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Hockey Daily Dose

Lightning Load up for Cup Run

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

The trade deadline came and went and there were a couple of big trades, most notably the one that sent Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to Tampa Bay for Vladislav Namestnikov, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, a first round pick in 2018 and a conditional first round pick in 2019.

 

That’s a good trade for both teams as the Lightning are legitimate threats for the Stanley Cup, in fact are the favorites at this time while the Rangers get a solid player in Namestnikov, a couple of good prospects in Howden and Hajek who they apparently love, and a couple of first round picks. The conditional pick is a second that will become a first if the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in either of the next two years.

 

The Jets came out of nowhere to land Paul Stastny from the Blues. Stastny was not even a consideration to be dealt by most but the recent St. Louis slide (0-5-1 in their last six) was the deciding factor as the Blues have been known in the last two seasons to get something for their assets (Kevin Shattenkirk last season) rather than lose the player to free agency. The Blues received a conditional first round pick in 2018, prospect Erik Foley and a conditional fourth in 2020. The Jets did great as they picked up Stastny who will likely center the third line. The one thing the Jets have is a strong farm system and they barely nicked it with the trade.

 

Thomas Vanek was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen. I like what the Blue Jackets did but it could be interesting to see how long it takes John Tortorella to get upset with Vanek. Vanek should help their power play which is pretty bad.

 

Evander Kane went to San Jose with the Sabres receiving a conditional first and fourth round pick in 2019 (the first becomes a second if Kane does not re-sign with San Jose) and Daniel O'Regan. Kane has a lot of talent but his reputation preceded him and the Sabres were unable to cash in like other teams.

 

The Vegas Golden Knights on the other hand paid a big price for Tomas Tatar as the Detroit Red Wings received a 2018 first round pick, a second rounder in 2019 and a third round pick in 2021. Tatar has 16 goals and 28 points this season but is a streaky scorer and has been scoring of late. Tatar should also help out the power play.

 

There were plenty more trades  and you can read them in Ryan Dadoun’s live blog from Monday.

 

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COLUMBUS 5 WASHINGTON 1

 

Cam Atkinson and Seth Jones each had a goal and an assist to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to an easy 5-1 win over Washington.

 

Artemi Panarin, Sonny Milano and the recently acquired Mark Letestu scored for Columbus while Alex Ovechkin’s league-leading 39th of the season was the only shot that got past Sergei Bobrovsky

 

Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots for his 27th win of the season. His GAA of 2.41 and .920 save percentage is much better than average this season.

 

Braden Holtby struggled as he stopped only 12-of-16 shots and was replaced by Philipp Grubauer at the start of the second. Grubauer stopped all 18 shots but the damage had already been done.

 

It has not been a good season for Holtby as he saw his GAA rise over three and settle in at 3.02. His win total of 28 is fantasy-worthy but the rest of his stats are not.

 

Matt Calvert was tossed from the game as he received a match penalty at the end of the first for a hit on Ovechkin. Ovechkin set a Washington record by playing in his 984th game, one better than Calle Johansson.

 

PHILADELPHIA 1 MONTREAL 0 (Shootout)

 

Sean Couturier scored in the sixth round of the shootout and Petr Mrazek stopped all 28 shots in regulation and the overtime to lead the Flyers to a 1-0 win over Montreal in a shootout Monday.

 

Mrazek has been perfect in the Flyers cage as he won his third straight in a Philadelphia uniform. He is 21-11-3 this season and has given up four goals in three games thus far for the Flyers.

 

Charlie Lindgren started and stopped all 33 shots but could not hold off the Flyers in the shootout.

 

Sean Couturier had six shots on goal while Jacob De La Rose had seven hits.

 

TAMPA BAY 4 TORONTO 3 (Shootout)

 

Brayden Point scored the only goal of the shootout as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. It was a bittersweet win for the Lightning as Nikita Kucherov, the NHL’s leading scorer, suffered an upper body injury in the first period and was unable to return. Consider him day-to-day for now.

 

Frederik Andersen was strong in the Toronto net as he stopped 39 shots in regulation and the overtime but it was not enough for the win. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves for the Lightning and was perfect in the overtime to win his 37th game of the season, the best in the NHL.

 

Tyler Johnson, Adam Erne and Chris Kunitz scored for the Lightning while James van Riemsdyk, Mitch Marner and Tyler Bozak replied for Toronto.

 

Morgan Rielly had a pair of assists for the Maple Leafs.

 

Tomas Plekanec was a minus-one in 11:38 of action in his Toronto debut. He won five-of-nine draws in the faceoff circle.

 

Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller were not in the Lightning lineup after the duo were traded from the Rangers earlier in the day.                    

           

COLORADO 3 VANCOUVER 1

 

Nathan MacKinnon scored twice and added an assist to lead the Avs to a 3-1 win Monday. MacKinnon, who missed eight games earlier in the month with a shoulder injury has 28 goals and 69 points in 54 games as he has taken his game to a new level this season, becoming the leading point getter this season from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

 

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist in the win as he hit the 20 goal mark. Rantanen has 58 points this season, tops among sophomores.

Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves in the Colorado net for his 16th win this season.

 

Daniel Sedin scored his 19th of the season and third in the last two games as he had a pair of goals Sunday.

 

Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves, as MacKinnon’s second of the season was into the empty net. MacKinnon led both sides with nine shots on goal.

 

 

LOS ANGELES 3 VEGAS 2 (Overtime)


Dustin Brown scored the overtime winner to give the Kings a 3-2 win over Vegas. It was a power play goal and his second point of the night.

 

Anze Kopitar scored once and added a pair of assists as he scored with only 11 seconds left in the third to send the game into overtime. He has 26 goals and 68 points this season after scoring only 12 with 52 points last year.

 

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 41 shots but tool the overtime loss.

 

Erik Haula with his 23rd and Reilly Smith with his 21st gave the Golden Knights a 2-0 lead before Jeff Carter's first of the season cut the lead in half at the 12:28 mark of the third. It was a power play effort with Ryan Reaves in the sin bin.

 

Jonathan Quick made 37 saves for the overtime win.

 

Tomas Tatar who came from the Red Wings for three draft picks, is expected to join the Golden Knights in Vegas Tuesday.

 

James Neal had an assist in his return but played only 8:28 before getting hurt again in the second period. He did not return. 

 

Oscar Lindberg suffered an injury in the first period and did not return.

 

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.