Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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Jets Soar to New Heights

Monday, December 4, 2017


Marc-Andre Fleury has been skating on his own and could be cleared to practice at some point this week. The Vegas netminder has been out of action with a concussion since October 13 and the Golden Knights would love to have him healthy and back between the pipes as soon as possible.

 

Joe Thornton was fined $5,000 for slashing Tyler Johnson of the Lightning on Saturday.

 

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WINNIPEG 5 OTTAWA 0

 

The Jets scored early and often and cruised to a 5-0 shutout win over Ottawa Sunday.

 

Connor Hellebuyck turned away all 21 shots sent his way as he improved his record to 15-2-3 with a 2.31 GAA and a .925 save percentage. It’s hard to believe that he was not even the starter when the season started but he has been sensational as the Jets reached the top of the Western Conference standings with the win.

 

Mark Scheifele opened the scoring just 2:20 into the first and Mathieu Perreault made it 2-0 at the six minute mark to stake the Jets to the lead.

 

It was a bonus for Perreault who saw action on the first line with Scheifele and Blake Wheeler as regular linemate Kyle Connor was forced to sit this one out with a lower-body injury.

 

Wheeler, Patrik Laine and Tyler Myers completed the scoring by the 6:50 mark of the second period with Laine and Myers scoring on the power play.

 

The one bright light for the Senators was the play of goaltender Craig Anderson who has been struggling of late. He took over after the Jets made it 5-0 from Mike Condon who gave up all five goals on 22 shots. Anderson stopped all 27 shots and that has to give him a boost of confidence. There was talk that Condon could see plenty of action in the foreseeable future but Anderson made a statement on Sunday, albeit in a blowout.

 

It was a nine point effort from the Jets top line as Wheeler had four points, Perreault three and Scheifele had a pair.

 

LOS ANGELES 3 CHICAGO 1

 

It was the end of a long week for the Blackhawks as this was their fifth game in the last seven days.

 

They held in for a couple of periods as the score was deadlocked at zeroes but in the end the fatigue of being the first team to play a five-game schedule in a week was too much and the Blackhawks fell to the Kings 3-1.

 

Defenseman Christian Folin opened the scoring at the 9:29 mark of the third with his second of the season and there was not to be another goal until with 2:03 left, Dustin Brown made it 2-0 for Los Angeles as Chicago pulled the goalie in an effort to tie it up.

 

But Jonathan Toews cut the lead in half with his seventh of the season just 17 seconds later and out came Anton Forsberg yet again as Chicago tried to tie it up.

 

It was not to be as Anze Kopitar iced the game with 52 seconds left as his 14th goal of the season was unassisted. Kopitar has 14 goals in 28 games after scoring only 12 last season in 76 contests.

 

Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in the win. He is 13-8-1 with a 2.21 GAA and a .930 save percentage as he has been one of the best goalies in the NHL this season both on the ice and in fantasy.

 

Anton Forsberg took the loss despite stopping 21-of-22 shots. It was Chicago’s fourth loss in a row (including overtime losses) as he has been 0-2-1 this week with Corey Crawford on the shelf.

 

Jake Muzzin had six blocked shots in the game.

   

VEGAS 3 ARIZONA 2 (Overtime)

 

Reilly Smith’s seventh goal of the season was the overtime winner as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Coyotes 3-2.

 

Vegas outshot the Coyotes 45-33 as Scott Wedgewood was terrific in the Arizona net. It looks like the Coyotes finally have a number one (Antti Raanta when healthy) and a capable backup with Wedgewood.

 

After a scoreless first period, Alex Tuch gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead but Jakob Chychrun, who played in his first game of the season, tied things up at 1 which is how the second period ended. Chychrun is worth picking up as the 19-year-old defenseman had seven goals last season in 68 games with 20 points but underwent off-season surgery on his knee, putting a hold on the start of his sophomore season.

 

Jonathan Marchessault continued his hot ways with his 10th goal of the season to give the Knights the lead once again, just 18 seconds into the third stanza but Derek Stepan tied it up at the 8:50 mark of the third on the power play to send the game into overtime.

 

Malcolm Subban upped his record to 5-2 with the win as he stopped 31 shots.

 

Max Domi had a pair of assists in the game while William Karlsson had one. Karlsson has 25 points this season to lead the Golden Knights and that ties his career high in points for one season set last season in Columbus. It took him 81 games last season but only 25 thus far this year.   

 

DALLAS 7 COLORADO 2

 

Tyler Seguin scored twice in the first period while Brett Ritchie scored a pair in the third to lead the Dallas Stars to a 7-2 win over Colorado.

 

The Stars are red-hot of late as they have won seven-of-eight but this was a rarity as Kari Lehtonen picked up the win, his first during the streak as he evened his record at 3-3-1 with a 2.75 GAA and a .902 save percentage. He made 25 saves in the win.

 

It was a big night for the Stars as Devin Shore had a goal and an assist while Jason Spezza and defenseman Greg Pateryn (with his first) also scored for Dallas.

 

Mikko Rantanen with his eighth and Blake Comeau replied for Dallas.

 

Jonathan Bernier started for the Avalanche but it was not exactly his best performance of the season as he made only five saves while giving up four goals before he was pulled after Pateryn’s goal, 7:52 into the second period. Semyon Varlamov finished up giving up two goals on 18 shots.

 

John Klingberg and Alexander Radulov each had a pair of assists in the winning effort.

 

Nathan MacKinnon had an assist and has 29 points in 25 games. 



Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
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