There was plenty of concerns about the Canucks ability to jump right back into NHL actions after missing roughly three weeks because of COVID. As J.T. Miller remarked back on April 14, even the players who didn’t have to endure the disease weren’t in game shape due to the lack of practices. Originally Vancouver was only going to get a single practice before resuming their schedule, but after concerns were raised, the NHL ultimately did give the Canucks a couple more days to recover and get back into form.
After all that, there were still a lot of concerns about how Vancouver would do, but so far they’ve come out strong. They earned a 3-2 overtime victory against Toronto on Sunday and were even stronger last night in their 6-3 win versus the Leafs.
Combine that with the Canadiens recent struggles and you start to wonder if the Canucks might be able to squeak into the playoffs even after all they’ve been through. With those back-to-back wins they have 39 points in 39 games, while Montreal has 47 points in 43 contests. So obviously they still have to keep rolling, but it’s not outside the realm of possibilities.
Keep in mind though, returning with little preparation time was just one of the obstacles Vancouver had to endure: Their extreme schedule is another one. Including the two games they just played, the Canucks will need to take part in 19 games over 32 days. That’s an unreal pace and there’s a real chance that they’ll be running on fumes by the end of it. So if they do manage to get into the postseason it’ll be one of the most impressive comeback stories in recent memory.
BOSTON 2 BUFFALO 0
Tuukka Rask earned a 32-save shutout. Since returning from an upper-body injury, he’s surrendered just four goals over three starts. He has an 11-4-2 record, 2.22 GAA, and .916 save percentage in 18 starts.
Dylan Cozens had a team-high seven shots against Rask. He has four goals on 42 shots in his rookie campaign.
Dustin Tokarski stopped 39 of 41 shots last night. This is the third time in his last four starts where he’s allowed just two goals. However, that wasn’t good enough this time to earn the win.
Brad Marchand scored the game-winning goal. It was his 24th goal and 55th point in 42 contests.
Boston’s other goal was scored by Connor Clifton. That gives him a goal and seven points in 37 games.
PITTSBURGH 7 NEW JERSEY 6
The Penguins had a 6-0 lead going into the third period and they almost ended up coughing it up. The Devils got goals from six different forwards in the final frame: Andreas Johnsson, Nico Hischier, Nathan Bastian, Yegor Sharangovich, Nolan Foote, and Jack Hughes.
Will Butcher assisted on three of the Devils’ six goals. He has a goal and six points in 12 games.
Scott Wedgewood stopped nine of 13 shots in the first period. Aaron Dell stepped in for the second, but didn’t do much better, allowing three goals on 19 shots the rest of the way.
As mentioned already, Tristan Jarry actually had a shutout going into the third period, but that final 20 minutes was a disaster for him. He ended up saving just 24 of 30 shots as a result.
Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. When Crosby scored his goal, it provided the Penguins with a 7-3 lead so it didn’t seem as important as it ultimately would be.
Evan Rodrigues also had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. He’s up to seven goals and 14 points in 30 games.
NY ISLANDERS 6 NY RANGERS 1
Kevin Rooney scored the Rangers’ only goal. He’s up to seven markers and 12 points in 44 contests.
Josh Bailey scored a pair of goals and registered an assist for the Islanders. That gives him eight goals and 28 points in 44 games.
Anthony Beauvillier found the back of the net and recorded three assists. The Islanders forward has nine goals and 19 points in 37 games.
Semyon Varlamov saved 25 of 26 Rangers shots. He has a 17-9-3 record, 2.20 GAA, and .923 save percentage in 30 contests.
At the other end of the ice, Igor Shesterkin stopped 22 of 30 shots. He’s dropped to 13-10-3 with a 2.43 GAA and .920 save percentage in 28 games.
CAROLINA 4 TAMPA BAY 1
The Lightning’s lone goal was scored by Brayden Point. He’s up to 20 goals and 39 points in 46 games.
Jordan Staal scored the game-winning goal. It was his 14th goal and 32nd point in 43 games.
Nino Niederreiter contributed a goal and an assist for Carolina. That gives him 16 goals and 29 points in 45 contests.
Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 26 of 27 shots last night. He’s won his last three starts, allowing just two goals over that span.
Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 32 of 35 Hurricanes shots. He has a 27-8-1 record, 2.08 GAA, and .930 save percentage in 36 starts.
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FLORIDA 5 COLUMBUS 1
Spencer Knight stopped 33 of 34 shots in his first NHL game. He was given this opportunity straight out of the NCAA. He had a 2.18 GAA and .932 save percentage in 21 contests with Boston College this season.
Sam Bennett scored a pair of goals, including the game winner. He’s been on a roll since being acquired by Florida, scoring three goals and five points in his last three games.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored a goal and registered two assists. The Panthers star is up to 16 goals and 49 points in 47 contests.
Columbus’ only goal was scored by Jack Roslovic. It was his 10th goal and 30th point in 40 games.
Joonas Korpisalo stopped 28 of 33 shots on Tuesday. He’s allowed at least three goals in each of his last four starts.
DALLAS 5 DETROIT 2
Jonathan Bernier stopped eight of 12 shots in 23:36 minutes of ice time. Thomas Greiss came in and saved 11 shots the rest of the way, but the damage was already done.
At the other end of the ice Jake Oettinger saved 24 of 26 shots. He improved to 9-5-6 with a 2.15 GAA and .919 save percentage in 23 games this season.
Joe Pavelski scored the game-winning goal. He’s up to 19 goals and 42 points in 45 games.
Jason Robertson found the back of the net and registered an assist for the Stars. He has 14 goals and 35 points in 40 contests.
One of Detroit’s two goals was scored by Dylan Larkin. That gives him nine goals and 23 points in 44 games.
VANCOUVER 6 TORONTO 3
John Tavares scored a pair of goals for the Maple Leafs. He’s up to 16 goals and 42 points in 46 games.
David Rittich stopped 23 of 28 shots on Tuesday. He has a 4-8-2 record, 2.98 GAA, and .899 save percentage in 18 contests.
Tanner Pearson and Brandon Sutter each netted a pair of goals for the Canucks. Both of them are up to eight goals on the season.
Quinn Hughes contributed a goal and two assists for Vancouver. He’s up to three goals and 31 points in 39 games.
Braden Holtby stopped 37 of 40 Maple Leafs shots. He has a 6-6-2 record, 3.41 GAA, and .901 save percentage in 14 starts.
LOS ANGLES 4 ANAHEIM 1
Los Angeles got a goal and two assists from Andreas Athanasiou. He’s up to 10 goals and 20 points in 35 games.
Blake Lizotte also scored a goal and two assists for the Kings. That gives him three goals and 10 points in 37 contests.
Calvin Petersen stopped 24 of 25 shots Thursday night. He has an 8-11-4 record, 2.67 GAA, and .920 save percentage in 25 games.
At the other end of the ice, Anthony Stolarz saved 18 of 22 shots. He’s 3-2-0 with a 2.29 GAA and .928 save percentage in six contests.
Cam Fowler found the back of the net for Anaheim. He’s up to four goals and 18 points in 47 games.