More Flower Power on Saturday

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Dan Dobish
·11 min read
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The National Hockey League had 12 contests on the schedule on Saturday, and we had a total of 82 goals, or 6.83 goals per game. That's great news for fantasy managers and DFS players who owned stock in certain skaters. But don't forget the goaltenders, too, as we had a pair of shutouts. One came from a usual suspect, while another was from an unlikely fantasy option. It was another entertaining and busy slate. Let's get started!

New York Rangers 6, New Jersey Devils 3

It didn't take long for the Rangers to get on the board. Adam Fox struck on the power play just 2:06 into the game, which was a bad start for Mackenzie Blackwood. It got worse. Ryan Strome posted his seventh goal of the season at 7:15 to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

However, P.K. Subban and Mikhail Maltsev scored within 17 seconds to give Blackwood a new lease on life. Kevin Rooney scored his fourth of the season at 17:06 to restore the lead for the Blueshirts.

Libor Hajek scored his first goal since the 2018-19 season, and just his second in the NHL. There's something about facing the Devils, as both of his career goals are against New Jersey. The goal also stood up as the game-winning tally, helped out from K'Andre Miller and Pavel Buchnevich.

Filip Chytil and Strome sandwiched a goal by Nathan Bastian in the third, as the Rangers doubled up the Devils. Blackwood allowed five goals on 27 shots for the loss, while Alexandar Georgiev allowed just three goals on 27 shots for the win.

New York Islanders 5, Buffalo Sabres 2

The Islanders roughed up the Sabres 5-2 for the second straight game, and they run it back again Sunday afternoon. Buffalo likely can't wait to get off the Island.

Carter Hutton was paddled for five goals on 29 shots, including four goals in the second period.

The game started really well for Buffalo. Jacob Bryson not only scored his first NHL goal, but he was the third player in Buffalo franchise history to score his first NHL goal in the opening minute of a game. Danny Gare holds the franchise record just 18 seconds into the game on Oct. 10, 1974, while Alexander Mogilny struck for a goal 20 seconds into a game Oct. 5, 1989. That's not bad company for Bryson, eh?

That was about the only bright spot, though. Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson, who have plenty of NHL goals, put the Islanders up for good, and Cal Clutterbuck and Scott Mayfield added to the lead for a four-goal second period. Barzal and Mayfield were the big producers with two total points.

Semyon Varlamov improved to 11-4-3 with a 2.10 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in 18 starts, including 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and .937 SV% in three outings against Buffalo.

Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3

The Keystone State battle was an entertaining, seesaw affair, and the good news these teams play three more times this season.

Travis Konecny scored 6:08 into the game to give Philly a 1-0 lead, but it didn't last long. Evgeni Malkin leveled the score just 1:46 after Konecny's goal with a power-play marker of his own, and Bryan Rust also scored on the man advantage to make it 2-1 after 20.

Kevin Hayes opened the second period scoring just 80 seconds with a power-play goal to make it 2-2, and Shayne Gostisbehere gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead with help from Scott Laughton and Jakub Voracek. Zach Aston-Reese evened things up 3-3 at 18:10 of the second period, as nothing was resolved through two periods.

In the third, both Brian Elliott and Tristan Jarry battled settled down. But Jared McCann was the difference maker with his fifth goal at 10:41 of the third period, making a winner out of Jarry.

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Florida Panthers 6, Nashville Predators 2

Nashville got off to a good start with Eeli Toivanen striking on the power play at 5:46, beating Sergei Bobrovsky to make it 1-0. Aaron Ekblad evened things up with just 13 seconds left in the first, and it looked like we were going to have a good game.

The Panthers had other ideas. Jonathan Huberdeau scored his 10th goal of the season, and the 158th of his career, passing Scott Mellanby for third-most goals in franchise history. Noel Acciari scored his first two goals of the season to make it 4-1, as Pekka Rinne had no answers for Florida.

Viktor Arvidsson scored his third of the season just 19 seconds into the third, giving Nashville hope. But Frank Vatrano put the final nail in the coffin, and Acciari completed the hat trick with a power-play goal to put a bow on the scoring.

Montreal Canadiens 7, Winnipeg Jets 1

Every player in a Winnipeg sweater had a minus rating in Saturday's loss, and 14 of the 18 skaters were minus-2 or worse. That's bad news if you're a fantasy manager or DFS player with stock in a Jets player.

Connor Hellebuyck allowed four goals on 19 shots before getting pulled for Laurent Brossoit in the second period.

Josh Anderson and Brendan Gallagher reached double digits in goals, joining Tyler Toffoli in the club. Speaking of Toffoli, he had a goal and an assist, giving him 15 markers on the season. The 28-year-old is on pace to set a new career high as long as he can stay healthy. He has goals in each of the past three games. Gallagher is also working on a three-game goal-scoring run.

Joel Armia, Paul Byron and Jeff Petry also got on the board, which was more than enough support for Carey Price. The latter was cruising to a shutout, but Mathieu Perreault spoiled the bid with a power-play goal. That's about the only thing that went well for the Jets.

Vancouver Canucks 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

The Canucks lost each of the battles in a three-game set in Toronto last month. Vancouver decided to return the favor this weekend.

