Tis the season for holiday parties, family gatherings and of course, plenty of eating. In case any of the above prevented you from following the NHL this weekend, not to worry. Let’s check out the latest happenings from around the NHL in the Puck Show Weekend Wrap.
What is the best way to respond to a ten-game losing streak? While we aren’t sure of the exact answer to this question, winning your next six games seems like a logical starting point. The Flyers have rattled off six consecutive victories after a horrid stretch, most recently topping the Stars with a 2-1 overtime victory on Saturday night. Their offense has perked up, but the key has been defense. The Flyers have not allowed more than two goals against in any of the six games and are yielding just 1.50 goals per game during the streak. Brian Elliott has started all six games, posting a .949 Sv% in the process. They face a stiff test tonight against the visiting Kings, but needless to say the Flyers have salvaged what looked like a doomed season no more than two weeks ago.
Once again, the crowded Metropolitan Division has a new leader. The Washington Capitals’ 3-2 overtime win over the visiting Ducks on Saturday night put them into top spot in their division for the first time all year. With the home win, the Capitals continue to be a tale of two teams. The team that plays at Capital One Arena is 14-5-0, scores 3.21 goals per game and yields just 2.21 per game. The road Capitals are 7-7-1, score three goals per game, but yield 3.73 per game, the most in the NHL. Braden Holtby is also a completely different goaltender on home ice. He sports a disastrous 3.68 GAA and an .890 Sv% on the road, but a brilliant 2.06 GAA and a .935 Sv% at home. The Capitals will put their road woes to test in short order as they embark on a four-game trip beginning Tuesday night in Dallas.
The most surprising story in the NHL just continues to get better. After their 5-2 win over the Panthers last night, the Vegas Golden Knights have leapfrogged the Los Angeles Kings for top spot in the Pacific Division by way of winning percentage. Like Washington, Vegas is doing some serious damage on home ice. They are a cool 13-2-1 at T-Mobile Arena where they score 3.69 goals per game and surrender just 2.38. That 1.31 goal differential at home is the third best mark in the league behind the Jets and Lightning. Also, keep in mind they have spent the majority of the season without an NHL goaltender in net as well. At this point, Gerard Gallant certainly has to be the front runner for the Jack Adams award and George McPhee has to be digging life in Sin City.
Other News and Notes From Around the NHL
The Blues are sliding. After a solid 2-0 win over the Jets at home on Saturday, they were thoroughly beaten in the rematch in Winnipeg on Sunday. Since Jaden Schwartz went down, the Blues have scored six goals in five games, going 2-3-0… The injury-riddled Canucks were once again bit by the injury bug last night when super rookie Brock Boeser injured his foot blocking a shot. Apparently, Boeser was seen on crutches after the game, and the struggling Canucks were dealt a 6-1 loss to boot. Tough times in Vancouver… In their last four games without Auston Matthews, the Maple Leafs have scored just four goals while losing three of the four… Over their last 15 games combined, the Islanders’ top line of Anders Lee, John Tavares and Josh Bailey have scored ten goals and tallied 25 points.