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Scott Cullen

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A trio of hat tricks; Marchand, Laine, Bjugstad, Mantha, Krug, Zajac, Gourde, Panarin, Dubois, Gibson and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

It was a wild night in the NHL, with three players recording hat tricks. One of the benefits of increased scoring league-wide (currently running 5.92 goals per game, which would be the highest rate since the power-play heavy 2005-06 season) is that there are compelling nights like this, in which players have big individual performances.

Boston’s star winger, Brad Marchand, capped off a five-point game with the winning goal in overtime in a 6-5 victory against Detroit. Marchand is playing like a Hart Trophy candidate, putting up 34 points (13 G, 21 A) in his past 22 games. He’s missed 13 games already, which could mean that he’s fighting uphill for that honour, but massive production can certainly level out the competition.

At Madison Square Garden in New York, Winnipeg’s sophomore sniper Patrik Laine scored all three goals in Winnipeg's 3-0 win over the Rangers. A rare finishing talent, Laine is on a ridiculous run right now, scoring 13 goals (plus six assists) on just 26 shots in the past nine games, and now has 38 goals in 66 games.

 

The third hat trick of the night belonged to Panthers winger Nick Bjugstad who, on the day I recommended him to fantasy owners, scored three goals on 12 shot attempts (7 SOG) in a 5-4 overtime loss at Tampa Bay. He’s produced a point per game (5 G, 11 A in 16 GP) since the start of February.

Those were the 57th, 58th and 59th hat tricks of the season, and Marchand’s five-point game was the 22nd such game of the year.

HEROES

Anthony Mantha - In a losing effort at Boston, the lanky winger put up two goals and two assists in a 6-5 overtime loss at Boston. It was a slump-busting performance, as he had just one goal in his previous seven games.

Torey Krug - Boston's puck-moving blueliner recorded two goals and two assists in a 6-5 overtime win over Detroit and has 25 points (7 G, 18 A) in the past 22 games. 

Travis Zajac – New Jersey’s veteran centre tallied two goals and an assist in a 6-4 win vs. Montreal. He had three assists in his previous nine games.

Yanni Gourde – Tampa Bay’s rookie winger scored a pair of goals and added an assist in a 5-4 OT win against Florida. He has 23 points (10 G, 13 A) in the past 21 games and ranks third among rookies with 53 points in 67 games.

Artemi Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois – The Blue Jackets forwards both produced a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win vs. Vegas. Panarin has 16 points (8 G, 8 A) in the past 14 games, while Dubois has a dozen points (5 G, 7 A) in those 14 games.

John Gibson – The Ducks netminder turned away all 36 shots that he faced in a 4-0 win against Washington, giving him a .953 save percentage in his past 10 games.

ZEROES

Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck and Mark Pysyk – The three Panthers skaters, two forwards and a defenceman, were on the ice for four goals against in a 6-5 overtime loss at Tampa Bay.

Brock McGinn, Jordan Staal and Justin Williams – The Hurricanes trio had a tough night (13 for, 17 against, 43.3 CF%, 5-11 scoring chances) and was on the ice for three goals against in a 6-2 loss at Minnesota.

Ben Lovejoy – The Devils blueliner was stuck in his own end (4 for, 22 against, 15.4 CF%) during a 6-4 win against Montreal.

Braden Holtby – Washington’s veteran goaltender allowed three goals on nine shots before getting yanked from a 4-0 loss at Anaheim. He’s having a hard time of late, posting a .854 save percentage in his past eight games.

Cam Ward – The Hurricanes netminder gave up four goals on 13 shots before getting pulled from a 6-2 loss at Minnesota. He has a .883 save percentage in his past eight games.

VITAL SIGNS

Mark Scheifele – The Jets centre appears to suffer a shoulder injury against the Rangers and left the game.

Frans Nielsen – Detroit’s veteran centre was knocked out of the game after a head hit from Bruins winger David Backes.

