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Kucherov surprised America, Ovechkin didn’t score again: a powerful Russian day in the NHL

Nikita Kucherov scored five points and helped Tampa beat Ottawa, Artemy Panarin extended his personal scoring streak, although his efforts were not enough for the Rangers to defeat Kirill Kaprizov's team, Washington defeated one of the most amazing NHL clubs even against the backdrop of Alexander Ovechkin's goalless streak, and Evgeni Malkin became even closer to great history. The main moments of a busy game day in the National Hockey League are in the Sports review.
Festival of hat-tricks and Kucherov's show Another day in the NHL championship included as many as 15 matches, and all of them turned out to be very productive. One of the most goal-rich meetings took place in Ottawa, where stars from Tampa arrived for a visit. One should have expected a scoring extravaganza from their confrontation with the Senators – in the last three head-to-head matches, the teams scored a total of 27 goals, while the Lightning lost all three times and intended to take revenge.

John Cooper's team managed to achieve this, but not without problems. Although “Ottawa” is going through an unpleasant period, things are not going well for “Tampa” either. And even today the Lightning were forced to win even in the first period. Luckily for them, Nikita Kucherov is in excellent shape, who, according to all forecasts, is on track for 115-120 points for the season.

The Russian super forward was apparently tired of the fact that 2-3 points scored per match did not guarantee his team victory, and therefore staged a real extravaganza in the Canadian capital. Nikita played assist poker and scored a goal, ultimately scoring five (!) points with six Tampa goals. This is the fourth time Kucherov has played so effectively. From now on, he is the Lightning record holder for the number of matches with 5 points per game. The Russian surpassed club legend Vincent Lecavalier in this indicator. After such a match, Nikita even agreed to talk a little with the press, which surprised the American public.

Three of Kucherov's four assists found one sniper – Brayden Point scored a hat-trick. And, by the way, there were a huge number of hat-tricks that day. In addition to Point, Nashville's Ryan O'Reilly, Winnipeg's Nino Niederreiter and Toronto's Auston Matthews also scored three goals. Moreover, the latter scored his third hat-trick this season. And this is in 11 matches! This hasn't happened in the NHL for over 100 years. True, today the American's three goals did not help the Maple Leafs avoid defeat in the game with Buffalo.

Panarin cannot be stopped! It is interesting that Kucherov is not the top scorer of the championship among Russians, although we are accustomed to seeing Nikita as the leader. Artemy Panarin is currently showing the best performance. In 11 games, the New York Rangers forward scored 18 points (6 goals and 10 assists).

Khlebushek added his next points to his personal collection in today’s game with Kirill Kaprizov’s Minnesota, where at first everything went well for Artemy and his gang. Already in the first period, the Rangers led with a score of 3:0, and Panarin scored a cool goal – by the way, a shot from under Kaprizov. Thus, the Russian extended his scoring streak. Since the start of the season, the Rangers forward has scored points in all 11 league games. In terms of the length of the scoring streak from the start of the regular season, Panarin took second place in Rangers history, repeating the result of Darren Turcotte, who also scored points in 11 games in a row in the 1990-91 season. The all-time Rangers record in franchise history belongs to Rod Gilbert, who scored in the first 14 consecutive games of the 1972-73 season.

However, neither this goal nor the assist in the third period was enough for the Rangers. The Blueshirts managed to squander the advantage they had gained and, having avoided defeat in regulation time, lost to Minnesota in a shootout, where Panarin, by the way, also turned out to be accurate. But Kirill Kaprizov did not convert his attempt, but did not leave the court without scoring points. The most important thing is that Kirill finished this match – the Russian had to spend some part of the third period in the locker room, where he put himself in order after an unpleasant collision.

It’s interesting that in a parallel meeting, the Rangers’ neighbors from New York, the Islanders, went wrong in a similar way. The Islanders also led 3:0 in the match against Carolina, but ultimately lost to the Hurricanes in overtime (3:4). Dmitry Orlov finally scored a goal for the Hurricanes – for the Russian defender, this was his debut goal of the season and for the Canes, respectively. He was assisted by Andrei Svechnikov, who continues to score points after his long-awaited return to the ice.

Malkin and Co. beat up the main losers of the season. The San Jose Sharks are frankly “flushing” this season. And he does it too provocatively. The team led by David Quinn lost all 11 matches of the season, but the last two defeats were special. A couple of days ago, the “sharks” were disgraced in the game with “Vancouver” (1:10), but today they conceded another 10 goals against “Pittsburgh”.

Evgeni Malkin gladly joined in the beating of the Californian losers. Gino is great this season. If he continues to score points at the same pace, he will hit a hundred. So far, the Russian has 13 points (7+6) in 10 games. What is especially surprising is the large number of goals that Malkin scores. He happily “left” two of them in San Jose.

Gino is getting closer to being included in the list of the greatest players in NHL history. He already has 478 career goals in league championships. The 500 Club is just a stone's throw away.
Ovechkin is goalless again. Alexander has already caught up with the new Russian in the NHL. One of the key matches of the day was played in the US capital. The local Capitals hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets, one of the most exciting teams this season in the NHL. “Uniforms”, in their typical manner, play very unstable in terms of results and a number of game components, but they look very nice and cause a lot of problems even for serious opponents.

For the Russian viewer, Columbus is also notable for the number of compatriots on the team. Today there is one more: Yegor Chinakhov finally returned to the Blue Jackets starting lineup and played his first NHL game since December 2022. As expected, he didn’t get into the line with Kirill Marchenko and Dmitry Voronkov, but he still acted confidently, usefully and created several truly dangerous moments near the opponent’s goal. True, they failed to score, but Marchenko and Voronkov realized their goal. Kirill again found himself among the assistants, and Dmitry scored his second goal in his debut NHL season.

Alexander Ovechkin has the same amount to his credit so far. The main sniper of our time is not so effective this season, and after scoring a goal in the match a week ago with New Jersey, he can’t hit someone else’s goal. Over the last four games in a row, the coveted 825th goal of his career has been hidden from Ovi. But Alexander and his teammates have reason to rejoice. Still, “Washington” withstood the onslaught of “Columbus” and maintained a winning score, thanks to which the “capital” won the thousandth victory in home matches in the history of the franchise.
All results of the game day:

  • “Edmonton” – “Nashville” – 2:5
  • “Arizona” – “Winnipeg” – 3:5
  • “Washington” – “Columbus” – 2:1
  • “Detroit” – “Boston” – 5:4
  • “Ottawa” – “Tampa” – 4:6
  • “St. Louis ” – “Montreal” – 6:3
  • “Toronto” – “Buffalo” – 4:6
  • “Islanders ” – “Carolina” – 3:4 OT
  • “Philadelphia” – “Los Angeles” – 0:5
  • “Minnesota” – “Rangers” – 5:4 PB
  • “Chicago” – “Florida” – 5:2
  • “Vancouver” – “Dallas” – 2:0
  • “Vegas” – “Colorado” – 7:0
  • “San Jose” – “Pittsburgh” – 2:10
  • “Seattle” – “Calgary” – 3:6


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