Oh boy, am I ever glad I caught the early game on Tuesday’s schedule. It was the marquee matchup pitting the defending Stanley Cup champs versus the San Jose Sharks. The two squads did not disappoint.
13 goals, two hat tricks, two two-goal deficits wiped out. Good times.
Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with his third trick of the season and added an assist for good measure. The captain is up to 36 goals and 56 points in 49 contests. With that performance, Ovechkin extended his goal-scoring lead to six.
However, it wasn’t enough as Washington surrendered a 6-4 lead in the third period and lost the game 7-6 in overtime. That’s six straight losses for the Caps.
The hero of that extra frame was Tomas Hertl. The 25-year-old is having a career-season and added to that with his own three-goal, four-point night affair. It’s his second hat trick in the last five contests. He’s already matched his career-high in goals (22) set last season, and is just one shy of his career-high in points (45).
He’s vying for the award for best value in fantasy drafts at this point.
Linemate, Evander Kane continued his red-hot play right alongside Hertl scoring two goals in this one. The left-winger has 12 goals and 24 points in his last 19 contests while putting up 3.5 shots per game over that span. All but three of those points have come at five-on-five.
After a dreadful November and so-so December, the 27-year-old has been a man possessed.
Kane has always been a streaky scorer, but the difference this year is his chemistry and the development of Hertl. Kane is clicking well above his normal assist-rate, all the while finding the back of the net in a sustainable way. He's likely to go on a goal-scoring binge at some point too, but when he's dried up, you can likely now count on the apples to keep your squad from starving with him in the lineup.
These two players performing at such high levels are excellent signs for the Sharks as we witness Joe Thornton finally begin to succumb to Father Time and his perfect record.
Not to be forgotten,