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Scott Cullen

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Hoffman gets a hat; Anderson, O’Reilly, and much more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

HEROES

Mike Hoffman – It came in a 5-4 loss to Buffalo, but the Ottawa winger notched a hat trick and added an assist. He’s heating up, with nine points (4 G, 5 A) in the past five games.

Josh Anderson – The Columbus winger had a goal and two assists, with a team-leading seven shots on goal and strong possession stats (17 for, 4 against, 81.0 CF%, 8-2 scoring chances), in a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay. He had one goal (and no assists) in his previous 10 games, but he’s been a solid depth contributor, with 10 points in 21 games.

Ryan O’Reilly – The Sabres centre put up two goals and an assist in a 5-4 win at Ottawa; he had a goal and two assists in his previous 10 games.      

ZEROES

Marcus Foligno, Johan Larsson and Brian Gionta – The Sabres trio had a rough game (3 for, 15 against, 16.7 CF%, two goals against) in a 5-4 win at Ottawa.

Vladislav Namestnikov – In a 5-1 loss to Columbus, the Tampa Bay winger was on the ice for four even-strength goals against.

Cam Talbot – It was not a banner night for the Edmonton netminder, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 14 shots in the first two periods of a 4-2 loss against Toronto. Over the past 13 games, his save percentage is only .902.

VITAL SIGNS

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Aaron Ekblad played a big role in Tom Rowe's first game on the Florida bench.

Aaron Ekblad – With a new man behind the bench, some notable developments in Game One, a 2-1 shootout loss at Chicago: Ekblad played a season-high 26:14 and was partnered with Jakub Kindl, with less than idyllic results (11 for, 15 against, 42.3 CF%), though Ekblad led the Panthers with 10 shot attempts (6 SOG).

Jack Eichel – Buffalo got a big boost with the return of their second-year centre. Playing his first game of the season, after recovering from a high ankle sprain, Eichel contributed a goal and an assist in a 5-4 win at Ottawa.

Robin Lehner – It’s not all good news for Buffalo, though, as they lost their goaltender to a hip injury. Anders Nilsson will man the cage with Lehner out.

John Klingberg – The Stars made their No. 1 defenceman a healthy scratch for their 3-1 loss at Detroit. Klingberg has struggled relative to his previous two seasons, but it’s hard to imagine that he isn’t among Dallas’ top six defencemen.

Bobby Ryan – The Senators winger was trying to play with a broken finger, but made it through just 2:50 of ice time against Buffalo before he was done for the night.

Marko Dano – Winnipeg’s winger took a stick in the face and left after just 46 seconds of ice time against New Jersey.

Ryan Callahan – A lower-body injury has knocked the Lightning winger out of the lineup. 

Peter Holland – A frequent healthy scratch for Toronto, the Maple Leafs forward has been left home for their current road trip, likely awaiting a trade or waivers. He has one assist in eight games this season, but has been reasonably productive in a bottom-six role with Toronto.

SHORT SHIFTS

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Rick Nash continues to produce for the Blueshirts.

Hurricanes LW Viktor Stalberg tallied a pair of goals in a 3-2 loss at the Rangers, giving him four goals in the past five games…Rangers LW Rick Nash had a goal and an assist in the win, and has five points (3 G, 2 A) in the past five games…Blue Jackets LW Scott Hartnell scored a goal and added an assist, with good possession numbers (18 for, 4 against, 81.8 CF%) against Tampa Bay; he had one assist in his previous eight games…Bruins D Torey Krug recorded two assists in a 3-2 shootout loss against Philadelphia, and has six assists in the past six games…Sabres right wingers Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart each had a goal and an assist at Ottawa. Both Okposo and Reinhart have five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Sabres D Rasmus Ristolainen added a couple of helpers; he had two assists in his previous 14 games…Senators D Erik Karlsson earned a couple of assists, with 13 shot attempts (7 SOG), and has five points (1 G, 4 A) in the past five games…Jets C Mark Scheifele produced a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win vs. New Jersey, and has 17 points (8 G, 9 A) in the past 14 games…Predators C Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 win at Colorado, giving him seven points (4 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Predators D Roman Josi added a couple of assists, and has six assists in the past five games…Predators LW Austin Watson contributed a goal and an assist at Colorado, after managing one assist in his first 17 games this season…Avalanche LW Rene Bourque scored a goal and added an assist against Nashville; he has eight points (7 G, 1 A) in the past 10 games…Avalanche rookie RW Mikko Rantanen also had a goal and an assist, giving him seven points (2 G, 5 A) in the past five games…Oilers C Connor McDavid delivered a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss to Toronto, giving him 12 points (6 G, 6 A) during a six-game point streak and he leads the league with 31 points in 24 games…Wild RW Jason Pominville scored twice in a 5-4 loss at Vancouver. He had no goals and two assists in his previous nine games…Wild LW Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist, and has five points (1 G, 4 A) during a four-game point streak…Canucks D Ben Hutton produced a goal and an assist in the win over Minnesota, giving him five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past six games…Canucks C Henrik Sedin added a pair of helpers, after posting two assists in his previous six games…Canucks C Brandon Sutter contributed a goal and an assist, giving him seven points (5 G, 2 A) in the past eight games.

