhart had one assist in the contest.

Montour scored the lone goal of the first and then the Panthers exploded for four goals in the second as Noel Acciari with his first of the season, Anthony Duclair on the power play with his 22nd goal of the year, Carter Verhaeghe with his 17th and Patric Hornqvist with his ninth, gave Florida a 5-0 lead after two.

Aleksander Barkov made it 6-0 with his 26th of the season, another power play effort while John Hayden with his second of the year, ruined the shutout bid of Spencer Knight, who was playing his first game in the NHL since Feb. 1 as he spent time in the minors getting playing time.

Knight stopped 29 shots for the win as he is 10-6-2 with a 3.09 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Knight is highly regarded after he was drafted 13th overall in 2019 and while he has struggled this season at times, he was a star last season in his four games played in the regular season.

Craig Anderson was attempting to win his 300th career NHL game but that was not to be as he gave up six goals on 31 shots. Anderson is 8-8-0 with a 3.14 GAA and a .901 save percentage. He was coming off two straight wins before Monday’s calamity.

Mason Marchment had three assists while Barkov had a pair plus his goal.

Hayden, in addition to his goal, had 16 penalty minutes including three minors and a misconduct.

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COLORADO 5 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 4

Cale Makar snapped a 13-game goalless streak with a pair of goals to give him 20 on the season, as well as an assist, to lead Colorado to a 5-4 win over the Islanders. Despite the scoring drought, Makar extended his points streak to 12 games as he had 16 assists in the 11 games before Monday night and now has 63 points to lead all NHL defensemen.

The Avalanche held on as the Islanders mounted a furious comeback after trailing 5-1 with just over eight minutes remaining in the third, scoring three times to make it close.

The Islanders opened the scoring in the first when Anders Lee, back from missing one game for personal reasons, scored on the power play, his 15th goal of the season.

Makar evened the score at 1 with a power play goal of his own as the opening frame ended 1 apiece.

After a scoreless second, the Avs scored four times in the third with Nathan MacKinnon picking up his 18th, J.T. Compher scored his 11th, Makar potted his second of the game and 20th of the season and fellow defenseman Devon Toews scored his 12th of the season to give Colorado the 5-1 lead.

Lee scored his second of the game and second power play goal of the contest wile Casey Cizikas with his seventh and Brock Nelson with his 21st, completed the scoring.

Pavel Francouz made 32 saves for the win as he is 10-3-1 with a 2.46 GAA and a .920 save percentage.

Semyon Varlamov was very busy in the Islanders cage as he stopped 44-of-49 shots in taking the loss. Varlamov is only 3-12-1 this season with a 2.90 GAA and a .911 save percentage. His peripherals are far better than his record would indicate.

Nazem Kadri had two assists to give him 50 this season. Gabriel Landeskog, MacKinnon and Noah Dobson all had two helpers.

MacKinnon had nine shots on goal while Makar had eight.

CALGARY 3 EDMONTON 1

Tyler Toffoli scored twice, including the game-winner, to give Calgary a 3-1 win over provincial rival Edmonton.

Toffoli has now played 10 games with the Flames since his trade out of Montreal and he has been everything Calgary could have asked for and more as he has seven goals and 10 points in the 10 games.

Toffoli scored both goals in the second period after a scoreless first.

Devin Shore cut the Flames lead in half at the 4:57 mark of the third but Johnny Gaudreau salted away the win with his 23rd goal of the campaign with 2:53 remaining.

Jacob Markstrom was his usual outstanding netminder as he turned aside 27-of-28 shots for the win. Markstrom is 26-11-6 this season with a 2.14 GAA and a .926 save percentage. While Igor Shesterkin is the runaway leader in the race for the Vezina, Markstrom should be a finalist at this time.

Mikko Koskinen had 23 saves for the Oilers in the loss. He is 19-9-3 this season with a 3.05 GAA and a .904 save percentage.

Tyson Benson had a minor and took a misconduct with 1:54 left in the game.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were both held off the scoresheet.

NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

Cale Makar – 2

Anders Lee – 2

Assists

Mason Marchment – 3

Aleksander Barkov – 2

Charlie Coyle – 2

Gustav Nyquist – 2

Max Domi – 2

Nazem Kadri – 2

Noah Dobson – 2

Nathan MacKinnon – 2

T.J. Brodie – 2

Gabriel Landeskog – 2

Shots on Goal

Nathan MacKinnon – 9

Cale Makar – 8

Oliver Bjorkstrand -7

Auston Matthews – 7

Patrik Laine – 6

Hits

Phillip Danault – 7

Penalty Minutes

John Hayden – 16

Tyler Benson – 12

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