Five things we learned in the NHL: Reimer shines

Alex Galchenyuk scored twice and added an assist as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Dallas Stars.

With eight games on the schedule, Tuesday was an action-packed night in the NHL.

There were overtime games, a shootout, and even a water bottle mishap.

Here are five things we learned on Tuesday night.

Galchenyuk does Dallas
Is there anyone playing better than Alex Galchenyuk right now? Probably, but the Montreal Canadiens forward has been one of the most productive players in the league over the past few weeks.

Galchenyuk entered Tuesday’s game with seven goals in his last six games before adding two goals — including the overtime-winner — and one assist in a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. (Watch the highlights at the top of this post.)

Head coach Michel Therrien compared Galchenyuk’s play now to that from the beginning of the season, and says he’s “a completely different player.”

Maybe not being named to the initial 16-man roster of Team North America at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey has served as some pretty good motivation.

Reimer helping out west
James Reimer had a tough debut with the San Jose Sharks this past Saturday night, allowing three goals on 25 shots in a loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

However, he shook off the jitters and was brilliant in his second start since being traded to San Jose, making 31 saves in a shutout victory over the lowly Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Reimer has had a very inconsistent NHL career, but has shown flashes in spurts and his effort against Edmonton re-emphasized why the Sharks were comfortable bringing in the veteran goalie to provide insurance behind Martin Jones.

After years in Toronto, it’s nice to see Reimer back in a playoff race.

Skinner knows drama

Jeff Skinner knows how to score in dramatic fashion.

Not only did the Carolina Hurricanes sniper net two goals in a victory over the Ottawa Senators, he kept the game alive by scoring in the final second of regulation to send the game into extra time.

Carolina eventually won in a shootout.

Incredibly, it was the second time this season that Skinner has scored has a game-tying goal in the final 10 seconds of regulation — both of which came against Ottawa!

According to the Sportsnet Stats department, last-second goals appear to be a trend this year.

Milestone for Letang
The Pittsburgh Penguins dropped Tuesday’s contest to the New York Islanders, but it was a memorable evening for defenceman Kris Letang.

The Penguins’ blue-liner scored the team’s lone goal of the night in highlight fashion, and eclipsed his career-high total in the process.

Letang had never exceeded 11 goals in an NHL season prior to 2015-16, which is pretty hard to believe considering he’s one of the most productive offensive blue-liners in franchise history.

From one Smith to another
Similar to Galchenyuk, Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith has been on a tear of late.

After potting two goals to help Nashville beat the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, Smith has registered five goals over his last five games, bringing his total to 10 points over that stretch.

The 26-year-old wasn’t the only player with the Smith surname to contribute offensively on Tuesday night. Ottawa forward Zack Smith is playing quite well himself.

He scored for his third consecutive game and has seven goals over his last 10 games.

With 19 goals on the season, he’s on pace to surpass the 20-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career. His previous career-high was 14, which came in 2011-12.

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