There are some things in this world that simply can’t be explained. Let’s start with the fact that the Arizona Coyotes, who have the fewest points in the NHL, toppled the NHL-leading Colorado Avalanche for the second time.
Loui Eriksson scored his first goal in 19 games to erase Colorado’s early one-goal advantage and Nick Schmaltz tallied the winning goal in the third period to lift Arizona to a 2-1 win against visiting Colorado.
Karel Vejmelka stopped 42 of 43 shots, including five saves on two Colorado power plays, as Arizona topped Colorado for the second time in just over a month.
“We don’t play them anymore, right?” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said after the game. The last time the teams met, Arizona stopped Colorado’s 18-game home winning streak with a shootout victory.
Colorado still leads the NHL with 84 points despite going 1-1-2 against Arizona. Defenseman Devon Toews gave the Avalanche the lead with a second-period goal. The Arizona win carried an NHL betting lines payout of +320.
Two of the other division leaders also lost on Thursday.
Ovechkin Nearing Milestone
Alex Ovechkin had a power-play goal as the Washington Capitals rolled to a 4-0 win against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, who lead the Eastern Conference with 79 points. It was Ovechkin’s 763rd career goal, which is three behind Jaromir Jagr for third in NHL history. Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored on the power play, defensemen Dmitry Orlov and Martin Fehervary added goals while Vitek Vanecek stopped 36 shots as the Capitals snapped a three-game losing streak. The Capitals winning by four goals carried a Las Vegas odds moneyline of +2000.
For the first time this season and only the 5th time ever, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, & Patrick Kane have all scored goals on the same day.
All four are former Hart & Conn Smythe Trophy winners, and have scored more than 400 goals each in their careers. pic.twitter.com/G16m5k4SNW
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 4, 2022
The Montreal Canadiens got two goals from Ben Chiarot, including one 1:03 into overtime as the visiting Canadiens upset the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames 5-4 for Montreal’s fifth win in six games.
“That’s a big one, beating a team like that,” Chiarot said. “They’re are the top of the standings and you can see why. That’s a big one for the confidence of the team, knowing we can play with anybody.”
Mike Hoffman had a goal and three assists and Nick Suzuki a goal and two assists for Montreal while Andrew Mangiapane had three points, including his 29th goal of the season for Calgary.
Atlantic Powers Split
The results were better for the other division leader as the Florida Panthers held the visiting Ottawa Senators to 18 shots in a 3-0 victory.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 18 of those shots while Patric Hornqvist scored 12 seconds apart as the Panthers won for the first time in four games.
Five of the six teams with the best odds to win the Stanley Cup championship were in action on Thursday and Florida was the only team to win.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, second only to the Avalanche in the championship odds, fell to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins behind a goal and two assists from Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh improved to 4-1 when Malkin has at least two points this season. Malkin scored for the fourth game in a row to hand Tampa Bay its fifth regulation home loss.
Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Danton Heinen each had a goal and an assist while Tristan Jarry had 20 saves. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare had the only goal for Tampa Bay. Lightning coach Jon Cooper was given a game misconduct for arguing with officials in the final minute of the second period.
The visiting Boston Bruins got a hat trick from Craig Smith and a career-high three assists from Trent Frederic in a 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights to improve to 4-1 on its current six-game road trip. The Bruins scoring five goals carried a moneyline of +450.
David Pastrnak had two goals and Jeremy Swayman stopped 34 shots. Swayman has won his last five starts. Swayman, the NHL leader with a 1.95 goals-against average, is 6-1-1 with a 1.24 GAA and .957 save percentage since Feb. 1. The Bruins are tied for the second-most points in the NHL during that time. Pastrnak leads the NHL with 23 goals since Jan. 1.
Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault had goals for Vegas, which lost for the sixth time in the last eight games. The Golden Knights were playing without forwards Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, and it showed as they were held to two goals or less for the fifth time during that stretch.
Wild, Canucks Rally on Road
Ryan Hartman scored twice as the visiting Minnesota Wild rallied three times from one-goal deficits for a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Philadelphia led 3-2 going into the third period before goals from Matthew Boldy and Jonas Brodin 25 seconds apart helped Minnesota snap a four-game losing streak.
Scott Laughton had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia, which scored more than three goals for just the third time in the last 24 games.
Nils Hoglander and Vasily Podkolzin scored less than a minute apart in the third period as the visiting Vancouver Canucks rallied for a 4-3 win against the New York Islanders. Vancouver improved to 19-8-4 since Bruce Boudreau replaced the fired Travis Green. The Canucks are seventh in the NHL in points percentage since that move was made. Quinn Hughes had two assists for his fourth multi-point game over the last seven contests.
Noah Dobson had his 10th goal for the Islanders and has 11 points in his last 14 games.
Alex DeBrincat scored in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks topped the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 to spoil the return of veteran defenseman Duncan Keith, who played his first game in Chicago as a member of the visiting team.
Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots for the Blackhawks.
Edmonton’s Evander Kane forced overtime with his second goal of the game and Leon Draisaitl had two points to move within a point of teammate Connor McDavid for the NHL scoring lead.