Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Thursday night.
No stopping Kucherov, Stamkos
Stamkos and Kucherov each had three points en route to Tampa Bay’s mammoth 6-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. They now have 34 and 33 points, respectively.
Kucherov also padded his lead atop the goals chart by scoring his 17th of the season.
The rest of the NHL is slowly catching up, but just when it appears that there will be a close race, Stamkos and Kucherov pull ahead even more. This pace should slow down over the course of the year, but there is no doubt that the Lightning duo are the ones to beat.
Blake Wheeler is underrated
No other player has recorded as many points as Blake Wheeler since Oct. 29.
The forward picked up another assist, his 16th point over his last nine games, as the Winnipeg Jets toppled the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in a shootout.
Wheeler’s form has led to the Jets’ recent surge as well. They have won four of their last five games and are 7-1-1 since Wheeler went on this run.
The 31-year-old has at least 60 points in his last four full seasons, yet he is usually overlooked by many outside of Winnipeg. Perhaps we should all start paying attention.
Leafs keep winning without Matthews
The Maple Leafs needed overtime, but they managed to overcome the New Jersey Devils thanks to William Nylander’s late winner in the extra fame.
It was Toronto’s fifth straight win and their fourth in a row without star centre Auston Matthews, who continues his recovery from an upper-body injury.
Matthews was supposedly nearing a return and was reportedly in contention to play on Thursday. However, with the way the Leafs are playing without him, there’s no need to rush him back until he’s 100 per cent ready.
Canadiens suffer rare loss with Drouin on scoresheet
That was not the case on Thursday as the Canadiens fell 5-4 to the Arizona Coyotes, despite Drouin recording an assist.
Entering the night’s game, Montreal was 7-1-1 when Drouin had a point.
Make that 7-2-1.
Dubnyk’s shutout streak comes to an end
Devan Dubnyk began the season slowly, but rediscovered his Vezina Trophy-like form over the past few games. The Minnesota Wild goaltender was riding a career-high shutout streak entering their game versus the Nashville Predators.
Unfortunately for Dubynk and the Wild, that run came to a screeching halt.
Minnesota went on to lose 4-2, snapping its three-game winning streak in the process.