Thursday’s Three Stars
A hat trick certainly isn’t a bad way to make an early impression.
Four goals is even better.
Jakub Vrana’s time in Washington was clearly coming to a close before they sent him to Detroit in the trade for Anthony Mantha. On Thursday, he saw some of the most offensive success as he has in a while, netting a hat trick plus one against the Dallas Stars.
Richard Panik, the other player sent to Detroit in the deal, also scored his first goal with the Red Wings. Perhaps the real winners of the trade *were* the friends the Red Wings made along the way.
The win, behind their two new players, also helped the Red Wings stave off playoff elimination on Thursday night, even as they were without their captain, Dylan Larkin.
There were plenty of rumors around the trade deadline involving the Capitals and adding a goalie. Against the offensively-challenged Islanders, Ilya Samsonov put up one of his best performances of the season.
The Caps and Islanders were deadlocked without a goal going into the shootout, partially thanks to the 26 saves from the young Capitals goalie. Samsonov stepped up in the shootout as well to give the Capitals an important win atop the East Division standings. It was his third career shutout, and his second this season.
Carolina needed a win over the Panthers and Martin Necas contributed three assists in their 4-2 victory. He’s continued to have a breakout season, now with a career high of 37 points in just 43 games. Last season, he had posted 36 points in 64 contests.
His 26 are second on the team just behind the 31 from defenseman Dougie Hamilton. On Thursday, his helpers came on the last three Hurricanes tallies.
The Hurricanes are 6-0-1 against the Panthers this season, the team they are directly ahead of in the Central playoff race.
Highlights from Thursday
James van Reimsdyk netted two goals to lead the Flyers past the Rangers, including this tally.
The Panthers lost, but Aleksander Barkov had himself a nice game, including this excellent shot.
Not a bad save for Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic.
Stats from Thursday
Bruins forward Brad Marchand has scored 12 goals in April (13 games) after he posted yet another against the Sabres on Thursday.
The Penguins scored two goals in 25 seconds en route to their win over the Devils on Thursday. That’s only the third quickest span between goals for the Pens this season; they scored twice in 22 seconds on March and twice in 14 seconds on February 14.
Aleksander Barkov’s goal against the Hurricanes gave him 20 goals this season, the sixth 20-goal season of his career. That’s the most in Panthers history.
Thursday’s NHL scores
Flyers 3, Rangers 2
Maple Leafs 5, Jets 3
Bruins 5, Sabres 1
Capitals 1, Islanders 0 (SO)
Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 1
Hurricanes 4, Panthers 2
Penguins 5, Devils 1
Red Wings 7, Stars 3
Avalanche 4, Blues 2
Senators 3, Canucks 0
More NHL news
The Buzzer: Vrana nets four-goal night, Capitals shutout Islanders originally appeared on NBCSports.com