In this edition of NHL Talk, these are the top hockey stories with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more.
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Bruins’ Pastrnak Scores 12th NHL Hat Trick
Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak scored the 12th hat trick of his NHL career in a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. He opened the Bruins’ scoring at 9:55 of the second period, before adding a pair of third-period goals at the 8:17 and 15:50 marks of the final frame. It is his first hat trick since scoring three goals in a 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 13.
“Obviously it’s a big win,” Pastrnak said. “Our main focus is to focus on our game and grow our game. We have tons of games left. Obviously, to beat a great team like Tampa is a confidence booster. I think at the same time, we deserved to win today. I think we were the better team.”
Panthers’ Chiarot Tallies Assist in Return to Montreal
Florida Panthers defenseman Ben Chiarot tallied an assist in a 4-3 win at the Montreal Canadiens, his first game against his former team since being acquired by the Panthers in a trade last Wednesday. He played the last three seasons with the Canadiens, helping the team make a run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, and was welcomed back to Montreal with a video tribute and cheers from the crowd. The Panthers will face the Canadiens one more time this season, visiting Montreal again on April 29 to close out its regular season.
“This place has been a really key place in my career, kind of where I took a big jump, started a young family when I was here,” Chiarot said. “It’s an important place for me, and I’ll always be thankful for all the people here in Montreal giving me a warm ovation like they did, it feels good.”
Stars’ Wedgewood Gets the Win in Team Debut
Dallas Stars goaltender Scott Wedgewood was victorious in his team debut, a 4-3 shootout win at the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. He saved 44 of 47 shots he faced in the game for a .936 save percentage (SV%). After being acquired by the Stars in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft from the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday, he made a great first impression on Dallas, earning the win despite the Stars being outshot 47-15, its largest shot differential this season.
“I think I was a little nervous to get going and make a first impression,” said Wedgewood. “A couple rebounds early on actually led to more chances than I would have liked, but after that first 10-minute barrage, I settled into myself and went back to the basics of how I’ve been playing. It was a good night all around.”
Flyers End 13-Game Road Winless Skid
The Philadelphia Flyers ended its 13-game road winless skid with a 5-2 victory at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. It was an inspiring effort from the Flyers that also saw forward Hayden Hodgson score a goal and an assist in his NHL debut. Philadelphia entered the game with a 0-11-2 record over its last 13 road games, with its last road win on Dec. 29, 2021, a 3-2 overtime win at the Seattle Kraken.
“I’ll say we were due, that’s for sure,” Flyers head coach Mike Yeo said. “But you know, especially considering we played a lot of really good road games, we just haven’t always gotten wins. Even looking at Detroit [Tuesday, a 6-3 loss to the Red Wings], there were a number of times we had Grade-A opportunities and great, great chances to tie up the game, but we haven’t been able to deliver and get the job done. But tonight, obviously, happy for the guys.”
Golden Knights’ Dadonov Posts Three Points After Trade Voided
Vegas Golden Knights forward Evgenii Dadonov had a goal and two assists in a 6-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, his first game since having his trade to the Anaheim Ducks voided by the NHL. In a statement, the league said that “the trade could not be concluded because Dadonov’s contract includes a limited no-trade clause, which has not been complied with.” Dadonov improves to 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists) in 63 games with the Golden Knights this season.
“I would say it’s been a stressful couple of days,” Dadonov said. “It’s nothing like I could do. I was just waiting on a decision.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.