Five things we learned in the NHL: Holtby overcomes pancaking

Watch as Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby robs Eric Gryba of the Edmonton Oilers on a 2-on-1 attack.

The Maple Leafs went to yet another shootout, Rick Nash sniped home a beauty, Tuukka Rask robbed James van Riemsdyk of a would-be winner, the Flyers snapped their goalless drought and Jonathan Quick bounced back to lead the Kings past the Panthers.

Here are five more things we learned Monday in the NHL.

Holtby overcomes pre-game pancaking

Braden Holtby stopped all 33 shots he faced against the Edmonton Oilers Monday and picked up his 21st career shutout in the process. As you can see from the video at the top of the page, the Washington Capitals netminder was on his A-game. What makes his performance all the more impressive was the fact he was shaken up by his own teammate Justin Williams during the pre-game warm up.

First, Williams was the reason two potentially record-breaking Alex Ovechkin goals were called back earlier this month. Now, he’s squashing his own goalie prior to games? Someone needs to tell the forward to stop trying to be a saboteur.

Preds can’t end epic scoring slump

It’s hard to imagine the Nashville Predators’ current road trip going any worse than it has so far. Peter Laviolette’s group has now been shut out in three straight games after losing 3-0 to the Rangers. They fired 31 shots at Henrik Lundqvist but couldn’t beat the Swede, who picked up his 57th career shutout.

Marchand goes yard on Leafs

Brad Marchand’s ability to get under the skin of opposing players (plus his accuracy when throwing a sucker punch) is impressive. So is his hand-eye coordination. Marchand opened the scoring against the Maple Leafs on a shorthanded goal in which he batted the puck out of the air and into the net from about 20 feet out. The only thing that goal was missing was a Jose Bautista-inspired stick flip.

The goal was reviewed to ensure it wasn’t a high stick and it stood. The league’s explanation was as follows:

At 4:58 of the first period in the Boston Bruins/Toronto Maple Leafs game, video review supported the referee’s call on the ice that Brad Marchand’s stick was at or below the level of the crossbar when he deflected the puck into the Toronto net. According to Rule 38.4 (vi) “The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick in relation to the crossbar. If the puck makes contact with the portion of the stick that is at or below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed.” Good goal Boston.

Duchene extends his streak

Ever since those Matt Duchene trade rumours surfaced, the Avalanche forward has been one of the hottest players in the league. Duchene scored a nifty goal as his Avs beat the Jets 4-1, extending his point streak to seven games. Last Monday he was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week and through 11 games in November he has 10 goals, seven assists.

Korpikoski got away with one

Oilers forward Lauri Korpikoski could be hearing from the NHL’s department of player safety for an elbow he landed to the head of Capitals forward Jay Beagle. In the first period, Korpikoski knocked Beagle to the ice with the elbow but wasn’t penalized. Beagle was slow to get up but managed to stay in the game.

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