In this edition of NHL Talk, these are the top storylines with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more.
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Oilers’ Koskinen Records First Shutout of Season
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen saved all 39 shots he faced in a 3-0 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. It marks his sixth NHL shutout, and first since Nov. 8, 2019, when he made 29 saves in a 4-0 win against the New Jersey Devils. The 33-year-old has a .905 save percentage (SV%) through 30 games and 28 starts this season.
“I’ve been feeling pretty good all year,” Koskinen said. “But when you’re winning games, the confidence is growing. It’s going higher right now because we’re winning, and I’ll try to keep it that way…. It’s about winning. You either win or lose the game and two points or zero points. I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a team player and I don’t care about the stats anymore. I’m too old anyway (33). I’m here to win the games and hopefully something bigger.”
Red Wings’ Raymond Scores With Eight Seconds Remaining in Overtime
Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond scored with eight seconds remaining in overtime of a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. His goal came on a 4-on-3 power play for the Red Wings, after the Hurricanes took a penalty for having too many men on the ice at 3:13. He leads all NHL rookie skaters this season with 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 54 games.
“When you have a 4-on-3 power play, there’s so much open ice that you can just keep passing the puck to get a better chance,” Raymond said. “[Assistant head coach Alex Tanguay] reminded us to get the puck on the net and make things happen.”
Canadiens’ Five-Game Winning Streak Comes to an End
The Montreal Canadiens’ first winning streak of the season came to an end at five games with an 8-4 loss at the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. The Canadiens hold a 5-4-0 record since hiring head coach Martin St. Louis on Feb. 9. Montreal hoped to win its sixth-straight contest, but took 19 penalty minutes on Tuesday and allowed the Jets to score on four of six power-play attempts.
“I think we self-inflicted a lot,” St. Louis said on losing to the Jets. “I think we took four or five defensive zone penalties… There was not a lot of flow for a lot of the parts of the game. I think we’re a really good team when we can play with a little more flow off the bench.”
Avalanche Are First Team to 40-Win Mark This Season
The Colorado Avalanche are the first team to reach 40 wins in the NHL this season, defeating the New York Islanders, 5-3, on Tuesday to accomplish the feat. The Avalanche continue to sit atop the league standings, ranked No. 1 overall with a 40-10-4 record. Colorado trailed, 3-2, at the end of the second period on Tuesday, but tallied three goals in the third period to earn its 40th victory.
“We had a little talk after the second (period),” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “I’ll stick with what I said the other day; it just kind of drags out the urgency in the group, wanting to win and keep this thing rolling in the right direction. I just felt like our top guys started to get going.”
Golden Knights’ Head Coach DeBoer Wins 500th NHL Game
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer won his 500th NHL game on Tuesday, defeating the San Jose Sharks, 3-1. The Golden Knights were dominant in its latest win, outshooting the Sharks, 31-17. DeBoer improves to a 500-368-119 record in 987 NHL games in 15 seasons with the Golden Knights, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils and Sharks.
“When I reflect back on the 500th win, what I’m going to like the most was that it was a Pete DeBoer type game,” DeBoer said. “We didn’t give them a lot, I thought we smothered them. Defensively, we were really solid. We looked dangerous all night…. That’s the nice thing about tonight. I really liked how we played.”
Ducks’ Zegras Steals Game With 21.6 Seconds Remaining in Regulation
Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras is in the hockey headlines yet again, stealing a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday with a snipe from the top left circle with 21.6 second remaining in the third period. His clutch game-winning goal puts an end to the Ducks’ two-game losing skid and gives the team its first regulation win since a 7-4 victory at the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 19. He ranks second among NHL rookie skaters with 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists) in 50 games this season.
“It was a lot of fun,” Zegras said. “Give credit to my teammates. Great plays all around by everybody on that last goal. It was nice to get the win, for sure.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.