The fantasy juggernaut known to mere humans as Evgeni Malkin returned to action last night, and he seemed healthy enough, with a goal, plus-1, three shots and two hits.
Olli Maatta notched his third assist in five games, and he's also helping you elsewhere with 11 blocked shots in that span. He played over 19 minutes in four of those five games, so ice time is obviously trending up from his season average of 16:33.
Think we'll give the fantasy line of the night to Brandon Dubinsky. He racked up 20 penalty minutes and six hits in 13:55 TOI before being tossed out. That sound you hear is a microphone dropping.
Curtis McElhinney's two-game shutout streak came to an end, but he played well again, allowing the Penguins only two goals on 30 shots.
Marc-Andre Fleury collected his sixth win in seven games and...and...yaaaaaawwwwn.....
Christmas is a time for giving, but Craig Anderson has been in the spirit for weeks. He gift-wrapped another four goals for the Flyers, but still took down the W based on Steve Mason joining in the holiday spirit, allowing four goals of his own and losing 5-4 in the shootout.
Please, if I ever attempt a Christmas analogy again, take me out back.
Ottawa standouts were Clarke MacArthur (2G, +1, 2 SOG, 2 hits), Bobby Ryan (2A, 6 SOG), and Kyle Turris (1G, +1, 5 PIM, 5 SOG).
For Philly, Michael Raffl, Kimmo Timonen and Luke Schenn each posted a goal and an assist.
Scott Hartnell was involved again with an assist, five shots, four hits and a blocked shot. Is it a little disappointing that he is averaging less then one PIM/game this year? A couple of outbursts and he can be back on track, but from a guy who's been in the 130-140 PIM rage for six straight seasons, we want more.
Anyone else feel sorry for John Tavares? He finally had a taste of team success last year, but yeah, no. The Isles are mediocre once again. JT finished with a goal, an assist, six shots and 16-6 (72.7%) in faceoffs. Ducks win 5-2. What a waste.
Can't remember where I heard this stat, but between the Sabres and Islanders, Thomas Vanek has played 28 games this year. He has been on the winning team exactly four times. That's some nasty voodoo. Vanek stopped a brief two-game pointless skid with a goal and assist last night.
Notable Ducks included Cam Fowler (1+2=3, +2, 3 SOG, 1 hit, 2 blocks), Corey Perry (2G, +1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG, 4 hits, 2 blocks) and Jonas Hiller (W, 35-37, .946 SV%).
Lastly, Eddie Lack collected his first career shutout, stopping all 31 shots he faced. At only 25 years old, the Canucks will look to him first to eventually replace Luongo, but with Lu under contract through 2040, who knows when that transition will happen. Lack now has some nice numbers in limited action this year: a 4-2 record and 2.08/.925 peripherals. Amazing what a shutout will do to a small sample size.
Called up: Kent Simpson, Tim Erixon, Colton Sceviour, Jason Zucker, Arron Asham, Tye McGinn, Brian Dumoulin
Sent down: Derek Smith, Jeff Schultz, Erik Haula, J.T. Miller, Pierre-Marc Bouchard (waived)