The San Jose Sharks thumped the St. Louis Blues 6-2 to post an easy win in a battle of unbeaten teams. Joe Thornton led the way with a goal and three assists for the Sharks while Patrick Marleau (G,2A) and Logan Couture (G,A) also registered multi-point nights. The Sharks finished 3-of-7 on the power play. Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the fourth straight game for the Blues in the loss.
Antti Niemi is still coming up big with 25 saves on 27 shots for the win. Jaroslav Halak was pulled before the start of the third period after allowing four goals on 26 shots. Brian Elliott came of the bench for some rare action and allowed two tallies on 13 shots.
The Sharks also lost Dan Boyle after he took a check from behind from Maxim Lapierre. Boyle was hospitalized overnight in St. Louis for further examination. On the ice, the fracas led to a first period with 79 minutes of penalties. That could be construed as good from a fantasy standpoint but we prefer to have our PIMs come in smaller numbers. Halak is the clear cut #1 goalie in St. Louis so Elliott can be cut loose from your roster until Halak gets hurt.
Around the rest of the league on a 12-game night we go…
Toronto took down Minnesota 4-1 to improve to 6-1. The Leafs were outshot 37-14 in this game and still won by three. Take a moment and digest that. Mason Raymond had a pair of goals and Tyler Bozak lit the lamp for the Leafs. Jason Pominville scored for the second time in as many games for the Wild. James Reimer kept Minnesota at bay with a 36-save effort.
Josh Harding was supposed to get the night off between the pipes and Darcy Kuemper got the nod in goal. After a performance like this, he’s not even worth the time of day from a fantasy perspective. Harding had to come on in the third period in relief and stopped all six shots he saw. Niklas Backstrom participated in a full skate Monday so he should be close to returning to action for the Wild.
James van Riemsdyk was scratched from the game for Toronto. The reason is undisclosed so I would put him as day-to-day for now.
Buffalo won a game! They knocked off the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout. Thomas Vanek scored his third goal of the season in the Sabres’ first win of the season (1-6-1). Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno also scored for Buffalo. Christian Ehrhoff had a pair of assists in the win. Frans Nielsen, Matt Moulson and Matt Martin each scored for the Isles.
Ryan Miller got a season-high three goals of offensive support and turned aside 41-of-44 shots through overtime. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 31-of-34 shots in the loss. When Miller gets a little bit of support, he can be a good goaltender. Whether Buffalo gives him that support consistently remains to be seen. Nabokov is looking good in the early going with a 2-1-2 mark 2.29 GAA and .924 save percentage. It’s solid but not spectacular for Nabby.
Vancouver slid past the Flyers 3-2. Ryan Kessler scored twice including the game winner for the Canucks and Henrik Sedin assisted on both third-period goals that the Canucks used to win. Tye McGinn had both goals for the Flyers (1-6-0) in the loss and Claude Giroux picked up an assist on the night as did Jakub Voracek for the Flyers.
Giroux now has points in consecutive games but has failed to find the back of the net in the first seven games of the season. The Flyers, without Scott Hartnell for a month and Vincent Lecavalier for a few days, are off to a pitifully slow start on offense. Voracek (22-24–46 last season) has three assists but he hasn’t lit the lamp either. Wayne Simmonds has just one assist this season. The Flyers big guns aren’t firing. It’s time to let them ride the pine for a while until they can find the back of the net.
Pittsburgh slipped by Edmonton 3-2 behind Sidney Crosby’s three-assist night. Pascal Dupuis, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz all scored for the Penguins while Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle lit the lamp for the Oilers. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20-of-22 in the win while Jason LaBarbera turned away 25-of-28 in the loss. It was the first time all year Edmonton allowed less than four goals.
Chicago needed the shootout to take down pesky Carolina 3-2. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa scored for the Hawks whle Carolina got third-period goals from Alexander Semin and Ron Hainsey to force the overtime. Both goaltenders looked solid in this game. Corey Crawford (32-34) got the better of Cam Ward (34-36).
Tampa Bay thumped Los Angeles 5-1. Martin St. Louis had two goals and an assist to pace Tampa Bay. Steven Stamkos had pair of assists in the win. Ryan Malone, Teddy Purcell and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist in the win. More importantly was that Ben Bishop was the goaltender for the Lightning. He gives Tampa the best chance to win and that came to be true here. Los Angeles started Johnathan Quick but he pulled at 16:22 of the second period after getting down 3-0. Ben Scrivens wasn’t much better allowing two goals on eight shots in the remainder of the game.
Detroit escaped with a 2-1 win over Columbus as Todd Bertuzzi’s power play goal made the difference. Jonas Gustavsson got the call again in goal with Jimmy Howard dealing with a hand injury. He stopped 36-of-37 shots to get his second win in as many days. Sergei Bobrovsky turned away 30-of-32 shots in the loss. Don’t let his 2-3 record get you down; his GAA of 2.18 and save percentage of .927 are pretty solid.
Patric Hornqvist’s power play goal in the third period was the difference maker in Nashville’s 4-3 win over Florida. Johnathan Huberdeau scored for the second straight game for Florida. Pekka Rinne got the win for the Preds but his save percentage has been concerning. He stopped 22-of-25 shots in this game for a percentage of .880. For the season, he’s at .887 which is well below his career average of .919. Be prepared to take that risk if you roll with Rinne in goal.
Carey Price turned aside all 36 shots he saw as the Habs grounded the Jets 3-0. PK Subban and Brandon Prust scored while Daniel Briere added a late power-play goal to close the scoring. The Habs are hot with three straight wins and outscoring opponents 11-2 in that span so it’s time roll with the Habs. They start a five-game homestand on Thursday and could build on this momentum.
Colorado beat Dallas 3-2 to stay undefeated at 6-0-0. Semyon Varlamov has been solid in goal all season and stopped 39-of-41 shots in the win. Matt Duchene scored twice in this game to fuel the Avs and his second-period marker was the game-winner in this one. PA Parenteau had a couple of assists and Nathan MacKinnon had one himself as the rookie keeps picking up points. Gabriel Landeskog is still looking for the back of the net as he has two assists in five games so far. Journeyman Dan Ellis stopped 23-of-26 in the loss. Despite Kari Lehtonen being placed on injured reserve, Ellis hasn’t played well enough to merit anything more than a spot start. Lehtonen is week to week with an undisclosed injury.
And finally, if you missed the late game you missed a natural hat trick. Jason Spezza of the Senators scored the first three goals of the night in a 4-3 win over Phoenix. Radim Vrbata lit the lamp for Phoenix and Rob Klinkhammer scored again for his third goal this week. He’s worth a kick of the tires if he can stay hot and keep filling the net. The game went to overtime and Cory Conacher potted the winner halfway in the overtime session. Craig Anderson got the win for Ottawa.
Wednesday’s Games (all times ET)
Rangers at Capitals 8pm; Flames at Ducks 10pm