Week 14 began as the NHL trade deadline came to a close and ended with a beautiful tribute for Hockey Fights Cancer night in Philadelphia. The week also saw the Vancouver Canucks back in action for the first time in 25 days, as Braden Holtby and Bo Horvat helped defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in an emotional, come from behind win in overtime. Eight teams have hit or surpassed the 60-point mark on the season, while the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights both recorded their 30th win this past week. Let’s take a look at this week’s top performers!
To say the “Breadman” likes playing against the New Jersey Devils would be an understatement. In the five games, the New York Rangers have faced the Devils this season, the 29-year-old winger has 12 points — the same number of points he has against the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, and Boston Bruins in 12 games combined. Panarin was the only player to reach double-digit points this week, scoring four goals and six assists in four games against the Devils.
The only game this week in which he did not record multiple points was the first game of the series, a game that saw Panarin register his least amount of time on ice this season. That did not seem to matter, however, as he bounced back to score nine points over the next three games.
After being held without a goal in his last 10 games — and off the scoresheet completely in six of those 10 — Stone finished the week with three goals and eight points during the Golden Knights’ four-game road trip through southern California. His week began with two special teams points against the Los Angeles Kings, notching a power-play assist and a shorthanded goal in the Knights 4-2 win over LA.
Stone followed that up with another goal and assist against the Kings two nights later before riding his hot streak into Anaheim, where he would torch the Ducks for one goal and three assists in two games. His eight points accounted for 42% of Vegas’ scoring and alone were enough to defeat the Kings and Ducks, as the Knights outscored their opponents 18-6 during the week.
Heading into Sunday’s game against the Washington Capitals, Marchand did not have much to write home about. In fact, he only had a pair of goals to his name as Boston was looking to wrap up their five-game homestand. Then, on Sunday, he exploded for two goals and two assists to help lead the Bruins past the first-place Capitals and stay ahead of the red-hot Rangers for the final playoff spot in the MassMutual East Division.
Marchand’s second goal of the game was also the 700th point of his career, moving him into a tie with Geoff Sanderson. The Bruins will play their next five games on the road — and five of the next seven against the Buffalo Sabres — as they look to put some distance between themselves and the Rangers.
Honorable Mention: Anthony Mantha has been thriving in Washington since the trade deadline, scoring four goals in his first four games to become the first Capitals player in history to accomplish such a feat.
Carlson led all defensemen in points last week, recording seven assists in four games played. He produced all but one of those assists in the two games played against the Flyers, including four assists on Saturday night.
While Carlson responded with a dud of a game on Sunday — recording two shots and a minus-5 while playing 25:50 — his three power-play points were enough to top all defensemen on the week.
In a rather quiet week for the Dallas Stars, Klingberg continued to shine bright with a goal and three assists as he helped secure five of a possible six points for the reigning Western Conference champions. He would record an assist in the Stars’ overtime loss to the Florida Panthers before adding a goal and two assists in two games against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Klingberg’s two points on Saturday would bring his total up to 30 points on the season, tying him with Jeff Petry of the Montreal Canadiens.
Honorable Mention: Adam Fox put up four assists in four games against the Devils, bringing him even with Victor Hedman in a tie for second place in scoring among defensemen.
Shesterkin earned three starts against the Devils this past week and won all three, including two of them by shutouts. After blanking New Jersey in back-to-back games, Shesterkin gave up three goals on 33 shots to lead the Rangers to their third win over the Devils.
While he was supposed to get the night off on Sunday, Shesterkin ended up coming in to replace Alexandar Georgiev, finishing the week with 75 saves for a .962 save percentage (SV%) and 0.99 goals-against average (GAA) while posting a goals saved above expected (GSAx) of 3.9 on the week.
Honorable Mention: Anthony Stolarz turned away 73 of the San Jose Sharks’ 74 shots over two games to earn back-to-back wins while posting a .986 SV% and 0.50 GAA with a 4.95 GSAx.
Week 15 kicks off as history will be broken! Patrick Marleau will play in his 1,768th NHL game on Monday night, breaking the record held by Gordie Howe. The Stars and Detroit Red Wings begin a four-game series this week, while the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes continue to battle it out for first place in the Discover Central Division.
Born and raised in Michigan, Kyle Knopp started playing hockey when he was 3 years old. Knopp has played, coached or worked at every level of ice hockey — including three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings where he was part of the Stanley Cup Championship team in 2008. He began covering the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Hockey Writers but will now be contributing for the Red Wings.