5 things we learned in the NHL: Murray gets first win since father’s death

Evgeni Malkin scored a hat trick and Bryan Rust picked up two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Sidney Crosby is still one goal shy of 400 for his career.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, the break for the NHL All-Star Weekend is over and the league was back up and running on Tuesday with a full slate of 12 games.

Here are five things we learned in the NHL.

Murray nets first win since father’s passing

On Jan. 16, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray had to deal with a devastating tragedy: the death of his father, James.

On Tuesday night, he returned between the pipes and led the Penguins to a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. He was terrific in his first game back allowing just two goals on 42 shots while picking up the game’s first-star honours, even though teammates Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust scored a hat trick and a pair of goals, respectively.

“It’s unbelievable the way he’s handled himself and how much he means to this team,” Rust said after the game. “His effort was inspiring and I’m sure he’s super excited about the win.”

As for Malkin’s trio of goals, he picked up his 12th career hat trick, which ranks him second in franchise history. His first tally in the dying seconds of the second period was his 10th goal of the month, something he has now down six times in his career.

Ducks snap Bruins excessively long point streak

The last time the Boston Bruins failed to register a point, Star Wars: The Last Jedi had yet to be released in theatres.

Since then, the Bruins compiled an 18-game point streak vaulting them up the standings to second place in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the league overall.

The Anaheim Ducks finally dropped one of the NHL’s hottest teams over the last couple of months as Adam Henrique‘s two goals led them to a 3-1 win. Henrique himself started a respectable streak of his own with points in six consecutive games.

Slumping Sens slide for six

After the Carolina Hurricanes decided to kick the Ottawa Senators while they were down with their 2-1 win on Tuesday, the Sens’ slump reached its longest in over 20 years.

The loss was Ottawa’s sixth straight regulation loss which is the longest since January 1996 when the skid reached 11 games.

The Senators’ season has been extremely disappointing and they now sit second last in the the Eastern Conference — ahead of the Buffalo Sabres by just two points — and third last in the entire NHL.

Wheeler’s apples second only to McDavid

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler can dish it.

During the Jets’ 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Wheeler added two assists to his impressive season’s total of 40, giving him 72 since Jan. 1, 2017. Only one player in the NHL has more in that timespan: Mr. Connor McDavid, who has 80.

The win for the Jets moves them to 18-3-1 in the Bell MTS Place as they continue to prove themselves as one of the best home teams in the league.

Kopitar better than last year, Doughty hits the century mark

Los Angeles KingsAnze Kopitar is having a slightly better season than the last.

In fact, he could grab a seat on the bench for the next couple of months and he will still be more productive than he was in 2016-17.

Kopitar picked up a pair of assists during the Kings’ 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars giving him 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) through 50 games this year. In 76 games last season, the 30-year-old veteran only notched 52 (12 goals, 40 assists).

The Kings captain’s resurgence is a big part of the reason why Los Angeles currently sits third in the Pacific Division, but let’s not forget about that staple on the blue line.

Drew Doughty fired home his eighth goal of the season on the power play, giving him 100 career goals. On top of that, his dad was lucky enough to be in attendance as the 28-year-old hit the century mark.

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