Evander Kane played a matter of hours after responding to sex offense allegations. It’s a grim way of ending a 2015 that’s been very dark for hockey. What else can we even really say?
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CAPITALS 2, SABRES 0
-- Braden Holtby made 31 saves to extend Washington's winning streak to eight games, notching his second shutout of the 2015-16 season. He’s now on a remarkable 15-0-1 run and leads the NHL with 23 wins.
-- Buffalo did not get on the scoresheet for the third time in five games. Holtby robbed Kane for one of the best saves of the season to preserve that shutout.
-- John Carlson was a game-time decision and did not play for the Capitals. That ended a consecutive games played streak of 412 contests.
-- Alex Ovechkin and Jay Beagle scored for Washington. Ovechkin’s 18th goal of the season represents his 83rd game-winning goal and the 493rd tally of his already-impressive career. Ovechkin leads the league in just about every meaningful goal category since he joined the NHL.
Beagle, meanwhile, has a two-game goal streak and three-game point streak going.
CANADIENS 4, LIGHTNING 3 (SO)
-- Montreal snapped a six-game losing skid with the win on Monday night, even if things got awfully dicey. They saw a 2-1 lead transform into a 3-2 deficit in the span of 21 seconds, yet they dug deep enough to win.
-- Valtteri Filppula picked up two assists. Filppula ended a seven-game pointless streak and a span in which he previously only generated a single goal in 10 games.
-- Mike Condon got the win in goal with 36 saves. This is the 25-year-old's first victory since Dec. 1.
-- Max Pacioretty has struggled during the six-game losing streak. He had an assist and scored the go-ahead shootout goal to win the game for the Habs.
WILD 3, RED WINGS 1
-- Devan Dubnyk was not supposed to be in goal for this one, but ended up with the start when Darcy Kuemper became a late scratch with an upper-body injury. He did quite well, especially based on the fact that he was struggling even to hold his blocker during practice.
-- Pavel Datsyuk scored the lone goal for the Red Wings. After managing just three points in his first nine games since coming back from his injury, Datsyuk has been hot in December, producing 10 points and a +7 rating in 12 contests.
- Charlie Coyle also scored for the Wild, a real beauty-power combo. It was his third goal in the last four games for Minnesota.
PREDATORS 5, RANGERS 3
-- Nashville plays 11 of their next 14 games on the road, so winning at Bridgestone Arena on Monday night became even more important than usual. They generally put on a strong showing, so that’s a solid sign.
-- The loss for Henrik Lundqvist marks the first time the King has lost in Nashville, winning his previous three appearances. This lull is a bit troubling considering the fact that he’s been pulled in three of his last six starts.
KINGS 5, CANUCKS 0
-- Tyler Toffoli managed the second hat trick of his young career, which included the game-winner. He already has 17 goals this season.
-- Anze Kopitar may have enjoyed an even more impressive night than Toffoli, collecting four assists and absolutely killing it in the faceoff circle (winning 23 out of 28). Kopitar has six points in his past two games. He's not that far removed from a red-hot run, although his previous two contests were rough (zero points, -6 rating).
-- Jonathan Quick already has 40 shutouts in his career, which puts him in a three-way tie for the record among American-born goalies. Quick is now 19-9-1 on the season with three shutouts.
-- Looks like Sven Baertschi suffered an upper-body injury, making life just a little tougher for a Canucks team that really got kicked around on Monday.
AVALANCHE 6, SHARKS 3
-- It was a night of second-career hat tricks, apparently, as Nathan MacKinnon generated a trio himself. Granted, he gets slightly fewer points for finishing it with an empty-netter (by points I mean "cool points," of course).
MacKinnon had been collecting plenty of assists lately, yet this represents his first goal(s) since Nov. 25.
Tough to believe he's just 20 right now.
-- Matt Duchene's 17th goal of the season was a nifty bit of business, and I wonder if it may begin another hot streak for the up-and-down forward.
-- Special teams really burned the Sharks on Monday. The Avalanche went 4-for-6 on the power play while San Jose failed to generate any PPG (0-for-3).
-- After two other appearances this season, Calvin Pickard grabbed his first win of 2015-16. He stopped 35 out of 38 shots in this one.
-- Carl Soderberg generated a goal and two assists, pushing him to 25 points in 37 games.