The week kicked off with six games on Monday. A few of those games were particularly high-scoring and very memorable. In addition, a Sabres forward is returning home to undergo more tests for his recent ailment. Here are the latest NHL news and notes.
Blackhawks outlast Senators 8-7
The Blackhawks and Senators combined for 15 goals, nine in the first period alone, as Chicago pulled out the 8-7 victory at the United Center. The game ties the mark for most goals in a game this season; the Flames beat the Blue Jackets 9-6 back on December 4th.
Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat starred for the Hawks. Kane had a goal and two assists, but more importantly extended his point streak to 18 games, the longest in the NHL this season. In the last 18 games, he has 14 goals and 26 assists. As for DeBrincat, the young forward netted a hat trick, and including the five points earned on Monday, has 22 points in his last 12 games.
Ottawa jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first, then DeBrincat scored his first two goals to tie the game. Ottawa re-took the lead, which was followed by three unanswered goals by Chicago. With Mark Stone’s goal late in the first, that brought the score to 5-4 after just one period. Three goals came in the second period, including DeBrincat’s third, to give Chicago a 7-5 lead. Thomas Chabot scored twice for Ottawa in the third, but Toews’ goal earlier in the third period to make it 8-5 would go on to be the game-winner.
Both starting goaltenders were pulled early in the game. Anders Nilsson was benched after allowing four goals on just 12 shots in the first period, replaced by Craig Anderson. Chicago’s Colin Delia was taken out for Cam Ward after allowing three goals on 10 shots.
Bruins, Lightning among other winners
Charlie McAvoy scored with 1:01 remaining in overtime as the Bruins edged the Sharks 6-5 in San Jose. Boston overcame Joe Thornton’s hat trick, his first in eight seasons, and are now 10-0-1 in their last 11 games.
After Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, San Jose brought the game to within one. Following a goal from Jake DeBrusk to make it 4-2, Thornton’s second goal along with a goal from Logan Couture tied the game at four after two periods. Thornton’s third goal gave the Sharks the lead, but Chris Wagner scored the game-tying goal with 1:49 remaining to send it to overtime before McAvoy won it with a slap shot.
NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov had two goals to go along with three assists as the Lightning defeated the Blue Jackets 5-1 in Columbus. Kucherov now has 70 assists, setting a Tampa Bay franchise record for a season.
Kucherov’s two goals, Brayden Point’s two goals, and Steven Stamkos’ goal helped Tampa Bay get their sixth win in a row. They are currently 16 points ahead of Boston in the Atlantic Division. As for Columbus, the Blue Jackets have lost two of their last three games and find themselves tied with the Penguins for third in the Metropolitan Division.
As for the rest of the day’s action, Mark Giordano had a goal and assist as the Flames smoked the Coyotes 5-2. Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves and earned his second shutout of the year, leading the Avalanche to a 3-0 win over the Golden Knights. And Alex Ovechkin scored two goals, both on the power play, to lift the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Kings.
Okposo to undergo more tests
Sabres forward Kyle Okposo was sent home for further evaluation and testing three days after being punched in the face by Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo.
The nature of Okposo’s injury is unknown, but he did not return to the game following the fight against DeAngelo during Friday’s game. He originally traveled with the team for the start of their three-game road trip but did not play in Sunday’s game against the Devils.
Okposo, 30, has a history with concussions. He missed the final two weeks of the regular season last year after sustaining a concussion during practice, and also sustained a concussion last March. Okposo currently has 10 goals and 12 assists in 57 games this season.
Nine games are on the schedule for Tuesday night. Some of the notable games include the Lightning at Flyers, Blue Jackets at Canadiens, Maple Leafs at Blues, and Predators at Stars.