5 things we learned in the NHL: Special day for Dion

Mark Stone scored the game-winning goal in the third to get the Senators a 3-2 win over the Stars.

Dion Phaneuf performs on trade anniversary
Alex Ovechkin has shot streak snapped
Joe Thornton finally scores on a goalie

It was a busy night with 11 games on the NHL schedule. From one fan having a dream week continue to shot streaks stopping and a few milestones along the way, here’s five things we learned on Thursday night.

Happy anniversary
Dion Phaneuf had an extra hop in his step (or stride) in Ottawa’s 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

On the one-year anniversary of his trade to the Senators, Phaneuf opened the scoring and then fought Dallas forward Jamie Benn later in the period.

The 31-year-old defenceman was acquired by Ottawa on Feb. 9, 2016 in a nine-player blockbuster. Phanuef has had his ups and down so far with Ottawa but his performance against the Stars was much needed as the Sens had been shut out in their previously two games.

It also marked Ottawa’s first win in regulation over Dallas since Oct. 7, 2000.


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Wonderful week continues
Fatima Al Ali had her exciting week continue when she dropped the puck before Washington’s home game against the Detroit Red Wings.

The 27-year-old from the United Arab Emirates has been a sensation over the last few months, starting after a video of her impressive stickhandling skills went viral.

Al Ali got to skate with the Capitals on Wednesday and fit in nicely after having played hockey for the last six years. Her favourite player is Alex Ovechkin, whom she received a signed stick from after the Washington practice.

The Capitals beat Detroit 6-3 for their 11th straight home win at Verizon Center.

Shot streaks…
Ovechkin’s run of recording a shot on net ended at 315 games in Washington’s game against the Red Wings. That dates all the way back to March 12, 2013!

While Ovechkin’s run came to a halt, Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews continued his run with three shots on net against the St. Louis Blues. Matthews now has shots on goal in all 53 games this season.

Ovechkin is second in the NHL with 210 shots while Matthews is sixth with 182 shots.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored the winner 20 seconds into overtime as St. Louis edged the Maple Leafs 2-1.

Milestone for the captain
It didn’t take long for Max Pacioretty to get the Montreal Canadiens on the board and record a milestone all at the same time.

The Habs captain scored his 200th career goal just 57 seconds into the first period of Montreal’s 5-4 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes. It was also his 26th goal of the season and third in the last five games.

It was the perfect start for Montreal, which ended a four-game losing streak. It didn’t come easy, however, as the Canadiens allowed three goals in a three-minute span in the second period, including back-to-back short-handed goals.

Pacioretty’s career high for goals is 39 from 2013-14, but if he continues his current pace then he may be able to eclipse that.

Ya did it, Joe!
Joe Thornton, give yourself a pat on the back. You finally scored on a goalie this season.

Believe it or not, Jumbo Joe and his massive beard only had three goals entering Thursday’s game, with all three being scored into empty nets. But that all changed in San Jose’s 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins.

The 37-year-old has been having an off-year offensively with now four goals and 30 assists through 55 games. Thornton has always been known to be a dish master but normally puts up a decent number of goals as well, including 19 last season. The veteran centre passed Mike Modano for 23rd on the NHL’s all-time points list with 1,375.

Despite the Sharks’ woes, it was a good start behind the bench for interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, who won his first game with the Bruins. Boston had fired Claude Julien on Tuesday.


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