There was a packed slate of NHL motion over the weekend, and meaning there’s a lot to debate in the present day.
One of the most important trades of the season is already understanding for the New York Rangers, as Vladimir Tarasenko scored in his first recreation with the blue shirts. Two completely different gamers had four-goal video games on Saturday and Sidney Crosby managed to do one thing he had by no means completed in his prolific NHL profession.
Let’s check out the most important storylines and finest highlights from the weekend that was within the NHL.
Goal of the weekend: Garnet Hathaway pays the value for glory
Not each objective might be Connor McDavid breezing previous a defender and deking a goaltender out of his jockstrap. Some of them need to be greasy. Garnet Hathaway’s tally in opposition to the Boston Bruins is the perfect of each worlds.
After a Bruins turnover, Hathaway had a free lane to the excessive slot, and he fired a bullet over the shoulder of Jeremy Swayman. However, that objective did not come and not using a little ache. Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton got here in with a slightly-more-than-late hit on Hathaway that knocked him to the ice.
Completely undeterred by getting dropped like a sack of potatoes, Hathaway merely selected to rejoice on his again. That is objective of the weekend materials proper there.
Robbery of the weekend: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen shuts down a 2-on-0
Luukonen had a tricky recreation in opposition to the Flames, however this was nonetheless the most effective saves of the season. On a Sabres energy play, Jack Quinn misplaced his footing, leading to a shorthanded 2-on-0 for the Flames, which is not one thing you see daily.
Andrew Mangiapane dished a go over to Dillon Dube, however Luukonen was anticipating that. He slid from submit to submit, and Dube’s shot hit proper within the webbing of Luukkonen’s glove.
The shot was so exhausting that the puck popped out of Luukonen’s glove, however he had the presence of thoughts to pounce on the rebound earlier than any Flame might get close to it. Luukkonen did permit seven targets on this recreation, however this save was on spotlight reels all weekend.
Tarasenko makes nice first impression with Rangers
On Friday night time, Tarasenko made his debut in opposition to the Seattle Kraken at Madison Square Garden, and he placed on a present. Before the puck even dropped, followers in New York had been fired as much as see Tarasenko in blue and purple.
Less than three minutes into the sport, Artemi Panarin discovered his new teammate streaking towards the web and threw a go into the low slot. Tarasenko chipped Panarin’s go by Martin Jones and triggered an eruption at MSG.
After his first objective as a Ranger, the gang in New York chanted Tarasenko’s title because the workforce cruised to a 6-3 win.
Artemi Panarin scores a hat trick plus one
Panarin could have assisted on Tarasenko’s first objective, however he was the one discovering the again of the web most on Saturday’s 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The red-hot Panarin placed on a clinic as he led the Rangers’ late surge.
With simply over two minutes remaining within the second interval, the Rangers trailed 2-1, however Panarin evened the rating with a shot from the excessive circle that beat Freddie Andersen cleanly.
Less than 5 minutes into the third interval, Panarin gave the Rangers a lead. This time, he cashed in on a rebound with reflexes so fast that it initially appeared as if Vincent Trocheck scored, however Panarin’s stick obtained to the free puck first.
Late within the third interval, the Hurricanes had been pushing for a objective to tie the sport, and all 5 skaters obtained caught deep within the New York zone. That gave Panarin a breakaway off a turnover, and he didn’t miss his probability to supply some insurance coverage. As Panarin celebrated, hats and bread got here flying over the glass in Raleigh.
After an empty-net objective from Kaapo Kakko, Panarin determined that he wasn’t content material with simply the hat trick, so he slipped yet another previous Andersen for good measure.
While Panarin has been piling up assists recently, he hadn’t scored within the eight video games main as much as his four-goal outburst. That’s fairly a strategy to get away of a scoring stoop.
As does Adrian Kempe…
Panarin wasn’t the one participant to attain 4 targets in a single recreation on Saturday. Just hours after Panarin’s explosion, Adrian Kempe went to work in opposition to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Early within the second interval, Kempe picked up a rebound, with some assist from Anze Kopitar, and fired a shot off the crossbar and in to present the Los Angeles Kings a 3-0 lead.
Just a couple of minutes later, Kopitar discovered Kempe once more, this day without work the push. Kempe took Kopitar’s feed and positioned it simply beneath the arm of Casey DeSmith for his second objective of the night time.
Kempe accomplished the hat trick earlier than the second interval was even over, and you will by no means consider who assisted on the objective. This time, Kopitar obtained some assist when his go kicked off the skate of a Penguins penalty killer and popped proper to Kempe along with the web.
In the third interval, the Kings had a 5-on-3 energy play, and this time Kempe scored with none assist from Koptar in any respect. Kevin Fiala teed up a one-timer for Kempe, and he blasted a shot previous DeSmith to make it 4 targets in a row.
With that objective, Kempe grew to become simply the seventh gamers within the final 30 years to attain 4 straight targets in a recreation. Oddly sufficient it was additionally the primary time a Kings participant scored 4 targets in a recreation since Dustin Brown did it in 2018, and he had his quantity retired earlier than Saturday’s recreation.
Sidney Crosby will get tossed in opposition to Kings
On the opposite aspect of that 6-0 beatdown in Los Angeles, there was Sidney Crosby, who obtained to strike one other first off his profession to-do checklist. I’m unsure getting ejected from a recreation was one thing Crosby was aiming for earlier than retirement, however he did it anyway.
Midway via the third interval, Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson cross-checked Crosby in entrance of the web. Anderson was whistled for the penalty, however he and Crosby jawed at each other after the play. That earned each gamers a 10-minute misconduct. Anderson was superb to finish the incident there, however Crosby was unable to chill down within the second. The Penguins legend mentioned one thing — both to Anderson or an official — that earned him a full recreation misconduct.
After the sport, Crosby mentioned he was “shocked” to seek out out that he had been ejected and took a not-so-thinly-veiled shot on the officiating.
“Can I actually say what I feel anyway?” Crosby mentioned. “Let’s be sincere right here.”
At least Crosby did not need to endure the final 10:14 of a blowout. That’s a veteran transfer.
Appointment viewing this week
Bruins at Stars | Tuesday, Feb. 14: When the 2 high groups in every convention do battle, it is should see TV. Shockingly sufficient, the Bruins have misplaced 4 of their final 5 whereas the Stars are coming off a deflating loss by the hands of the Lightning. These two groups can be hungry to get again into the win column.
Lightning at Avalanche | Tuesday, Feb. 14: We simply noticed these groups face off in what turned out to be a dominant 5-0 win by the Lightning. Still, I doubt we’ll see one other blowout like that in a rematch of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.
Rangers at Oilers | Friday, Feb. 17: When the season began, these had been two groups that had been within the dialog to succeed in the Stanley Cup Final. With the addition of Vladimir Tarasenko, the Rangers look extra harmful than ever. The offensive firepower on the ice on this one is countless.
Devils at Penguins | Saturday, Feb. 18: It’s been an up-and-down yr for the Penguins to say the least. They’re clinging to the ultimate Wild Card spot, largely on account of inconsistent play in internet. The Devils have been victorious within the first two conferences, so a win right here would go a good distance.
Capitals at Hurricanes, Saturday, Feb. 18: The two Metropolitan Division foes will do battle within the Stadium Series at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium. Outdoors video games are all the time a ton of enjoyable and seeing two playoff groups go head-to-head can be entertaining theater.
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