It was just a typical night on the NHL schedule: a couple of returns, a couple of firsts, and a couple of milestones. It’s all fun and games until someone loses part of an ear — which happened.
Here are five (and a half) things we learned Thursday.
The return of Carey Price
It’s been a minute since Carey Price played a game for the Montreal Canadiens, and his return this season was even delayed by a nasty flu bug. But there appeared to be no bugs in the veteran goalie’s game Thursday as the Habs beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2.
It was his first start with his club since Nov. 25, 2015.
Price made 25 saves in the win. The Canadiens were undefeated in regulation without Price this season but were undoubtedly improved and happy to welcome him back.
A night of firsts, seconds
The first shooter to score on Price Thursday made it count as Coyotes rookie Jakob Chychrun scored his first career goal.
That’s a feather in a cap if we ever saw one.
Chychrun was one of the Coyotes’ two first round picks (16th overall) in this year’s draft — the Coyotes acquired an extra first round pick in the Pavel Datsyuk trade. He was rated as high as No. 2 leading up to the draft but fell after a sub par junior campaign.
The second player to beat Price was Laurent Dauphin whose goal was his second career goal, a special one for a player with family in the stands.
Give Price a second look at both rookies and surely he’ll have their number next time.
The 26-year-old rookie was playing in just his seventh NHL game after being drafted by the Kings in the seventh round (198th overall!) of the 2009 draft. He played in the NAHL, USHL, WCHA, NCHC and the AHL before debuting with L.A. last season.
Dowd is the second Alabama-born player to score in the NHL. The other? Audley Tuten scored for the Chicago Black Hawks (yes, there was a space between Black and Hawks back then) in the 1941-42 season.
And last but not least, Shea Weber scored his first as a Canadien.
Jagr’s 750th, Marleau’s top-50
While players young enough to be Jaromir Jagr‘s children were scoring their firsts, the 44-year-old legend hit yet another milestone Thursday. In fact, I think everything Jagr does now is either a milestone or a miracle.
With a goal against the Washington Capitals, the Florida Panthers winger now has 750 for his 23-year career. That’s third all-time behind Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe. It was his first of the 2016-17 season and his 1870th point.
Marleau was the second overall pick in the 1997 draft — one behind teammate Joe Thornton.
The return of Nail Yakupov
Prior to the game, we took a look at some of the most notable players to have memorable performances against teams they were traded from. Speaking of things we learned, did you know Montreal fans gave Patrick Roy a standing ovation when he made his first save in the Molson Centre during his return?
Yakupov, meanwhile, scored the first goal of the game Thursday to stick it to his former club. It wasn’t pretty to look at, but you can bet he enjoyed every moment of it.
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Daniel Winnik loses piece of ear blocking shot
Capitals forward Daniel Winnik survived a scary scene Thursday when he went down to block a shot and took the puck to the side of his head. As it turns out, it literally took a chunk out of him.
Winnik got up under his power and did return to the game, thankfully. The Caps topped the Panthers 4-2.
BONUS THING: BRYZGALOV SIGHTING!!!
The former Duck and Flyer took in a game in Philly. We need this man to stay in hockey, somehow.