Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
There was no shortage of drama in the NHL on Wednesday, as one of the four games went to overtime and another was settled in the final 10 seconds of the third period.
The reigning Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals got back over .500 with a 4-3 overtime win against the New York Rangers, and the Montreal Canadiens continued their run as one of the NHL’s biggest early-season surprises by beating the St. Louis Blues 3-2 to improve to 4-1-1.
Additionally, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby heaped heavy praise on one of the NHL’s rising stars, and the Calgary Flames lost a key player to injury.
Here is a rundown of some of the top highlights from Wednesday’s slate, along with a look ahead toward who will be in action Thursday.
Wednesday’s NHL Scores
Montreal Canadiens 3, St. Louis Blues 2
Washington Capitals 4, New York Rangers 3 (OT)
Calgary Flames 5, Boston Bruins 2
Anaheim Ducks 4, New York Islanders 1
Sidney Crosby Touts Connor McDavid as NHL’s Best Player
Penguins center Sidney Crosby was long viewed as the unquestioned top player in the NHL, but he is ready to pass the torch.
In an interview with NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger on Wednesday, Crosby expressed his belief that Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid is the best the league has to offer: “I think McDavid has set himself apart just based on the awards and the accolades he’s gotten and the consistency he’s had. I think it’s fair to say it’s an easy pick just because of that.”
The 21-year-old phenom has four goals and five assists for nine points through four games this season, and he has already won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in his young career.
McDavid is also the two-time defending Art Ross Trophy winner as the NHL’s leading point scorer.
Crosby, 31, has two Hart Trophies, two Art Ross Trophies and three Stanley Cup wins to his credit, so his opinion resonates.
McDavid wasn’t the only player Crosby praised, as he also spoke positively about Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews: “There are so many different guys. Matthews has emerged this year and it really looks like he’s taken even another step. I think there’s a lot of guys in the conversation. But it’s hard to argue [McDavid]. He’s been really consistent. He’s won scoring titles, MVPs. So yeah, that’s an easy one to pick.”
Matthews leads the NHL this season with 10 goals and 16 points for the red-hot Leafs.
Fittingly, Crosby and Matthews will clash Thursday when the Penguins travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs in a marquee Eastern Conference battle.
Johnny Gaudreau Exits Wednesday for Concussion Protocol
The Flames defeated the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Wednesday, but an injury to their best player put a damper on the celebration.
Winger Johnny Gaudreau left the game in the third period after getting hit by Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, and he did not return.
After the contest, Flames head coach Bill Peters said the following regarding Gaudreau’s status, per TSN: “[Flames trainer Kent Kobelka] comes down and says, ‘Johnny’s gotta go. The spotters have called for him.’ That’s all I know. Hopefully it’s nothing. Hopefully, it’s minor. But we’ll see.”
Earlier in the game, Johnny Hockey scored the 100th goal of his NHL career.
Through six games this season, Gaudreau has three goals and six assists for nine points, which is tied for the team lead with Matthew Tkachuk.
Michael Frolik Finishes Off Flames’ Beautiful Passing Display
Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron Fires Cross-Ice Laser to Brad Marchand
Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin Nets Two Nearly Identical Power-Play Goals
It looks deceiving, but this is actually two different @ovi8 goals.
Oh and these were from the same night. 😳 https://t.co/GzuOm1pXU3
Matt Niskanen Wins It for Capitals in Overtime
When opportunity presents itself in @EASPORTSNHL OT, you make it count. Matt Niskanen certainly did for the @Capitals. #WNH https://t.co/w2kQwNUuzQ
Mike Reilly Toes Line, Nets First Goal for Canadiens
Brendan Gallagher Scores Late Winner for Habs vs. Blues
9.7 seconds left on the clock, @BGALLY17 comes in clllllutch. #STLvsMTL https://t.co/jChKkSKcUu
Ducks’ Adam Henrique Bats Puck Out of Midair for Goal
Thursday’s NHL Matchups
Colorado Avalanche at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET
Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET
Vancouver Canucks at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m. ET
Arizona Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. ET
Boston Bruins at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m. ET
New York Islanders at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m. ET
Buffalo Sabres at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. ET