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Top-2: Max Pacioretty returns to action after 349 days away
It was a quieter Wednesday night in the NHL, with only two games on the Bettman circuit.

Without further ado, here’s what caught the eye around the league yesterday:

1. Max Pacioretty returns to action after a 349-day absence

Since the end of the 2021-22 season, Max Pacioretty hasn’t played much hockey. In fact, he underwent two operations on (the same) Achilles tendon, and even though some thought it would be the end of his career(including himself), the former Tricolore captain decided to persevere in spite of it all.

And last night, after an absence of no less than 349 days, Pacioretty was finally back in uniform for an NHL game. It must have done him a world of good.

He spent just 11:47 on the ice, firing no shots and handing out two checks. That said, a penalty on his part allowed Nico Hischier to score his second goal of the first period, giving the Devils a 2-0 lead.

Even before the middle of the first period, the Swiss, who celebrates his 25th birthday today, was already in position to score a hat trick. However, he was unable to complete it, even though his team-mates did their utmost to feed him late in the game.

The Capitals put up a good fight, but in the end, the Devils prevailed by a score of 6-3. Joel Edmundson was out of uniform for the Capitals due to a “maintenance day”.

Of particular note was Evgeny Kuznetsov’s magnificent goal midway through the second period.

2. Auston Matthews spoils Lukas Dostal’s historic night

Last night, young Lukas Dostal had the tough task of facing the Maple Leafs’ potent attack… and I don’t know what he put in his cereal, but other goalies around the league should take a leaf out of his book.

Dostal turned aside the first 49 shots he faced… but unfortunately, John Tavares finally got the better of him late in the third period.

His goal forced overtime.

And if there’s one player who’s good at scoring goals this season, it’s Auston Matthews. The Maple Leafs star was at 29 goals yesterday, and Matthews had the chance to become the first player on the Bettman circuit this season to reach the 30-goal plateau.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that it was he who scored the winning goal in overtime.

Matthews thus becomes the first NHL player to reach 30 goals this season… and Dostal unfortunately had to concede despite his 55 saves, a concession record in one game.

The Leafs won 2-1.


– Wonderful goal from Michael McLeod.

– The Ducks’ goal yesterday, scored by Frank Vatrano.

– Results from the previous day.

– Last night’s top scorers.

(Credit: Screenshot/

– No less than 13 games on the NHL schedule tonight.

(Credit: Screenshot/Google)

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