Take a gander of our morning preview as Christmas crawls closer and you prepare your breadbaskets for a smorgasbord of delectable holiday cuisine.
Essential Water Cooler
Alex Ovechkin is one of the most dominant players in professional hockey and last night marked another momentous occasion for the Washington Capitals' captain. ‘Ovie’ netted his 400th career goal on an empty net shot with 24 seconds remaining to give the Caps a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Although number 400 wasn’t as much of a highlight reel type goal as Ovechkin has been known to create, the milestone is impressive, especially considering he hit the mark in 634 games. Is Ovechkin the greatest goal scorer of this generation?
The Winnipeg Jets took advantage of a restless and tired Florida Panthers squad, who arrived in Winnipeg at 3 a.m., ending the Cats’ five-game winning streak. Jets’ defenseman Jacob Trouba danced past the sleeping beauties and used Tom Gilbert’s skate to net his second goal of the season.
Men of the Night
Philipp Grubauer, Washington: Most people will remember last night as the night ‘Ovie’ hit 400 goals, but the Caps’ goaltender also had a big night between the posts; making 41 saves on his way to the win. It was the second 41 save performance in December for the 22-year old German.
Kyle Palmieri, Anaheim: The New Jersey native returned home to score an overtime winner for the Ducks in front of 100 friends and family. Pressure? What pressure.
Michael Grabner, NY Islanders: The Austrian winger broke out of a 31 game funk, where he didn’t score a goal, to put two on the board for the Isles in the battle of New York. Remember when this guy scored 34? What happened?
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington: Sure, this story is already heavily sporting the Caps, but how can you ignore Backstrom’s four assists in one game? You can’t. Backstrom’s 33 assists also leads the NHL.
Better Luck Next Time
It looked like the Chicago Blackhawks were going to walk all over a road-weary Vancouver Canucks squad, but they were wrong, giving up a two goal advantage to lose 3-2 in an eight round shootout that ended with Ryan Kesler snapping one past Antti Raanta.