Thatcher Demko allowed two goals on 39 shots to help the home side double up, and he is now 3-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .969 SV% and a shutout in three March starts.

It wasn't all goaltending, though, as Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists each, and Bo Horvat was also in the multi-point club with a goal and an assist. Miller was also very impressive in the faceoff circle, winning seven of his nine attempts at the dot, good for 77.8 percent. The Ohio native is a good option in fantasy leagues using that category.

John Tavares and Jimmy Vesey scored for the Leafs, and the goal was the fifth of the season for the former Rangers forward. Vesey was helped out by Jason Spezza, who is now up to 11 helpers. Vesey has three goals and a plus-4 rating in the past three outings, but he still only warrants fantasy consideration in deeper formats.

Frederik Andersen allowed four goals on 31 shots, suffering his first loss in four starts against the Canucks.

Arizona Coyotes 5, Minnesota Wild 2

The Wild had goals by Matt Dumba and Jordan Greenway in the first period, and they led 2-0 after 20 minutes. Then, it was all Coyotes the rest of the way.

Lawson Crouse scored his first of the season, and Jakob Chychrun scored to even the game 2-2 after 40 minutes. That got Darcy Kuemper back to even against his former team, and it got better.

Arizona leading scorer Conor Garland struck on the power play for the eventual game-winning tally, and Tyler Pitlick registered two goals to make it 5-2. Niklas Hjalmarsson picked up primary assists on both of the markers. Garland has a goal and four points with three games in March.

It was Pitlick's first two-goal game since Dec. 31, 2017 when he was with the Dallas Stars.

Dallas Stars 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 0

Jake Oettinger shined bright for the Stars, turning aside all 21 shots he faced for his first NHL shutout. Only one player in Minnesota/Dallas (North) Stars history was younger when he posted a shutout, and that was Pete Lopresti. Oettinger has been a breath of fresh air with Ben Bishop on the mend until at least April due to a knee issue, and Anton Khudobin struggling.

Roope Hintz scored a goal with a power-play assist, his first multi-point performance since Jan. 24, the second game of the regular season.

It didn't go so hot for Joonas Korpisalo, who allowed four goals on just 22 shots before getting yanked in the third period. Enter Veini Vehvilainen, who made his NHL debut in a relief appearance. He allowed one goal on four shots in his 10:40 of mop-up duty. Welcome to the NHL, kid.

Anaheim Ducks 5, Colorado Avalanche 4 (OT)

Like the Pennsylvania battle earlier in the day, this one was a seesaw battle down to the very end.

Rickard Rakell scored his fourth for the lone goal in the first period, making it 1-0. Troy Terry opened the second period scoring at 4:26 to make it 2-0. Then the Avalanche had other ideas.

Logan O'Connor and Mikko Rantanen leveled the game at 2-2, with Rantanen scoring on the power play. Rantanen was back to start the third to make it 3-2. Brandon Saad scored just 24 seconds later to make it 4-2.

The old Ducks would have wilted. Actually, the Ducks from yesterday would have wilted. But Terry scored to make it 4-3, and Kevin Shattenkirk scored on the power play, his first of the season, to help Anaheim force overtime.

They did better than that. Ryan Getzlaf scored on the power play to win it, shocking the Avs and Hunter Miska.

Los Angeles Kings 4, St. Louis Blues 3 (OT)

The Blues started out on fire. But they punched themselves out early.

David Perron, Nathan Walker and Ryan O'Reilly fired out to a 3-0 lead after 11:05, but the tide turned when Anze Kopitar scored at 13:08 to cut into the lead.

Kopitar posted a power-play goal at 18:09 to make it 3-2, and Matt Luff scored his first of the season, and 10th of his career, which made Kings Twitter exclaim, "You Luff to see it." Ugh.

There was no scoring in the third, but Jordan Binnington allowed the game winner to Adrian Kempe in overtime, as Jonathan Quick improved to 3-0-0 with a 1.99 GAA, .931 SV% and one shutout in three meetings with the Blues this season.

Edmonton Oilers 3, Calgary Flames 2

The Battle of Alberta is always entertaining, and Saturday night was no different.

Johnny Gaudreau scored on the power play with help from Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan, and the visitors were up 1-0 after 20.

The Oilers won the second period with Jesse Puljujarvi's goal, making it 1-1 after 40.

Noah Hanifin scored his first goal of the season, with Lindholm notching the primary assist for the second time in the game.

The lead didn't last long, as Kailer Yamamoto tied it up at 6:07 of the third, and Connor McDavid registered the game-winning goal, with Yamamoto posting secondary assist and his second point on the winner. Kris Russell also finished with two primary assists on the evening.

Vegas Golden Knights 4, San Jose Sharks 0

The good news is that Marc-Andre Fleury earned his 65th shutout of his career, moving to 12-3-3 on the season. He moved into sole possession of 16th place on the NHL's all-time shutout list.

The bad news is that the Golden Knights saw Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo leave the game early. Stone was held out of the third period due to a precaution, while head coach Peter DeBoer said he is hopeful Pietrangelo doesn't have too serious of an issue after a blocked shot shook him up.

Before Stone left, he posted a first-period goal to register the game-winning tally, while Alex Tuch had a pair of goals and Reilly Smith notched his fifth.