Goals aplenty, another milestone, an impressive rookie and uncustomary behaviour top the list of our Dusk til Dawn morning recap. Grab a cup of java and enjoy.
Essential Water Cooler
One night after Alex Ovechkin notched his 400th goal, another primetime player hit a milestone.
New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr moved into a tie for seventh place on the all-time goals list with Mark Messier.
The 41-year old Jagr scored goal No. 694 of his career in the third period against Ovechkin’s Capitals, helping the Devils defeat Washington 5-4.
Jagr currently sits behind Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) in career goals.
Jonas Gustavsson returned to Toronto, his home of three seasons before coming to Detroit as a free agent in 2012, and made a big splash.
‘The Monster’ didn’t have the most solid night between the pipes, allowing four goals on 23 shots, but he did come up with a huge stick save to absolutely rob Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf. The save was so miraculous, it even fooled play-by-play commentator Jim Hughson.
Men of the Night
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim: Getzlaf is having a career year and is a current front-runner for the Hart Trophy and tonight he was definitely on his game for the soaring Ducks. The native of Regina, Sask. potted three goals and had an assist in a come from behind win for Anaheim over the New York Islanders. The win pushed the Ducks current winning streak to eight games.
Chris Stewart, St. Louis: Stewart had a similar kind of night to Getzlaf, scoring three goals for a hat trick, while also recording an assist, but unlike the Ducks, his team was in the driver’s seat from the get-go. The Blues thrashed the lowly Oilers 6-0 in Edmonton. Stewart recorded a point in every period of play.
Antoine Vermette, Phoenix: The phrase of the day was hat trick in the NHL. The 31-year old Vermette netted three goals for Phoenix in a 4-3 win over Ottawa. The former Sen was a major thorn in the side of his one-time employer yesterday scoring the game-tying and overtime winning goal.
Martin Jones, Los Angeles: We can’t give all the love to the forwards. Jones continued the impressive start to his career with a 25 save performance to help his Kings defeat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout. The rookie stopped all three shootout attempts, which makes him perfect in the shootout for the season, having stopped 12 consecutive shots. With the victory, Jones improved his record to 8-0-0 matching Bob Froese’s NHL-record start to a career in one season, set in 1982-83.
Better Luck Next Time
Sorry James Reimer, but your stinkeye didn’t phase Randy Carlyle or your Toronto teammates.
After a terrible first period where he allowed three goals on 12 shots, Reimer was yanked by his head coach during the intermission for Jonathan Bernier, who was supposed to be taking the night off to recover from a lower body injury.
Before the second period had time to start, Reimer was caught on-camera giving his bench boss the ‘evil eye’ with an added dose of disapproving head shakes.
The death stare didn’t phase anyone on the team as the Leafs rode Bernier to a eventual come form behind lead before falling to the Red Wings in a shootout.
If Reimer wanted that huge Winter Classic starting nod in 10 days, his chances have probably gone bye bye.