It was a Canadian sweep on Tuesday night, with all three Canadian NHL teams coming away with a win. It took the Oilers and Canadiens extra time to decide their matches, and the Canucks solved their road woes.
Here are three stories from Tuesday:
Oilers end latest skid
Newly acquired forwards Derek Roy and Matt Fraser made their Edmonton Oilers debut in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings that ended the team’s nine-game winless streak.
Roy had an early milestone with his new team, earning his first point as an Oiler by getting the primary assist on Matt Hendricks’ first period goal. It was goalie Ben Scrivens that deserves the lion’s share of the credit.
His 37 saves allowed his team to hang on. The ice was decidedly tipped in the reigning Stanley Cup champion’s favour in the third period, where Edmonton was outshot 15-1. The discrepancy allowed the Kings to even the score 2-2 late in the third.
David Perron scored the only shootout goal of the game, which was his second game-winner of the season. He was the hero of the game in the Oilers’ most recent victory on Dec. 6 against the San Jose Sharks.
In his first solo game, interim coach Todd Nelson earned his first victory as well. General Manager Craig MacTavish had shared coaching responsibilities with him prior to Tuesday’s game.
“We bent but we didn’t break. It feels good to get a win. This group needed it.” – Coach Nelson following his first @NHL coaching victory
Habs end year on high note
In their last game of 2014, the Montreal Canadiens claimed a 2-1 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers to claim the top spot in the East. The story of the game was the exceptional goaltending on both ends of the ice.
Dustin Tokarski had the start in net for the Habs. The 25-year-old made 36 saves and was nearly perfect. A third period surge by the home team, where they outshot the Canadiens 14-4, resulted in a Nick Bjugstad goal with only 1:49 remaining in the game.
Fortunately for Montreal, Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo seems to consistently struggle against the Canadiens. He has a 1-6-0 record when facing them. Nevertheless, he put in a strong effort to keep his team in the game, as the Canadiens sent 20 shots his way in the second period alone.
Montreal scored first in that second period with a tally from Brendan Gallagher. That didn’t go in Luongo’s favour either, as the Canadiens have now improved to 14-0-0 when they score first. They are the only remaining team that is undefeated when they are the first to strike. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored the only shootout marker to keep the streak alive.
Canucks end road skid
The Vancouver Canucks ended a four-game road losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Sharks in San Jose. It wasn’t an easy challenge, with the Sharks undefeated at home in December prior to Tuesday’s match.
Forward Jannik Hansen’s second period would hold up as the game-winner. The 28-year-old scored out of the penalty box after serving two minutes for an illegal hit to the head of Sharks Tommy Wingels. Many thought the hit was questionable, and it could be one that gets a second look by the league.