SHORT SHIFTS

Bruins RW David Pastrnak produced three assists in a 6-5 OT win against Detroit and Bruins C Riley Nash added a pair of assists. Pasta has 22 points (6 G, 16 A) in the past 22 games, and Nash has six points (2 G, 4 A) in the past four games…Red Wings D Mike Green contributed a goal and an assist in a 6-5 overtime loss at Boston. He had three points (1 G, 2 A) in his previous 13 games…Red Wings LW Tyler Bertuzzi earned a pair of assists in a 6-5 overtime loss at Boston, giving him four assists in the past four games…Devils C Brian Boyle and LW Blake Coleman both had a goal and an assist in a 6-4 win over Montreal. Boyle had two points (1 G, 1 A) in his previous 28 games and Coleman had one assist in his previous 15 games…Devils LW Taylor Hall, D Will Butcher, RW Kyle Palmieri and D Sami Vatanen each contributed a couple of assists in a 6-4 win against Montreal. Hall has 38 points (18 G, 20 A) during his 26-game scoring streak, Butcher snapped an 11-game scoring drought, Palmieri has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past seven games, and Vatanen has 11 points (1 G, 10 A) in the past 10 games.

 

Canadiens C Jacob De La Rose scored two goals in the loss at New Jersey, giving him four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past four games, after he had four points (1 G, 3 A) in his first 35 games of the season…Lightning C J.T. Miller produced a goal and an assist in a 5-4 overtime win against Florida, giving him five points (2 G, 3 A) in four games with Tampa Bay…Lightning D Anton Stralman added a couple of assists, after managing one assist in his previous 14 games…Panthers C Aleksander Barkov, LW Evgeni Dadonov and D Keith Yandle each contributed a couple of assists in a 5-4 overtime loss at Tampa Bay. Barkov has 12 points (5 G, 7 A) during a seven-game point streak, Dadonov has 18 points (9 G, 9 A) in the past 12 games, and Yandle has 17 points (2 G, 15 A) in the past 17 games…Wild C Eric Staal scored a pair of goals in a 6-2 win over Carolina, giving him 30 points (17 G, 13 A) in the past 22 games…Wild C Mikko Koivu, D Jared Spurgeon and D Ryan Suter each added a couple of assists. Koivu has seven points (3 G, 4 A) during a five-game point streak, Spurgeon has six points (2 G, 4 A) in the past six games, and Suter has 11 assists in the past nine games…Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews potted the overtime winner and added an assist in a 2-1 win vs. Colorado, giving him nine points (3 G, 6 A) in the past 10 games…Ducks C Adam Henrique and LW Rickard Rakell both had a goal and an assist in a 4-0 win over Washington. Henrique has nine points (4 G, 5 A) in the past 11 games and Rakell has eight points (6 G, 2 A) in the past four games…Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf and D Josh Manson both contributed a couple of assists. Getzlaf has 12 points (2 G, 10 A) in the past six games and Manson has four points (1 G, 3 A) in the past three games.

Red Wings C Dylan Larkin launched a dozen shot attempts (8 SOG) against the Bruins…Bruins RW David Pastrnak had a strong possession game (17 for, 4 against, 81.0 CF%, 11-1 scoring chances) in a 6-5 overtime win against Detroit…Predators LW Kevin Fiala had solid possession stats (12 for, 2 against, 85.7 CF%, 8-1 scoring chances) in a 2-0 win against Dallas.

Making his first start since January 9, Jets G Steve Mason recorded a 31-save shutout in a 3-0 win at the Rangers…Predators G Pekka Rinne posted a 26-save shutout in a 2-0 win against Dallas and has a .942 save percentage in his past seven starts…Blue Jackets G Joonas Korpisalo stopped 37 of 38 shots in a 4-1 win over Vegas; he had a .882 save percentage in his previous five starts…Blackhawks G Jean-Francois Berube saved 33 of 34 shots in a 2-1 overtime win against Colorado. He has a .907 save percentage in five appearances…Stars G Kari Lehtonen turned away 32 of 33 shots in a 2-0 loss at Nashville. He has a .928 save percentage in his past 15 games.

Many of the advanced stats used here come from Natural Stat TrickCorsica and Hockey Reference.

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