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David Krejci had a dominant game against Philadelphia.

Bruins C David Krejci scored a goal on 14 shot attempts (8 SOG) in a 3-2 shootout loss at Philadelphia…The Bruins line of Krejci, David Backes and Tim Schaller had a dominant game (22 for, 3 against, 88.0 CF%, 7-0 scoring chances)…Philadelphia’s defence tandem of Radko Gudas and Ivan Provorov struggled (3 for, 18 against, 14.3 CF%, 1-5 scoring chances) against Boston…Stars C Jason Spezza and RW Patrick Eaves had solid possession game (11 for, 2 against, 84.6 CF%) in a 3-1 loss at Detroit…Devils C Jacob Josefson played just 6:19 against Winnipeg, but the ice was tilted (10 for, 1 against, 90.9 CF%) when he was out there…Montreal’s third defence pair, Greg Pateryn and Mark Barberio, had a strong showing (21 for, 6 against, 77.8 CF%, 11-2 scoring chances) at Anaheim…Rangers LW J.T. Miller was on the wrong side of the puck (6 for, 21 against, 22.2 CF%, 2-13 scoring chances) in a 3-2 win over Carolina.

Corey Crawford has been outstanding for the Blackhawks this season.

Ducks G John Gibson stopped 39 of 40 shots in a 2-1 win over Montreal; he had a .889 save percentage in his previous seven games…Canadiens G Carey Price turned away 36 of 38 shots in the loss, keeping his save percentage at .947 through 16 starts…Blue Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky had 26 saves on 27 shots in a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay, giving him a .929 save percentage in his past seven starts…Flyers G Steve Mason stopped 45 of 47 shots in a 3-2 shootout win against Boston. He has a .923 save percentage in his past eight games…Red Wings G Petr Mrazek had 34 saves on 35 shots in a 3-1 win against Dallas, raising his save percentage to .905 through 14 appearances this season…Blackhawks G Corey Crawford stopped 38 of 39 shots in a 2-1 shootout win against Florida, and has a .938 save percentage in his past 15 games…Panthers G Roberto Luongo turned away 32 of 33 shots in the loss, giving him a .948 save percentage in his past seven games…Coyotes G Mike Smith had 40 saves on 42 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss at San Jose; he has a .946 save percentage in six games since returning from injury.

FIRSTS

Miles Wood – The 21-year-old Devils left winger, a fourth-round pick in 2013, scored his first career goal, in his fourth career game, a 3-2 loss at Winnipeg. He had six points (3 G, 3 A) in 14 AHL games before getting called up.

FANTASY FOCUS

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Corey Perry is likely to start finding the net soon.

Players that are generating a lot of shots, but have low shooting percentages. Buy low on these guys:

Corey Perry – Anaheim’s veteran winger is a six-time 30-goal scorer, but has just four goals this season, shooting 5.6% on 3.09 shots on goal per game. For his career, he’s shooting 13.4% and last season was at 15.8%, so he’s most likely headed for better finishing in the days ahead.

Patrice Bergeron – Boston still dominates play with Bergeron on the ice, and he’s generating 3.60 shots on goal per game, his most since 2005-2006, yet he has just three goals in 20 games because he’s shooting 4.2%. It’s going to get better.

Nathan MacKinnon – The Avalanche centre ranks sixth in the league with 3.86 shots on goal per game, yet is shooting just 6.2%. He’s not a high-percentage finisher anyway (8.4 SH% for his career), but a move from six to eight percent is significant, and likely due. 

Tyler Toffoli – Even though the Kings winger is generating a career-high 3.18 shots per game, he’s shooting just 7.1% right now. He shot 14.6% last year and is at 11.6% for his career, so his numbers ought to improve.

Much of the data included comes from corsica.hockeystats.hockeyanalysis.com www.hockey-reference and www.naturalstattrick.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca