The NHL held its All-Star festivities over the weekend, and the occasions had been filled with spotlight reel moments. Most notably, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin obtained to play alongside each other on the Skills Competition and the All-Star Game itself.
Let’s have a look again on the greatest storylines and finest highlights from this previous weekend within the NHL.
Goal of the weekend: Sarah Nurse goes Peter Forsberg on Igor Shesterkin
The NHL debuted the Tendy Tandem problem on the Skills Competition this 12 months, and to their credit score, they made it very arduous for many shooters to attain on uncontested odd-man rushes. Having stated that, Canadian hockey legend and Olympic gold medalist Sarah Nurse produced among the finest objectives of the weekend.
Nurse was certainly one of a number of ladies to take part within the NHL Skills Competition, and she or he made an enormous impression. She got here in on a breakaway towards Igor Shesterkin, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, and slipped the puck previous him with a superbly executed Peter Forsberg deke.
After watching so many NHL All-Stars get thwarted by the netminder — or miss the online fully — it was refreshing to see Nurse discover the again of the online with somewhat little bit of razzle dazzle.
Robbery of the weekend: Jacob Markstrom flashes the glove at MSG
Believe it or not, goalies aren’t essentially prepared to threat ripping their groin into ribbons attempting to make an enormous save within the All-Star Game, however Jacob Markstrom got here via for us on Monday evening after the festivities had been over.
The Calgary Flames had been taking part in a pivotal recreation towards the Rangers in Madison Square Garden, and Markstrom was requested to make a number of key saves. One of them got here within the second interval, when the entire Calgary skaters on the ice allowed Jimmy Vesey to cruise down principal avenue.
Vesey executed a fast deke to get to his backhand, however Markstrom tracked it, and he flashed out his glove to maintain the puck from hitting twine.
The Flames are going to wish extra of these saves from Markstrom if they will discover their groove and turn into a reputable risk within the Western Conference.
Crosby, Ovechkin headline All-Star weekend
Back to the All-Star stuff: the NHL is house to some wonderful younger stars, however a few veterans stole the headlines at All-Star weekend. Whenever Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are on the identical aspect, it is must-watch TV.
The two legends offered among the finest moments from the Skills Competition once they teamed up for the Breakaway Challenge. Crosby and Ovechkin met at heart ice, and so they had been accompanied by Ovechkin’s four-year outdated son, Sergei.
As they broke in towards Hall of Fame goaltender Roberto Luongo, Crosby and Ovechkin labored the puck forwards and backwards till they dropped it again to Sergei. Luongo went sprawling, and Sergei Ovechkin slid the puck via his legs to loud cheers from the group.
In the All-Star Game itself, Crosby and Ovechkin performed on the identical line for the Metro Division, and so they created a few memorable moments. In the primary interval, a turnover gave them a 2-on-0 proper in entrance of the online. Crosby was content material to feed Ovechkin within the slot and let him get the glory, however Ovechkin handed it proper again, and Crosby fired a shot previous Linus Ullmark.
In the second interval, Andrei Vasilevskiy handed the puck proper to Crosby. Normally, that might be a good suggestion, however they had been on separate groups. Once once more, Crosby and Ovechkin had a 2-on-0. Once once more, Ovechkin let everybody within the constructing assume he was going to shoot it earlier than sliding a cross throughout the crease to Crosby for a objective.
Crosby and Ovechkin have been on reverse sides of a heated rivalry matchup all through their careers, so it is at all times enjoyable to see them pulling in the identical path on All-Star weekend.
Matthew Tkachuk provides Panthers followers one thing to cheer about
For a lot of the 2022-23 season, followers of the Florida Panthers have been doing rather more groaning than cheering. For a minimum of one weekend, Matthew Tkachuk gave the fan base one thing to be enthusiastic about.
With the All-Star Game in Sunrise, Tkachuk introduced his A-game for the hometown followers. In the Atlantic Division’s win over the Metro Division, Tkachuk obtained his staff on the board lower than a minute into the sport.
Tkachuk would get a second objective somewhat later, and when he had the prospect to cap off the hat trick late within the recreation, he did not miss.
In the championship recreation towards the Central Division, Tkachuk obtained his staff off to a different quick begin. Just 37 seconds after the opening puck drop, Tkachuk beat Juuse Saros on a wraparound to offer the Atlantic Division a 1-0 lead.
Tkachuk would additionally add an help within the ultimate, and he gained the All-Star MVP award, in addition to a brand new automobile. Weekends do not get a lot better than that.
Jack Hughes continues sensational season
Heading into the All-Star break, Jack Hughes was having one of many extra spectacular seasons throughout the NHL. In his first recreation again on Monday, the New Jersey Devils star picked up proper the place he left off.
In a 5-4 time beyond regulation win over the Vancouver Canucks, Hughes scored two objectives and recorded an help. It marked the fifth consecutive recreation during which Hughes has recorded a number of factors, matching a Devils franchise document. Only Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews (seven consecutive video games in 2018-19) and Edmonton Oilers ahead Leon Draisaitl (six consecutive video games in 2016-17) have had longer streaks of tallying a number of factors in consecutive video games.
The Devils jumped out to a 4-1 lead due to Hughes’ thirty fifth objective of the season on the 10:17 mark of the second interval.
The contest ended up heading to time beyond regulation, the place Hughes took benefit of the additional area on the ice within the three-on-three setting:
Now Hughes has 35 objectives on the season and strikes inside hanging distance of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race. Hughes simply sits six objectives from the highest spot, as he trails solely Oilers star Connor McDavid (41) and Boston Bruins standout David Pastrnak (38).
Appointment viewing this week
Wild at Stars | Wednesday, Feb. 8: This recreation can have some huge implications for these two Central Division foes. The Wild are attempting to hold on to 3rd place within the division, and the Stars are attempting to carry off the Jets in first place.
Avalanche at Lightning | Thursday, Feb. 9: These groups have been rolling just lately, and they’ll each be anticipated to make deep playoff runs later this 12 months. This can be a conflict of NHL titans in Tampa.
Coyotes at Blackhawks | Friday, Feb. 10: Is this somewhat masochistic? Sure, however these two groups can be within the thick of the Battle for Bedard as we method the top of the common season. I do not assume both entrance workplace can be devastated with a loss on this recreation.
Flames at Sabres, Saturday, Feb. 11: Both of those groups are on the playoff bubble. One staff, the Sabres, is thrilled to be in that state of affairs. The different, the Flames, is feeling the strain after getting into the season with loft expectations.
Rangers at Hurricanes | Saturday, Feb. 11: There is a really distinct risk that we might see a rematch of those two groups within the second spherical of the playoffs. The Rangers and Hurricanes are two of one of the best groups within the Metro Division, and this needs to be a heated battle.
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