In this edition of NHL Talk, these are the top storylines with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more.
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Kings’ Arvidsson Scores Fourth Hat Trick of NHL Career
Los Angeles Kings forward Viktor Arvidsson scored the fourth hat trick of his NHL career in a 4-3 overtime win at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. He opened the game’s scoring at 14 minutes of the second period, scored the game-tying goal at 16:14 of the third period to send it to overtime, then completed his three-goal night with the game-winner at four minutes of overtime. His overtime goal came on a breakaway after he surged past the Blue Jackets’ defense along the right boards and fired the puck home on his backhand.
“I was fresh since I came off the bench, and they had been out there for a while, so I was kind of confident that I could beat [Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski],” Arvidsson said. “I guess he was really tired. I just tried to read what the goalie does and try to find where he is, try to fake something and show something else, so it worked out.”
Stars’ Robertson Tallies First Hat Trick of NHL Career
Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson tallied the first hat trick of his NHL career in a 4-3 overtime win at the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. He opened the game’s scoring at 5:23 of the first period, gave the Stars its second lead of the night at 19:09 of the second period, and topped it off with their third lead and game-winning goal at 4:30 of overtime. His overtime goal came at the end of a lengthy 1:37 shift, scoring with a wrist shot on a breakaway.
“I was out there for a while,” Robertson said. “When the puck turns over, I didn’t stop, I kept moving my feet and you just find that extra ounce of energy to go down there and, I can’t lie, I love breakaways. I want a breakaway, so I find whatever energy is left to get that.”
Blue Jackets Raising Nash’s Number to Rafters
Former Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash will have his No. 61 retired and raised to the rafters of Nationwide Arena in Columbus when the team faces off against the Boston Bruins on Saturday. He is set to become the first player in Blue Jackets history to have his number retired, remaining as the franchise leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258), and points (547). His wife, Jessica, and son and daughter, McLaren and Ellie, will be in attendance for the ceremony.
“That can honestly almost bring a tear to my eye,” Nash said. “That means the most to me, is my kids to go there, because they weren’t around. They don’t remember any of my career or anything. But to look up there and realize what I did. … And what I’m going to explain to them is that if they have dreams and they want to achieve it, it’s doable if you put the work in.”
Flyers’ Hayes Returning From Infection, Surgery
Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes will return to the lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. He missed the last 15 games after undergoing surgery to drain fluid from the abductor region of his hip on Jan. 18. Activated from the injured reserve on Saturday, he has nine points (three goals, six assists) in 20 games this season.
“I had a real bad infection in my groin that spread through the whole upper leg on my left side,” Hayes said. “It got to a point where surgery was needed and we did that and we waited for the infection to get out and waited for this lump that I had to settle down. I feel pretty good now.”
Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He lives in Toronto and is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.