We had eight games in the National Hockey League on Tuesday night, and while we didn't have any shutouts for fantasy owners, we had plenty of goals, including one guy who decided that a natural hat trick just wasn't enough. A few others who started out slowly quickly snapped themselves right on track. Four of the eight games had exactly seven total goals, or plenty of fantasy production, and road teams were an impressive 7-1. It was an entertaining eight-game slate. Let's get started!
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Carolina Hurricanes 6, Florida Panthers 3
The Bunch of Jerks continue to prove that their run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season was no fluke. They have fired out to a 4-0-0 start, including doubling up prized offseason free-agent acquisition Sergei Bobrovsky and the Panthers in Sunrise.The Hurricanes chased Bobrovsky after one period, as he allowed four goals on 14 shots before being replaced by Samuel Montembeault. Captain Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen, Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Dzingel each fired one past the Panthers netminder to build a 4-0 lead. Dzingel's first was on the power play, and his second goal of the game early in the first period made it 5-0. It was his first multi-goal game since joining the team as a free agent, and he now has four points through four games.
James Reimer, who tended net last season with the Panthers, made 47 saves on 50 shots in a return to his old stomping grounds. He is now serving as the backup backstop to Petr Mrazek in Raleigh. His fantasy value is limited to the very deepest of pools unless something happens to the Carolina starter.
As far as Staal is concerned, he ended up with a nice plus-4 rating while also chipping in with an assist. Andrei Svechnikov also lent a helping hand, posting two assists for the third consecutive game, giving him six helpers in four outings. He managed 20 goals and just 17 assists across 82 games last season, so he is on pace to smash those totals.
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Edmonton Oilers 5, New York Islanders 2
James Neal registered just four goals with a plus-1 rating and eight shots on net, including a natural hat trick at one point. He posted just seven markers across 63 games last season, but he now has a franchise-record six goals through the first three games. Let that sink in. This is the same franchise who has Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and the same one which once had the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, etc.
Speaking of McDavid, he had three helpers, while Draisaitl chipped in with two assists while managing a goal and seven points with three multi-point showings to open the season. Darnell Nurse had an assist, too, and he is working on a three-game point streak to start.
Anthony Beauvillier gave the home side a short-lived lead, scoring a shorthanded goal to give him two goals and four points through three games. That was the good fantasy performance for the Isles. On the flip side, Semyon Varlamov coughed up four goals on 19 shots before being pulled midway through the second.
Winnipeg Jets 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 1
Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele each picked up three assists on the road as the Jets surprised the Penguins in the Steel City. Laine has been particularly hot, going for a goal and five points with a plus-2 rating in a four-game point streak to kick off the 2019-20 campaign. Scheifele managed a goal and six points in the four-game road trip.
Connor Hellebuyck allowed just one goal on 38 shots, picking up the victory. It's been a tough go for the Winnipeg netminders, so perhaps this will give him a leg up on Laurent Brossoit, who was entrusted for two starts in a row previous to this strong showing by Hellebuyck.
For the Pens, Matt Murray allowed four goals on 22 shots in a loss, losing two of his first three starts, all at home, while posting a .903 save percentage. If that wasn't bad enough, Patric Hornqvist was forced out early due to an undisclosed injury.
Dallas Stars 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)
Roope Hintz has managed four goals through the first three outings, with at least one marker in each of the games. He has emerged as a must-start fantasy option. Tyler Seguin has held that distinction for a long time, and he was good for the game-winning tally in overtime, while adding an assist with three hits.
Alexander Radulov found his way onto the scoresheet for the first time this season after being blanked in the first two. Ben Bishop stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced in the overtime victory, besting Braden Holtby, who allowed four goals on 26 shots. All three of his starts have seen the Caps go to overtime, with Holtby losing two of those games.
John Carlson had a goal and assist for the home side, giving him five points through the first four games. Evgeny Kuznetsov also made his season debut after his three-game suspension, and he scored a goal with a plus-1 rating on three shots across 18:44 of ice time over 20 shifts.
Anaheim Ducks 3, Detroit Red Wings 1
John Gibson continues his strong start, allowing one goal on 32 shots in another road win. The American-born netminder is now 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .970 save percentage. He looks 100 percent healthy again, and he will look to put on a show in his native Pittsburgh next time out on Thursday as the road trip continues.
Jakob Silfverberg posted a goal and assist with a plus-2 rating, while Rickard Rakell also lit the lamp while blocking a team-high five shots. Nick Ritchie also joined the scoring parade, while Silfverberg was the only player in the game to record a multi-point game.
Anton Athanasiou made his season debut after missing time due to an undisclosed injury. He picked up an assist and minus-1 rating, but he made it through the entire game without any setbacks and appears good to go.
Nashville Predators 5, San Jose Sharks 2
Evander Kane returned from his three-game suspension for making contact with an official in the final preseason game. He scored a goal, as did Brent Burns, but the Sharks remain in the cellar after yet another setback.
Martin Jones allowed exactly four goals for the third straight outing to start the season, and he slipped to 0-3-0 with a 4.55 GAA and lowly .854 save percentage. The Sharks are a rudderless ship, prompting them to bring back veteran Patrick Marleau for a little guidance.
Pekka Rinne coughed up two goals on 35 shots in a win to move to 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .932 save percentage, proving that even at 36 years old he remains a must-start fantasy option.
Los Angeles Kings 4, Calgary Flames 3 (OT)
Ilya Kovalchuk was sharp in the OT win, picking up a goal with three points. He was a dismal minus-26 last season while posting 16 goals and 34 points in his return to the NHL after a five-year stint overseas. It was disappointing, but he looks a lot more comfortable, at least early on, this season.
Drew Doughty was the big hero, though, as he lit the lamp in the extra session, while finish with three points, a blocked shot and four hits. He has scored on the man advantage in each of his two games so far.
For the Flames, Matthew Tkachuk was the fantasy star, posting two goals with three points, a plus-3 rating and a team-high seven hits. David Rittich allowed four goals on 40 shots, victimized by Doughty in the extra session.
Boston Bruins 4, Vegas Golden Knights 3
After getting blanked in the first two games of the season, David Pastrnak made up for lost time with a goal and two assists, including one on the power play. His partner in crime, Brad Marchand, delivered two goals and a helper, giving him three markers over the past two outings.
Tuukka Rask allowed three goals on 34 shots to pick up his second win, and the Bruins are now 3-0-0 for their best start in 18 seasons.
Max Pacioretty posted a goal on the power play while adding an assist, following up a strong preseason. It wasn't enough for Marc-Andre Fleury, who allowed four goals on 35 shots to take his first loss, although he still possesses a strong 2.02 GAA and .935 save percentage through three outings.