5 things we learned in the NHL: Patrik Laine puts on a show

Patrik Laine becomes the first player to score five goals in a game since 2011 and records his third hat trick of the month.

Patrik Laine had a historic night, Jeff Skinner kept up his terrific play in November, James van Riemsdyk’s return to Toronto didn’t go as planned and Mike Hoffman had himself an enjoyable 29th birthday.

Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Saturday.

Oh my, Patrik Laine

Jets’ star Patrik Laine found the back of the net five times in Winnipeg’s high-octane affair against the St. Louis Blues, becoming the NHL’s league-leader in goals (19) and making a ton of history in the process.

On top of becoming just the third player in 20 years to score five goals in one game — and first since Johan Franzen in 2011 — Laine set a new Jets record for most goals scored in one calendar month with 16.

Earlier in the night, Laine had already joined some exclusive company after completing his seventh hat-trick before hitting the age of 21.

After recording his third hat-trick already of 2018-19, Laine also became just the 14th player in league history to do so in a team’s first 22 games of a season. The former No. 2 overall selection is also just the fourth player ever to score five goals before his 21st birthday.

At this point, it’s safe to say Laine’s already cemented himself among some of the game’s all-time marksman. He’s out-scoring some entire teams, after all.

Can anyone slow down Skinner and the Sabres?

To say Jeff Skinner has made a strong impression in the first year with his new team is putting it lightly.

The Sabres’ forward netted his 18th goal of the season, helping put Buffalo ahead early against the out-matched Detroit Red Wings. The Sabres got past the Red Wings in a shootout, extending their winning streak to nine games.

Buffalo’s current nine-game run brings them within one game of tying its franchise-record 10-game winning streak from back in the 2006-07 season. Oh, and the Sabres’ torrid play of late has the team leading the NHL in points for the first time since, you guessed it, the ’06-07 campaign.

Skinner’s 18th goal happened to be his 12th scored in November alone. He’s the first player in more than four decades to accomplish that for the franchise.

The Toronto native ranks second league-wide in goals scored this season, trailing only Laine after his superhuman effort.

Flyers get smoked in van Riemsdyk’s return to Toronto

After spending the past six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers‘ forward James van Riemsdyk made his anticipated return to Toronto. During a break in action, the Maple Leafs’ faithful paid tribute to their former winger after the team aired a tribute video, treating him to a standing ovation at Scotiabank Arena:

Van Riemsdyk’s ovation was the only semblance of a bright spot for the Flyers on this night, with Andreas Johnsson and the Maple Leafs jumping out to a four-goal advantage after the first 20 minutes and never looking back en route to a 6-0 shutout victory.

Considering Johnsson has served as van Riemsdyk’s replacement on the wing since his departure, the Swede’s big game made for a somewhat awkward scenario.

Johnsson’s three-goal effort gave him the first regular season hat-trick of his career, a feat Penguins’ forward Jake Guentzel also accomplished on Saturday.

Vegas scores its fastest goal ever

Given the Vegas Golden Knights have existed for less than two full NHL seasons, it shouldn’t surprise many when the team one-ups itself in its own record books.

William Karlsson’s opening tally 14-seconds into Vegas’ game against the San Jose Sharks helped do just that, setting a new record for the fastest goal scored to open a game in franchise history.

At least the Knights’ Twitter account had a laugh at its own expense after that ever-so ‘historic’ goal.

Hoffman celebrates his birthday in style

One day after having his 17-game point streak come to an end, Florida Panthers winger Mike Hoffman, on his 29th birthday no less, got back in the goal column.

If scoring a goal doesn’t make your birthday a great one, I’m not sure what could.

Hoffman’s goal was his 11th of the season through 21 games, the official quarter-mark of the regular season schedule, putting him on pace to shatter his career-best mark of 29 set during the 2015-16 campaign with the Ottawa Senators. Unfortunately, Hoffman’s effort came in a losing cause, with the Chicago Blackhawks downing the Panthers in overtime to halt their losing streak at eight games.

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