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Top-5: Auston Matthews scores a (superb) fifth goal in four games

There was plenty of action on Sunday in the NHL, as in addition to Patrick Roy’s first game at the helm of the Islanders, five other games were on the schedule.

Here’s what caught the eye on the Bettman circuit yesterday:

1. Auston Matthews scores a (superb) fifth goal in four games

Auston Matthews isn’t exactly a bad goal-scorer. The Maple Leafs forward is possibly the best in the league at moving the ropes, and again this season, he leads the NHL in goals scored.

And for a while now, Matthews has been on fire, having scored four goals in his last three games before facing the Kraken last night.

Of course, Matthews wasn’t going to stop there: he scored his fifth goal in his last four games… and he scored one of his own.

It made for great imagery, but more importantly, it gave the Maple Leafs the lead, and they never looked back.

With a 2-1 lead, Ilya Samsonov had to make his presence felt in front of his team’s net, and the Leafs ‘ goaltender responded.

The Maple Leafs eventually prevailed 3-1, Jake McCabe completing the scoring in an empty net.

At the same time, Samsonov tasted victory for the first time since December 9. That’ll do him good.

2. A point for Shane Pinto in his first game of the year

Since the start of the year, the Senators have been without the services of Shane Pinto, one of the organization’s fine young centers. And while he’s no savior, you have to wonder how much his absence hurt the club, which couldn’t count on stability on the center line.

The good news is that he was finally back yesterday afternoon, when his 41-game suspension for sports betting came to an end.

And in his very first game, Pinto blackened the score sheet with an assist on this Tim Stützle goal. It was initially credited to Vladimir Tarasenko, but was later changed.

Stützle’s goal started a big comeback for the Senators, who were now trailing 3-1. Claude Giroux (who scored in Philadelphia like in the good old days) and Vladimir Tarasenko found the back of the net later to give the Sens a 4-3 lead.

And Stützle completed the scoring in an empty net.

A 5-3 Senators victory, and Mads Sogaard tasted victory for the first time this season.

Egor Zamula (two goals, one assist) and Joel Farabee (one goal, two assists) each picked up three points in the loss for the Flyers.

3. Kirill Kaprizov scores three times instead of one

Kirill Kaprizov is one of the most talented players in the NHL. The Wild forward is a real offensive bomb and can single-handedly change the outcome of a game.

And even though he’s having a slightly more difficult season, the Russian took advantage of his duel with the Hurricanes to demonstrate the extent of his immense talent.

He tormented poor Antti Raanta by scoring his first hat trick of the season.

Kaprizov has now scored five goals in his last two games. He’s finding his stride at a time when the Wild’s season is at a crossroads.

In front of the net, Filip Gustavsson was monstrous, turning aside 40 of the Hurricanes’ 42 shots. A very solid performance, especially as his team-mates only managed 19 shots on net in the game.

In the end, the Wild won 5-2.

Three wins in four games for the Minnesota outfit.

4. Rangers make a wild comeback

Yesterday, the mighty Rangers were in Anaheim to take on the poor Ducks.

After 20 minutes, however, there was an interesting development as the Ducks took a two-goal lead. Both goals were scored by Adam Henrique.

On the other hand, the Rangers machine hadn’t said its last word. It took a little while, but after a Vincent Trocheck goal late in the second period, the third twenty saw the Rangers kick into high gear for real.

Artemi Panarin’s goal gave them the lead in the third period.

And for the insurance goal, Chris Kreider pulled out some of his best baseball moves… ever.

With the season quietly approaching, he must have been feeling the atmosphere on the ball.

In the end, the Rangers scored five unanswered goals to win 5-2.

Three points (one goal and two assists) for Kreider in the win.

5. Detroit beats Tampa Bay twice

There were two clashes between Detroit and Tampa Bay yesterday. First, in the afternoon, the Lions and Buccaneers battled it out in the NFL for a spot in the conference championship (or, in other words, the semifinals).

The Lions came out on top in a thrilling 31-23 final.

But then, the Red Wings and Lightning also crossed swords… and once again, Detroit came out on top, this time in a much more defensive game.

Victor Hedman and Lucas Raymond each scored in the first period to make it 1-1, but in the second period it was Daniel Sprong who scored to give the Red Wings the lead.

An odd sequence, but a goal’s a goal.

Alex Lyon was monstrous in front of the Wings net, turning aside 27 of 28 shots to give his team a 2-1 victory.

It also ended a five-game winning streak for the Lightning.


– For full details of Patrick Roy’s first game with the Islanders, click HERE.


– Six straight games with at least one point for Joel Farabee. He has nine total points during this streak.

– Nice effort by Tomas Tatar on this Jordan Eberle goal.

– Previous day’s results.

– Top scorers of the day.

(Credit: Screenshot/

– Six games on the schedule today.

(Credit: Screenshot/Google)

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