Blues’ winning streak ends; Another year for Fleury

Best NHL Player Tuesday

Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers rode their best NHL winning streak at 11 straight games with a win from behind over the New York Islanders, winning 3-2 in overtime. Barkov scored all three goals for the Panthers in the game for his first hat trick of the season. Jonathan Huberdeau has assisted on all three goals to lead the NHL in scoring so far, but Barkov earns top star of the night honors with those three goals, including the overtime winner. The Panthers are now tied with the Colorado Avalanche for the NHL’s best record with 116 points.

NHL Highlights Tuesday

Matt Boldy and Kevin Fiala have given the Minnesota Wild a dominant second scoring line, and they’ve been outstanding together this season. They continued that on Tuesday by teaming up for a pair of goals in the Wild’s 2-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens who still had no goal for starting goaltender Carey Price when he returned to the lineup. This Boldy goal is a thing of beauty.

The Toronto Maple Leafs win without Auston Matthews, beating an unfortunate Philadelphia Flyers team by a 5-2 margin. This Jason Spezza goal here is the highlight of the night for the Maple Leafs.

Matt Duchene scores to become the first Nashville Predators player to score 40 goals in a single season. Filip Forsberg scored his 39th goal in this game and is close to joining this group. The Predators defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 in a shootout. It is also the first 40-goal season of Duchene’s career.

Three takeaways from the NHL on Tuesday

Another shutout for Rangers

The New York Rangers recorded another shutout Tuesday night thanks to 31 saves from Igor Shesterkin in a 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets. He extended the Rangers’ shutout streak to three straight games, following wins over the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings. No, they’re not strong opponents, but the Rangers are doing exactly what a Stanley Cup contender should be doing against these teams. Dominate them and win easily. They are.

Blues winning streak ends at nine games

The same night the Florida Panthers’ winning streak continued, the St. Louis Blues’ nine-game winning streak came to an end in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins. Although the winning streak is over, the Blues’ points streak still continues thanks to the point and now stands at 12 games in a row (10-0-2 during that streak). The Wild and Blues are heading to a first-round Stanley Cup playoff game with the only thing to be determined who will have home ice advantage in this Central Division 2-3 series.

Marc-André Fleury wants to play another season

Marc-André Fleury has been a sensational addition for the Wild and he said this week that he is looking forward to playing another season in the NHL next year. Although he hasn’t yet fully matched what he did a year ago in Vegas by winning the Vezina Trophy, he has looked the same since leaving the Chicago Blackhawks. Fleury will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and will no doubt have plenty of suitors on the open market.

Wednesday’s Big Story

After losing at home Monday night to a bad New Jersey Devils team, now is the time to win for the Vegas Golden Knights. They’re not getting an easy game either, as they host an overheated Washington Capitals squad that is coming off a big win Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Right now, the Los Angeles Kings (the team Vegas is chasing) are on 95-point pace this season and only playing non-playoff teams the rest of the way. If we assume that it would take 96 points for Vegas to qualify for the playoffs, it would need nine points in its remaining five games. That is to say at least a record of 4-0-1. The margin of error has disappeared.

Tuesday’s NHL results

Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Minnesota Wild 2, Montreal Canadiens 0
Detroit Red Wings 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3
New York Rangers 3, Winnipeg Jets 0
Florida Panthers 3, New York Islanders 2 (OT)
Nashville Predators 3, Calgary Flames 2 (SW)
Boston Bruins 3, St. Louis Blues 2 (OT)
Ottawa Senators 4, Vancouver Canucks 3 (SW)
Los Angeles Kings 2, Anaheim Ducks 1
San Jose Sharks 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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

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