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Jordan Binnington
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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: Blues have their Goalie

by Michael Finewax

Well it looks like the Blues finally got themselves a goaltender as Jordan Binnington was named the first star of the week for his perfect 3-0-0 record to go with a 1.31 GAA and a .954 save percentage. The 25-year-old is 9-1-1 this season and has brought the Blues back into the playoff race

 

Of course, the same was said about St. Louis goaltending over the past few seasons as last season it was Carter Hutton who went from backup to the starter and gave the Blues the goaltending that was lacking with Jake Allen was between the pipes. Allen was good in 2016-17 as he took over the reins from Brian Elliott on a full-time basis as Elliott was dealt to Calgary. It was Elliott who starred in 2014-15 although Allen was coming on. Before that it was Jaroslav Halak who was the starter with Elliott providing excellent work as the backup.

 

The point is that there has not been an extensive number one goalie and Binnington is the latest in a line of possible saviors. Allen had every opportunity in taking the job but he was been mediocre for the most part over the last couple of seasons.

Here’s hoping the Blues have found their man in net.

 

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WASHINGTON 6 LOS ANGELES 4

 

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice and added a pair of assists to lead the Washington Capitals to a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings.  Kuznetsov is riding a four-game points streak in which he has five goals and 10 points.

 

Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 38th goal of the season and also had a pair of assists to give him 64 points this season.

Brett Connolly, Jakub Vrana and Christian Djoos with his first of the season, also scored for Washington.

 

Austin Wagner scored twice for the Kings as he took full advantage of being put back in the lineup after Los Angeles dealt Nate Thompson earlier in the day to Montreal. Wagner has seven goals this season.

 

Defenseman Oscar Fantenberg with his second and Tyler Toffoli with a power play goal, scored for Los Angeles.

 

Pheonix Copley picked up a rare start for Washington and turned aside 29 shots to improve his record to 12-5-3. His peripherals are not great as he has a 3.02 GAA and a .903 save percentage.

 

Jonathan Quick gave up six goals on 31 shots in taking the loss.

 

Ovechkin had eight shots on goal.

 

Brooks Orpik had five blocked shots.

 

Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar were each a minus-three.

 

Kyle Clifford and T.J. Oshie each had a pair of assists.

 

Trevor Lewis returned to action after he was out for 38 games with a fractured foot.

 

PITTSBURGH 4 PHILADELPHIA 1

 

Sidney Crosby scored once and added a pair of assists to lead the Penguins to a 4-1 win over the Flyers. It was the first time in 11 games that Philadelphia lost in regulation time as they were 9-0-1 in their last 10 games.

 

But the night belonged to goaltender Matt Murray who made 50 saves in the Penguins net. Murray was sensational as won for the first time in three starts. He is 16-9-1 with a 2.89 GAA and a .914 save percentage as he has regained the net after a sloppy year-plus in Pittsburgh.

 

Carter Hart stopped 24 shots but took his first loss in nine games. His eight-game winning streak tied Jocelyn Thibault for the most wins in a row by a goaltender before their 21st birthday, but hae was unable to make it nine in a row.

 

Evgeni Malkin played in his first game in six contests as he has out of action with an upper-body injury. While Malkin picked up an assist, it was not the greatest of nights for the Russian center as he picked up a match-penalty for swinging his stick at the Flyers Michael Raffl.

 

Nick Bjugstad scored his first goal as a Pittsburgh Penguin, seeing time on the wing with Malkin as his center.

 

Jake Guentzel and Kris Letang (into the empty net) also scored for Pittsburgh.

 

Jakub Voracek scored the lone goal for Philadelphia.

 

Radko Gudas and Robert Hagg each had seven hits.

 

Ivan Provorov had eight shots on goal while Voracek had seven.

 

Voracek was a minus-four as well Sean Couturier. Crosby was a plus-three.

 

Olli Maatta suffered an upper-body injury and did not play in the final 40 minutes.

 

SAN JOSE 7 VANCOUVER 2

 

It was not the greatest of NHL debuts as Michael DiPietro made his first-ever NHL start and he gave up seven goals on only 24 shots in a 7-2 loss to the Canucks. It was not something to write home about but at least he got his feet wet after getting to see some of the best NHL scorers up close.

 

Evander Kane led the charge for the Sharks as he potted a pair of goals. Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson each had a goal and an assist with Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc also scoring. It was Meier’s 20th of the season.

 

Logan Couture had a pair of first period assists for San Jose.

 

 

Bo Horvat and Derrick Pouliot replied for Vancouver.

 

Martin Jones picked up his 27th win of the season as he has been strong as far as wins are concerned but his peripherals are mediocre.

 

Ben Hutton and Antoine Roussel were each a minus-three.

 

Joe Pavelski, Kane, Brenden Dillon, Burns and Radim Simek were all plus-three.

 

Nightly Leaders

 

GOALS

 

Evander Kane – 2

Austin Wagner – 2

Evgeny Kuznetsov -2

 

Assists

 

Logan Couture - 2

Kyle Clifford - 2

Kuznetsov - 2

Alex Ovechkin – 2

T.J. Oshie – 2

Sidney Crosby – 2

Brent Burns - 2

 

Shots on Goal

 

Alex Ovechkin - 8

Ivan Provorov - 8

Jakub Voracek - 7

           

Hits

 

Radko Gudas – 7

Robert Hagg - 7

Michal Kempny - 4

Brian Dumoulin – 4

 

Penalty Minutes

 

Evgeni Malkin – 10

Jake Guentzel – 4

Claude Giroux - 4

Anze Kopitar - 4

Kane - 4

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 14th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.