Twenty-two teams were in action on Saturday night, five of them were Canadian, and four games needed overtime.
Here are five things we learned in the NHL:
Ovechkin extends NHL OT record
With 3:06 remaining in the overtime period of the game between the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, all-time NHL overtime goals leader Alex Ovechkin picked up some speed and took the puck past centre ice.
Like a rocket, Ovechkin skated straight to the top of the right circle and fired a blast over the blocker of Ducks goalie John Gibson.
Ovechkin’s game winner was the 21st overtime goal in his career, giving him some breathing room at the top of his NHL record.
The goal also moved the Russian past Guy Lafleur and Bobby Hull for ninth all time with 99 career game-winning goals.
Flyers counter streak with streak
The Philadelphia Flyers are in the midst of a streak that they can be proud of: a six-game winning streak.
Prior to that? The team suffered through 10 long games, each without picking up two points for a win.
After the Boston Bruins shut out the Flyers on Dec. 2 – the game that pushed their losing streak to double digits – the Flyers headed out to Western Canada and has looked like the team that started the season 8-6-2.
They cruised through their first three wins, beating the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks. They scored at least four goals in each game and allowed no more than two. Then they started a five-game homestand by beating both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres. Saturday, they won their sixth straight game thanks to a 2-1 overtime decision over the Dallas Stars.
In the wake of Philadelphia’s recent turnaround, the Flyers made history by becoming just the second team to ever go on a six-game winning streak following a 10-game losing streak.
Eberle on pace for most goals since ’11-12
The goal marked Eberle’s 13th of the season through 33 games, putting him on pace to score 32 goals this year. Eberle has eclipsed 30 goals in a single season just once, his sophomore year in 2011-12 when he potted 34.
During this year’s resurgence, Eberle’s shooting percentage is over 17 per cent – the only other time that mark’s been over 14.5 was 2011-12 (18.9) – and he now has five game-winning goals, which is tied for the most in his career since his first year when he record five in 69 games.
Most impressively, Eberle is lightning the lamp without the assistance of the power play. Only two of his goals this season have come with the extra man, while 10 of his markers six years ago came on the PP.
Blue Jackets power play continues to be pathetic
The John Tortorella-led team had four opportunities against a Hurricanes team that started the night with the league’s 26th-ranked penalty kill, but, again, the Blue Jackets failed to convert with the man advantage.
For comparison, the Colorado Avalanche boasted the worst PP in the NHL last season, finishing the year with a 12.55 per cent conversion rate, a full two points behind the next worse team. The Blue Jackets are on pace to finish two per cent behind them.
Only nine Columbus players have managed to notch a point on the power play this season, and only three have more than a pair. First-year Blue Jacket Artemi Panarin seems to be the lone bright spot on an abysmal unit with seven points – two of which are goals.
The Blues had the advantage in the standings heading into the matchup with 44 points, sharing them top spot in the west with the Nashville Predators. The Jets were just three points back with 41.
But recently, Winnipeg seemed to have the number of the Blues inside the Scottrade Center, taking four straight against them while on the road. And with No. 1 goaltender Jake Allen on the bench, the Jets must have been licking their lips at the matchup with backup Carter Hutton who last played on Dec. 5.
In just his ninth game of the season, Hutton came in and shut down one of the league’s best offences. The 31-year-old turned away a career-best 48 shots (previous best was 39) and picked up his first shutout of the season and ninth of his career.
Hutton’s 48 saves are the most in a St. Louis Blues shutout (passing Chris Mason who had 47) and it is just the fifth time a Blues goalie stopped more than 40 while keeping the other team off the board.