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Hockey Daily Dose

Avs move closer to playoffs

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Two days after the trade deadline and everyone has reported to their respective teams with a bunch making their debuts on Wednesday including J.T. Miller for the Lightning and Vladislav Namestnikov for the Rangers.

 

There were five games in the NHL so let’s get to it.

 

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MONTREAL 3 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 1

 

Jonathan Drouin scored the winner on the power play and added an assist to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders.

 

Antti Niemi stopped 27-of-28 shots for the win as he improved his record to 4-6-2. He was absolutely horrid with Pittsburgh to start the season and wasn’t a lot better for the Panthers but he has actually played quite well for lowly Montreal and has allowed five goals in 99 shots over the last three games, going 2-0-1.

 

The Islanders actually got off to an early 1-0 lead as Mathew Barzal scored his 18th of the season. It was also his 67th point this year as he is 13 points up on Brock Boeser of the Canucks. Last season’s rookie of the year Auston Matthews, considered a generational player, had 69 points in a full season. Barzal still has 18 games to go so it looks like he is going to smash Matthews mark.

 

Paul Byron with his 15th and Nikita Scherbak with his second of the season, also scored for Montreal.

 

The Islanders are 4-8-2 in their last 14 games and have fallen four points out of the wild card. They are in trouble as they are 10th overall with the Hurricanes only one point behind them and with four games in hand.

 

Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves for New York.

 

Cal Clutterbuck and Ryan Pulock combined for 13 hits with Clutterbuck having seven.

 

BUFFALO 2 TAMPA BAY 1 (Overtime)

 

Jason Pominville scored the overtime winner on the power play and set up Evan Rodrigues for the tying goal as the Sabres knocked off the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1.

 

The surprising Sabres outshot Tampa Bay 34-22 as Chad Johnson stopped 21 shots for the win.

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves but took the overtime loss. He is 37-12-3 this season and is at the top in Vezina consideration.

 

Cory Conacher scored the lone goal for Tampa Bay.

 

J.T. Miller made his Tampa Bay debut and played 17:40 but did not hit the scoresheet.

 

Nikita Kucherov the NHL’s leading scorer, missed the game with an upper body injury suffered on the weekend. He is day-to-day.

 

ST. LOUIS 2 DETROIT 1

 

Carter Hutton turned aside 35 shots to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 win, snapping a seven-game winless streak. He is 16-7-2 and lowered his GAA below two once again as it sits at 1.99.

 

After a scoreless first period, Scottie Upshall got things started in the second with his seventh of the season. Colton Parayko picked up his 25th assist of the season on the goal.

 

The game stayed that way until with 5:23 left in the third when Alex Pietrangelo potted his 11th of the season with Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn drawing the assists.

 

The Red Wings cut the lead to one after pulling Jimmy Howard as Andreas Athanasiou scored at the 18:15 mark of the third but Detroit could get no closer.

 

Howard stopped 23 shots to take the loss.

 

Dylan Larkin had six shots on goal to lead both teams.

 

COLORADO 5 CALGARY 2

 

Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie each scored once and added an assist as the Colorado Avalanche scored four times in the second period to overcome a 2-0 deficit and defeat Calgary 5-2.

 

Semyon Varlamov had his second straight strong game in net as he stopped 30 shots for his 17th win of the season. He has given up three goals on 64 shots in first defeating Vancouver and now Calgary.

 

Matt Nieto and Nikita Zadorov also scored in the second stanza for Colorado while Duncan Siemens scored his first of the season into the empty net. That gave the Avs blueliners three goals on the night. It was a big fantasy game for Siemens who fought Tanner Glass as both picked up seven minutes in the sin bin.

 

Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik gave the Flames a 2-0 lead but they could not hold on. The Flames and Avs are just one point out of the second wild card with Colorado having a couple of games in hand over Calgary.

 

David Rittich gave up four goals on 33 shots. The Flames did not trade for a goalie at the deadline and really need Mike Smith to return from his groin injury or they are toast.

 

Blake Comeau and Carl Soderberg each had a pair of assists.

 

It was a tough night for Johnny Gaudreau who took an embellishment penalty after he was high-sticked by Comeau. He argued a bit too much and as a result picked up an additional 10-minute misconduct. It’s nice if you play the category and own him as he doubled his minutes count to 24.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS 6 VANCOUVER 5 (Overtime)

 

Defenseman John Gilmour’s second of the season 1:22 into the overtime was the winner as the New York Rangers prevailed over the Vancouver Canucks 6-5.

 

Kevin Hayes scored twice for the Rangers with new-acquired Vladislav Namestnikov scoring once and adding an assist. Jimmy Vesey and Mika Zibanejad also scored for New York who blew a 3-0 lead in the first period.

 

Brock Boeser scored twice including the tying goal with 46 seconds to go in the third. The NHL’s leading rookie goal scorer now has 29 goals this season.

 

Bo Horvat had a goal and two assists while Daniel Sedin had one of each. Nikolay Goldobin, who the Canucks picked up last season for Jannik Hansen, scored his fourth of the season and second in seven games since his most recent recall from the minors.

 

Henrik Lundqvist made 50 saves in allowing five goals as the Canucks swarmed the Rangers net.

 

Jacob Markstrom gave up three goals on five shots before he was pulled at the 12:29 mark of the first. Anders Nilsson took the overtime loss as he gave up the other three goals but on 22 shots.

 

Ryan Spooner had three assists to give him five in two games for New York since his trade from Boston in the Rick Nash deal. Neal Pionk had two helpers.

 

Brandon Leipsic had a couple of assists in his first game as a Canuck after Vancouver picked him up from Vegas Monday.  

 

Notes: Aaron Dell re-signed with the San Jose Sharks in what was a bit of a surprise, It was thought that he was heading for free agency but inked a two-year/$3.8 million deal…Bryan Little missed practice because of an illness but the Jets don’t play until Friday so he could still be available…Chris Tanev is expected to be out another two weeks with a leg injury…Fellow Canuck Loui Eriksson is out another seven-10 days with an upper body injury…John Gibson practiced with the Ducks on Wednesday and they hope he will be available Friday…Zach Aston-Reese missed Tuesday’s game with an upper body injury…Ryan McDonagh hopes to make his Tampa Bay debut on March 6. He has been out of action since February 7 with an upper body injury suffered when he was still with the Rangers.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 15th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.