Panthers make big statement; Canucks win streak ends

Leading gamer in the NHL on Thursday

Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers

Simply a totally dominant efficiency by the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, routing their cross-state competitors by a 9-3 margin. Florida is now 2-0-1 versus Tampa Bay this season, outscoring the Lightning by a 15-7 margin in the 3 video games. There were a great deal of huge stars for the Panthers in this video game — as holds true when you score 9 objectives — however Huberdeau was blazing a trail with a five-point effort, scoring an objective and including 4 helps. That efficiency provides him 38 points in 31 video games this season, without a doubt the greatest mark on the group. He has actually turned into one of the NHL’s leading offensive gamers and along with Aleksander Barkov provides the Panthers a possible champion level core to develop around.

Emphasizes from around the NHL on Thursday

Anthony Duclair has actually discovered a house with the Florida Panthers and contributed to his objective overall on Thursday with a set of objectives in the Panthers’ big win versus the Lightning, including this appeal of a play right here. This is likewise his 100th profession objective in the NHL.

Alexandre Texier utilizes a slick relocation in the shootout to assist the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators.

The Vancouver Canucks just scored one objective on Thursday night, however male was it a fantastic play by J.T. Miller.

3 takeaways from the NHL on Thursday

Canucks winning streak ends, however they still get a point

For the very first time given that working with Bruce Boudreau the Vancouver Canucks were not on the winning side of a video game. They lost a 2-1 shootout choice to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night, snapping what had actually been a seven-game winning streak under their brand-new coach. Fortunately: They still got a point despite the fact that they were far from their finest.

It is still challenging to get a continued reading this Canucks group and their opportunities the remainder of the method. The 7-0-1 mark under Boudreau is an apparent enhancement. However even with that it still just brings their points portion on the season to .500, and they still have a quite substantial quantity of ground to comprise in the playoff race. Yes, they are just three points out of a spot, but they have played more games than everybody else (including several more games than some teams) and there are only three teams in the Western Conference with a worse points portion. They have also taken half of their games under Boudreau to overtime or a shootout. That is not always the best recipe for continued success. But, at least their season is a lot more interesting than it seemed to be a couple of weeks ago.

Pacific Division stronger than it looked at the start of the season

At the start of the season the Pacific Division looked like it was going to be by far the weakest division in the league. Vegas looked to be the clear favorite, Edmonton was probably the second-best looking team just based on the two superstars at the top, and then everybody just seemed to be nothing special. But more than a quarter of the way through the season and the division is way more competitive than it looked. Anaheim and Calgary have exceeded all expectations and are giving Vegas a run for its money, while San Jose and Los Angeles have managed to hang around in the playoff race. With their wins on Thursday the Sharks and Kings are just one point back of a Wild Card spot (worth noting the two current Wild Card teams still have several games in hand) and there looks to be a solid six-team race for playoff spots.

Andrew Mangiapane‘s run for the “Cy Young” continues

This is the unofficial designation for a player whose goal to assist ratio would be fitting of a Cy Young winning pitcher in the Major Leagues, and Calgary Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane is making an impressive run at it this season. He scored another goal on Thursday in the Flames’ 6-4 win over the Seattle Kraken (Mark Giordano had a goal and two assists against his former team for the Kraken) without recording an assist in the win. That brings his stat line on the season to 18 goals and three assists. Of the 15 players that have scored at least 15 goals this season Mangiapane is the just one that does not have at least five assists this season. Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat has the second fewest assists, recording six helpers to go with his 17 goals for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Friday’s big story

There are two great matchups on the schedule on Friday with the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning meeting, and also the Vegas Golden Knights and Anaheim Ducks. The former has two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference going head-to-head, while the latter will determine first place (for the time being at least) in the Pacific Division. The Washington Capitals are also in action on Friday, playing the Detroit Red Wings, giving Alex Ovechkin another chance to set the NHL all-time record for most power play goals.

Thursday’s NHL Scores

Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Nashville Predators 3 (SO)
New York Islanders 4, Buffalo Sabres 1
Florida Panthers 9, Tampa Bay Lightning 3
Carolina Hurricanes 4, Montreal Canadiens 0
Calgary Flames 6, Seattle Kraken 4
Los Angeles Kings 2, Vancouver Canucks 1 (SO)
San Jose Sharks 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2 (OT)

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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL Rink Wrap: Panthers make huge declaration; Canucks win streak ends initially appeared on NBCSports.com

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.