3 things we learned in the NHL: Flower power returns to Pittsburgh

Watch as Marc-Andre Fleury gets a standing ovation from Pittsburgh after the Penguins play a tribute video for him in his return.

It was a special night in the Pittsburgh as the Penguins honoured Marc-Andre Fleury, who was in the net for the visiting Vegas Golden Knights.

In the nation’s capital, Mike Hoffman stayed hot with another big game, potentially boosting his trade value.

And in the ‘Peg, Dustin Byfuglien celebrated a milestone with a highlight-reel goal.

Here are three things we learned in the NHL.

Penguins celebrate Fleury

Marc-Andre Fleury is the greatest goaltender in Pittsburgh Penguins history and on Tuesday night, he made his return with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Fleury was of course the prized goaltender Vegas won in last summer’s expansion draft, but before that he was a key cog in the Penguins dynasty that has won three Stanley Cups since 2009.

The Penguins drafted Fleury with the first pick of the 2003 NHL Draft (the really stacked one) and he took over full-time starter’s duties in 2005-06.

Fleury is the Penguins all-time leader in practically all goalie stats, including games played (691), wins (375) and shutouts (44). Ironically, he also leads the Golden Knights all-time in games played (22), wins (15) and shutouts (two).

In fact, according to Sportsnet Stats, Fleury is the only goalie to currently lead two franchises in any of those categories.

Unfortunately for Fleury, his new team lost a close one to his old team 5-4. The two-time defending champs are still tough to beat.

The Penguins paid tribute to Fleury during a commercial break in the first period. You can watch that video at the top of this post.

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world, and then they tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.

Hot hand Hoffman

Things haven’t gone well in Ottawa this winter and with Mark Stone sidelined with a lower-body injury since before the all-star break, things looked even bleaker.

Luckily, Mike Hoffman has stepped up in a big way.

Hoffman’s first-period goal against the New Jersey Devils extended his current point streak to four games. He also picked up an assist in the 5-3 win and now has two goals and six points during that stretch.

Stone still leads the team with 44 points but with 36, Hoffman is now in second. Hoffman’s name came up in trade rumours last month, so his hot streak could raise his value ahead of the deadline.

Or he could just be the answer to the scoring depth woes that have plagued the Sens all season.

Big Buff’s big night

Dustin Byfuglien played in his 800th career game Tuesday and he celebrated with a big night against the Arizona Coyotes.

Byfuglien finished with a goal and two points in the 4-3 win, leading the way with 23:45 of ice time.

And his goal might be one of the best he’s ever scored.

Byfuglien was an eighth-round pick, 245th overall in 2003 (that draft sure was stacked). He made his debut with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2005-06 season but didn’t become a regular until 2007-08.

After winning the Cup with the Hawks in 2010, he was traded to Atlanta, where he played one season with the Thrashers before they moved to Winnipeg. He’s one of only four current Jets to have worn the Thrashers uniform.

Across those 800 games with Chicago, Atlanta and Winnipeg, Byfuglien has 168 goals, 472 points and 976 penalty minutes.

With Jacob Trouba on the mend for the Jets, Byfuglien’s going to be counted on to have plenty of big games like this one down the stretch.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.