The Panthers played streak buster, Canadiens spoil a special evening in Toronto, what was Louis Domingue thinking, and more in five things we learned in the NHL.
Panthers’ path of destruction rolls through 2015 Cup Final
On Friday night the Florida Panthers shutout the 2015 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks by a final score of 4-0. The Atlantic Division leaders followed up Friday’s victory by knocking off the defending Prince of Wales Trophy winners the Tampa Bay Lightning by a final score of 5-2.
If the book is out on how to play the Panthers there appears to be a chapter on pulling the goaltender midway through the third period. The Blackhawks yanked Scott Darling from the goal down 4-0 with under nine minutes to go Friday. The Lightning yanked Andrei Vasilevskiy with over 10 minutes left in the third on Saturday.
The Panthers’ victory put a stop to Tampa’s seven-game winning streak.
Canadiens spoil Maple Leafs’ special evening in shootout
The Toronto Maple Leafs kicked off Saturday’s meeting with their rival Montreal Canadiens with a pre-game ceremony honouring Dave Keon, Turk Broda, and Tim Horton for their induction into the franchise’s Legends Row.
It didn’t take long for the Canadiens to extinguish the mood when David Desharnais opened the scoring at 1:41 of the first period.
The Maple Leafs came back from down 2-0 to force overtime, but this Original Six matchup would require a shootout. Very Unoriginal Six.
Lars Eller played hero for Montreal, showing a little more skating prowess in the breakaway competition than he did in the pre-game warm-up.
An empty-net is a Shore thing
Louis Domingue made 26 saves in the Arizona Coyotes‘ 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night to improve to 8-4-3 on the season. He’s been a pleasant surprise for Arizona, sporting a very tidy .927 save percentage and a 2.17 goals-against average with Mike Smith out of the lineup long-term.
That said, we have no idea what was going through he his head when Kings forward Nick Shore put a puck into a wide open Coyotes net in the second period. Domingue, perhaps frustrated by the non-call when he got tripped up, removed his own mask in an attempt to force the play dead.
Not happening, Louis.
Malkin and Hansen trade hat tricks
Evgeni Malkin scored twice in the third period to complete a hat trick, with some help from the Canucks. Linden Vey potted his second goal of the season, unfortunately it came against his own team. Credit goes to Malkin.
Malkin pulled the Penguins even with some assistance from a terrible Vancouver line change.
Jannik Hansen scored late in the third to complete a hat trick of his own and pull the Canucks within one, but it was too little too late. Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to six games with an empty net goal with 1:23 left in the game.
Stars drop a frustrating one to Avalanche
Analytics help paint a complete picture and sometimes it ain’t pretty.
Need a visual? Picture the gym teacher pulling a curtain across the floor and asking kids to keep the game in one end of the gymnasium.
The Stars also out-chanced Colorado 40-14 in even-strength situations. Semyon Varlamov stopped 42 pucks for Colorado.