Sidney Crosby dished out five assists to help Chris Kunitz net a hat trick and Pascal Dupuis score twice as the Penguins thumped the Islanders 6-1.
SPIN: Kunitz has goals in seven of his last nine games and is an absolute dynamo for Pittsburgh this season. James Neal had the other goal for Pittsburgh and both of those players each have 17 goals this season. The Penguins have won five in a row and scored a total of 27 goals in that streak. Yeah, ride those Penguins! And if you can find any on the waiver wire, they should be getting snapped up. ¬†The Isles continue to muddle along at 11-12-3 and are rather unpredictable. One game they score five goals and the next game they score one.
The Rangers dumped the Capitals 4-1 behind a 28-save effort from Martin Biron. Carl Hagelin, Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh each had two assists in the win.
SPIN: ¬†The Rangers have won 5 of their last 6 and Nash has points in all six of those games. McDonagh continues to be a gritty yet productive player and is making a good case for an everyday starting job on your fantasy team. Washington yanked goaltender Braden Holtby after he allowed two goals in a 41-second span in the middle of the second period. Michael Neuvirth filled in the rest of the way and it shows how unpredictably inconsistent Holtby can be.
Columbus beat Detroit 3-2 in a shootout to pick up their fifth straight win. Johan Franzen and Jakub Kindl scored for Detroit while RJ Umberger and Derek Brassard lit the lamp for Columbus.
SPIN: The Blue Jackets had 10 of their last 11 games be one-goal games. With the win streak, they’ve moved to 10-12-4 and might be able to build more momentum. They have their next five games at home (VAN, CHI, PHX, NSH, CGY) and have some very winnable games. This might be the lone time to pick up goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and take him for a test drive if you need depth between the pipes. The Columbus offense still doesn’t have much to offer, however.
If you’re a Detroit fan you’re scratching your head trying to figure out how your team went 0-3-2 against Columbus this season. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk each picked up assists in this game. Zetterberg has one goal in his last 19 games and would be borderline waiver material if not for his 21 assists this season. Datsyuk ¬†has gone 10 games without a goal and that comes on the heels of a five-game goal-scoring streak.
Montreal thumped Florida 5-2. Michael Ryder had two goals and an assist while PK Subban had three assists in the win.
SPIN: Montreal built a 4-0 lead and was in control in this one. Ryder has nine points in seven games since coming over from Dallas in a trade. Ryder looks like a solid fit in the Montreal lineup and should be played most days. Montreal scored twice on the power play to make the day very long for Jacob Markstrom in goal for Florida. Markstrom continues to get starts…and losses so ¬†it’s puzzling why Scott Clemmensen isn’t getting starts to try and spark the Panthers. Even though they are a lowly 7-13-6 on the season, the Panthers are only eight points out of the eighth spot with 22 to play. Finding the right goaltender could get them going up the standings. They certainly can’t go any farther down.
Patrick Elias scored the lone goal in the shootout as New Jersey slipped past Winnipeg 3-2. Evander Kane picked up his 10th goal of the season for the Jets.
SPIN: Mark Stuart had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg while Ryan Carter and Steven Gionta scored for the Devils. None of those players are fantasy-worthy right now. The Jets kept the Devils off the board on the power play in this one and have now killed off 22 in a row over their last eight games. That clamping down on special teams has led to a rise in the value of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec would get victimized often by the parade to the penalty box. The downside is that Winnipeg has gone seven games without a power play goal and has just one goal in its last 16 games.
Philadelphia slipped past Buffalo 3-2 with Kimmo Timonen picking up a pair of assist for in the Flyers’ win.
SPIN: The Philly power play is perking up with two goals in this one from Simon Gagne and Claude Giroux. Max Talbot had a shorthanded goal for the Flyers. Brian Flynn and Joechen Hecht scored in the loss for Buffalo and neither of them is producing enough to be relevant in fantasy.
The Flyers have just three games in the next 13 days so it bears watching to see how they come out after a big hole in their schedule. Buffalo has lost four in a row and eight of their last 11. They continue to be packed in the basement of the Northeast Division and have the league’s worst power play. That makes Thomas Vanek’s success all that much more amazing.
Minnesota doubled up Vancouver 4-2 thanks to a three-point night for Zach Parise (two goals and an assist). Ryan Suter picked up a pair of assists for the victorious Wild.
SPIN: Here comes the Wild! They have power play goals in six of their last seven games and are a strong 9-2-1 at home this season. The Wild had 39 goals in its first 18 games of the season but have 19 goals in their last six games.
Edmonton dealt Chicago its second regulation loss of the season with a wild 6-5 win. Sam Gagner scored twice in the first period for the Oilers. Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist in the losing effort.
SPIN: Edmonton had a four-goal first period but the Hawks had a four-goal second period to make sure this wasn’t a total blowout. The big takeaway on this game is that even though Chicago allowed four goals in the opening 20 minutes, they still kept playing and were able to get back into the game. Kane looks fantastic and Marian Hossa lit the lamp too for the Hawks. Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk got involved in a second-period collision and didn’t return. If he’s out for any extended period of time Yann Denis will be the go-to guy in Edmonton. Denis is a lower-end desperation play unless you’re in a deeper league.
Colorado bumped off San Jose 3-2 in overtime. Matt Duchene had a pair of goals for Colorado and Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves in the win. Antti Niemi turned away 39 shots in the loss.
SPIN: Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture got the goals for the Sharks and Couture has goals in consecutive games so this could be the start of ¬†a small hot streak. PA Parentau had a pair of assists and is on a six-game point streak. Duchene’s second goal of the night was the overtime winner that came in the final second of the extra session.
Anaheim doubled up St. Louis 4-2 thanks to a pair of third-period goals from Corey Perry. Ryan Getzlaf had a pair of assists and defenseman Francois Beauchemin had three assists in the win.
SPIN: Anaheim has won 11 straight at home and is 8-0 against the Central Division this season. The Ducks continue to light it up and Perry and Getlzaf are both sell-high targets if you’re trying to find a last piece of the puzzle near your trade deadline.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Kunitz-PIT ¬† ¬† ¬†HAT TRICK
Parise-MIN, Ryder-MTL, Dupuis-PIT, Gagner-EDM, Kane-CHI, Perry-ANA; Duchene-COL
Stat of the Night-The Guy With Five
Crosby’s other five-assist game was against Philadelphia on December 13, 2006.
Stat of the Night II-Power Outages
The Jets are 1-for-36 on the power play in their last 16 games. Their penalty kill has stopped 22 straight chances over the last eight games.
Three Stars of the Night
Monday’s Games (all times ET)-Just Two on the Docket
Boston at Ottawa 730pm
Calgary at Los Angeles 10pm