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Scott Cullen

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Donato with an outstanding debut; Rinne, Ekman-Larsson, Doughty, Domi, Luongo and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

The Boston Bruins have been decimated by injuries lately, but they did get some positive news with the signing of 2014 second-round pick Ryan Donato, who just completed his junior season at Harvard, scoring 26 goals and 43 points in 29 games (he added five goals and an assist in five games for Team USA at the Olympics).

Donato made his NHL debut Monday, playing 19:40 in a 5-4 overtime loss to Columbus, and he was every bit as good as advertised, scoring one goal, assisting on two others and recording eight shot attempts (6 SOG).

One of the reasons to suspect that Donato’s collegiate production can translate favourably to the NHL is that he is a shot generator. He put 175 shots on net in just 29 games for the Crimson this season, which is 6.03 per game, easily best in the nation.

In his debut, he skated alongside David Krejci and Danton Heinen on Boston’s second line and while most nights aren’t going to be quite as magical as his performance in his first NHL game, Donato gives the Bruins a legitimate scoring threat in their middle six group of forwards.

HEROES

Pekka Rinne – Nashville’s veteran netminder posted a 35-save shutout in a 4-0 win at Buffalo. He’s making a strong case for the Vezina late in the season, recording a .950 save percentage in his past 11 starts.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Arizona’s star blueliner scored two goals in a 5-2 win against Calgary; he has 13 points (5 G, 8 A) in the past 15 games.

Drew Doughty – The Kings blueliner recorded three assists in a 4-3 overtime win at Minnesota, giving him 10 points (1 G, 9 A) in the past six games.

Max Domi – The Coyotes winger put up two goals and an assist in a 5-2 win over Calgary, and has eight points (2 G, 6 A) in the past 10 games.

Roberto Luongo – Florida’s veteran goaltender stopped all 28 shots that he faced in a 2-0 win at Montreal, and has a .928 save percentage in 13 starts since returning from injury.

ZEROES

Brendan Guhle and Scott Wilson – The Sabres’ defenceman and winger had fine possession numbers, but were both on the ice for three goals against in a 4-0 loss to Nashville.

Michael McCarron and Nicolas Deslauriers – Montreal’s fourth liners both scrapped, but otherwise had a tough night (3 for, 17 against, 15.0 CF%) in a 2-0 loss to Florida.

Nick Cousins and Jordan Martinook – The Coyotes forwards were on the wrong side of the action (13 for, 25 against, 34.2 CF%, 6-13 scoring chances) and were on the ice for both goals against in a 5-2 win over Calgary.

VITAL SIGNS

Trevor Lewis – The Kings winger, who recently returned from injury, suffered an upper-body injury against Minnesota and was forced to leave the game.

SHORT SHIFTS

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As expected, Jeff Carter has added goals since returning to the Kings lineup.

Kings C Jeff Carter scored two goals, including the overtime winner, in a 4-3 win at Minnesota; he has 10 points (8 G, 2 A) in the past 11 games…Kings RW Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 OT win at Minnesota, and has nine points (5 G, 4 A) in the past 12 games…Predators LW Filip Forsberg produced a goal and an assist in a 4-0 win at Buffalo, and has 11 points (4 G, 7 A) in the past 10 games…Predators RW Viktor Arvidsson added a couple of assists, giving him 18 points (8 G, 10 A) in the past 15 games…Blue Jackets LW Boone Jenner and RW Thomas Vanek both had a goal and an assist in a 5-4 overtime win at Boston. Jenner has eight points (5 G, 3 A) during a six-game point streak, and Vanek has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past six games…Blue Jackets LW Nick Foligno and D Ryan Murray both had two assists against the Bruins. Foligno had three points (2 G, 1 A) in his previous 11 games, and Murray matched his production from his previous 20 games…Bruins LW Brad Marchand contributed a goal and an assist in a 5-4 OT loss to Columbus; he has 20 points (9 G, 11 A) in the past 12 games…Bruins rookie winger Danton Heinen added a couple of helpers. He had two points (1 G, 1 A) in his previous 17 games…Coyotes C Derek Stepan earned two assists in a 5-2 win over Calgary and has eight points (1 G, 7 A) in the past nine games.

Panthers D Aaron Ekblad had a strong game (25 for, 6 against, 80.7 CF%, 12-0 scoring chances) and scored a highlight-reel goal in a 2-0 win at Montreal…Flames D Dougie Hamilton scored a goal and launched 16 shot attempts (6 SOG) in a 5-2 loss at Arizona.

Coyotes G Antti Raanta turned away 42 of 44 shots in a 5-2 win vs. Calgary, giving him a .948 save percentage in his past 11 games…Canadiens G Antti Niemi stopped 38 of 40 shots in a 2-0 loss to Florida, and has a .932 save percentage in 16 games since arriving in Montreal.

 

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