There were 13 games in the National Hockey League on Tuesday night, so 26 of the 31 teams were in action. It was our first time to see many of the trade deadline acquisitions skating for their new teams. Some of the players made an immediate splash in their new sweater. We didn't see any shutouts from goaltenders or hat tricks from skaters, but there were plenty of big-time fantasy producers. It was an extremely busy night, so let's get started!
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The Flames did something no one has been able to do this season - they handed Tuukka Rask his first setback in regulation at home.
Matthew Tkachuk opened the score in the first period, and he ended up with a three-point night. Sean Monahan had an even-strength goal and a power-play marker, while Mikael Backlund registered an insurance marker in the third period and he chipped in with an empty-net goal to put a bow on the scoring. That's all the support All-Star David Rittich needed to get a nice road win.
Erik Gustafsson posted an assist and a plus-1 rating in his team debut after being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks at the trade deadline. Derek Forbort was scoreless in his debut, dishing out two hits.
Vancouver Canucks 4, Montreal Canadiens 3 (OT)
The Canadiens opened the game with a pair goals to back up Carey Price, as Paul Byron and Shea Weber staked him to a 2-0 lead. Bo Horvat managed his 20th goal on the power play, slicing the lead in half after 20.
Alexander Edler had been ice-cold in January and most of February, but he had a goal and an assist, giving him a goal and four helpers with a plus-3 rating during his three-game point streak.
Thatcher Demko appreciated the support, as he settles into a regular No. 1 gig with Jacob Markstrom on the shelf. Another key addition, Tyler Toffoli, registered the winner in overtime against Price. Toffoli has been energized skating with a contender, posting three goals and five points in three games in Vancouver, and he has seven goals and nine points with a plus-6 rating in a five-game point streak dating back to his final games with the Kings.
Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3
The Leafs are a hard team to figure. They lost to a Zamboni driver, Dave Ayres, last time out. In this one, they beat the defending Vezina Trophy winner, Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring midway through the first, and the Leafs looked like they were in trouble. But Jake Muzzin evened the score, and John Tavares notched a power-play goal to give the Leafs a lead after 20. Unfortunately for Muzzin, he left the game with a hand injury and he will be re-evaluated Wednesday.
New York Rangers 4, New York Islanders 3 (OT)
Alexandar Georgiev seems to own the Islanders. He turned aside 42 of the 45 shots he faced, improving to 3-1-0 with a 2.80 GAA and .920 save percentage in four starts against the Isles this season.
The Blueshirts tendy was unable to keep Jean-Gabriel Pageau off the board, as he scored a goal, posted a plus-1 rating, dished out three hits and threw hands with Jacob Trouba, notching 17 penalty minutes in the process. That will certainly help him become a teammate and fan favorite.
Philadelphia Flyers 4, San Jose Sharks 2
Carter Hart missed a month of action due to a lower-body injury, but he still has 20 victories on the season. He picked up the latest win in this one, as only Joel Kellman and Noah Gregor were able to solve him.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel posted a power-play goal, while Kevin Hayes scored a pair of goals and All-Star Travis Konecny was good for a goal and three points. Scott Laughton also got into the act with a pair of helpers and a plus-3.
Newcomer Derek Grant was blanked with no shots, a block and a minor penalty to go along with three hits.
Washington Capitals 4, Winnipeg Jets 3 (SO)
Newcomer Ilya Kovalchuk went scoreless for the Caps, turning in a minus-2 rating with two blocked shots and two hits. Alex Ovechkin started on his next 700 goals, however, lightning the lamp once. Dmitry Orlov joined the multi-point club for the first time since Dec. 21 with two assists and a plus-1 rating while doling out three hits and blocking a pair of shots.
Dallas Stars 4, Carolina Hurricanes 1
The Hurricanes celebrated Ayres in their first home game since the zam driver saved them in Toronto. He and his wife were present in Raleigh on Tuesday, but his presence couldn't get them to a win over the Stars.
Newcomer Brady Skjei had a bad turnover on his first shift right in front of Alex Nedeljkovic, making his first NHL start of the season. Tyler Seguin took advantage, and took the wind out of the sails of the crowd of 18,176 at PNC Arena. It got worse.
The other newcomer, Vincent Trocheck, was whistled for a trip, and the Stars also took advantage. Roope Hintz scored on the power play, while Jason Dickinson added a goal, ending the first period up 3-0.
The highlight of the night was Sebastian Aho's goal early in the second period, his 36th. He now has a 13-game point streak, longest for the franchise since relocating from Hartford.
New Jersey Devils 4, Detroit Red Wings 1
Two non-contenders met in Hockeytown, but there were still fantasy implications.
St. Louis Blues 6, Chicago Blackhawks 5
It was a back-and-forth battle in the Lou, and when the dust settled, the defending champs came out on top of their rivals yet again.
It was a bad night if you started Corey Crawford or Jordan Binnington, although the latter wasn't as bad as the numbers indicate. Binnington coughed up three power-play goals to Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad.
For the home side, the stars were shining. Brayden Schenn scored a power-play goal just 33 seconds into the game for his 22nd on the season, Robert Thomas reached double digits with his 10th, All-Star Ryan O'Reilly notched his 12th, Zach Sanford had an even-strength goal and a power-play goal, while Justin Faulk finally broke through for the game-tying marker.
Keith also had an assist, while Jonathan Toews joined him in the multi-point club with a pair of assists.
Nashville Predators 3, Ottawa Senators 2
Minnesota Wild 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 4
The second period was sponsored by Mikko Koivu, as he celebrated staying put in the Twin Cities by potting his third and fourth goals of the season. It was his first goal(s) since Nov. 9, and first multi-point showing since Oct. 20.
The Jackets stormed back, as Emil Bemstrom, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Zach Werenski had third-period goals, but Kevin Fiala came to the rescue with the game-winning tally midway through the final period. He now has eight goals and 14 points in February.
Alex Stalock earned the win, moving to 16-9-4 with a 2.74 GAA and .907 save percentage in his 30 starts and 32 appearances.
Florida Panthers 2, Arizona Coyotes 1
The newcomers for the Panthers, Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark, were blanked, but Mike Hoffman factored in on both of the team's goals to make a winner of Sergei Bobrovsky. Hoffman had a power-play goal midway through the third to win it, and he had primary helper on Frank Vatrano's goal in the second.
Brad Richardson had a shorthanded goal for the Coyotes, but that's all Arizona could muster. Oliver Ekman-Larsson didn't have any offense, but he did manage a plus-1 rating, five shots, a blocked shot, a minor penalty and a team-high five hits.
The good news for the Coyotes was the return of Darcy Kuemper. He wasn't rusty after a long layoff, making 24 saves on 26 shots, and he'll be a welcome sight for fantasy owners down the stretch.
Anaheim Ducks 4, Edmonton Oilers 3 (OT)
Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Ennis were acquired Monday, and they were paired with Connor McDavid with their new team. That will certainly make anyone feel comfortable. Both players had a goal and an assist, while McDavid chipped in with three helpers. Unfortunately for the Oilers, the rest of the team did nothing offensively.
John Gibson allowed three goals on 32 shots in the overtime win, while Anaheim's newcomer was busy making noise. Sonny Milano opened the scoring, and he closed it with an overtime power-play winner. Adam Henrique also stayed hot with a goal and an assist, giving him seven goals and 12 points over the past nine outings.