The Toronto Maples won after a lengthy rest, the Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game losing streak and the Calgary Flames got the veteran of veterans back into their lineup.
Here are three things we learned in the NHL last night
Matthews scores first goal in home state, Hyman joins Leafs legends
After William Nylander entered the Arizona Coyotes’ zone with blazing speed, he dished the puck off to Auston Matthews who applied his signature toe drag and fired a shot past the glove of Scott Wedgewood and into the top shelf.
The goal marked the first time that Matthews scored an NHL goal in his home state. The tally elicited a wide smile from the 20-year-old as well as loud cheers from the plethora of Leafs (Matthews?) fans in attendance at Gila River Arena.
Nylander’s assist was also the 100th point of his career in his 141st career NHL game.
Prior to the Matthews goal, Zach Hyman opened up the game’s scoring after he took off like a rocket ship on a shorthanded breakaway and, also, ripped a puck past Wedgewood’s glove.
The goal was the fifth shorthanded goal of his career, which is third most by a Leafs player in their first three NHL seasons. Rick Vaive had seven and Lanny McDonald had six.
Not bad company.
Gagner keeps an eager Boeser waiting
In a tied 1-1 game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canucks were given a chance to pull ahead with a power play near the end of the opening period.
All Canucks fans in attendance salivated at the opportunity to watch rookie sensation Brock Boeser go to work and add on to the 20 goals he collected in 34 games this season.
Much to their displeasure, it wasn’t Boeser they were watching but Sam Ganger. The 28-year-old stayed on … and on … and on the ice for a total of 1:39 of the power play. He stayed on for so long that it wasn’t just the fans that were eager for Boeser to take to the ice, it was the rookie himself:
To his credit, Gagner may have been feeling hot having scored Vancouver’s first goal, but he failed to convert on the Canucks’ second power play opportunity of the game.
However, he did make a sweet pass to set up the Nucks’ second goal of the game, and added his second of the contest in the third period, so maybe he was on to something after all.
Jagr inches closer to games played record
Another day and another record that Flames forward Jaromir Jagr breaks… well, at least ties.
Jagr drew into the lineup for the first time since Dec. 17 on Thursday, his 1,731st game in his NHL career, moving him into a tie for third place in all-time games played with Ron Francis.
The 45-year-old veteran will claim sole possession of third place the next time Glen Gulutzan chooses to dress him, which could come as soon as Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.
Jagr now sits 25 games behind Mark Messier for second place and 36 games behind Gordie Howe, who leads the all-time list for games played.
It’s possible that he breaks the record this season, but considering he has only played in 20 of the Flames’ 37 games this year, he may need to stretch his career one more year.