Tyler Toffoli followed up a hat trick with another multi-goal game against his former team as the Canadiens and Canucks concluded their back-to-back set with over 20 combined tallies.
* Semyon Varlamov saw his season-opening shutout sequence end at 142:10, one of the longest such runs in League history.
* The reigning Western Conference champion Stars are set to play their season opener against the Predators in a rematch of the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
TOFFOLI CONCLUDES BACK-TO-BACK WITH FIVE GOALS VERSUS FORMER CLUB
Tyler Toffoli (2-1—3) tallied twice less than 24 hours after scoring a hat trick and Joel Armia (2-2—4) had a single-game career high four points – including the last of three Canadiens goals in a span of 94 seconds – as Montreal improved to 3-0-2 this season.
* Toffoli, who skated 10 regular-season games and seven playoff contests with Vancouver last season, became the first player in League history to score each of his first five goals with a franchise against his previous team. Two others have done so against multiple former clubs.
* The Canadiens and Canucks combined for 21 goals over two days (10.5 G/GP), the most by two teams over a back-to-back set in the regular season since Buffalo and Montreal nearly 28 years ago. The clubs are set to square off again Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada (7 p.m. ET on CBC, TVAS, SN, CITY), followed by another back-to-back at Bell Centre from Feb. 1-2.
VARLAMOV’S SEASON-OPENING SHUTOUT SEQUENCE ENDS AT 142:10
Devils forward Nathan Bastian scored at 2:10 of the second period to end Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov’s season-opening shutout sequence at 142:10, the eighth-longest such run in NHL history.
* Mathew Barzal led all skaters with 1-2—3 to help the Islanders improve to 3-1-0 on the season. It was his 16th career regular-season game with three or more points.
POINT SCORES ANOTHER OVERTIME GOAL AGAINST COLUMBUS
Brayden Point, who scored two overtime goals against the Blue Jackets in the 2020 First Round, potted another winner in extra time to power the Lightning past their rival. Point has seven career regular-season overtime goals, fourth in franchise history behind Martin St. Louis (10), Vincent Lecavalier (8) and Steven Stamkos (8).
JETS, BRUINS AND KINGS ALSO VICTORIOUS ON THURSDAY
The Jets, Bruins and Kings also secured wins Thursday night:
* Kyle Connor (0-2—2), who has at least one point in each of Winnipeg’s first four games of the season (3-4—7), reached 100 career regular-season assists (108-100—208 in 253 GP) and Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves as the Jets defeated the Senators to move to 3-1-0. Hellebuyck improved to 5-0-0 in five career appearances against Ottawa (2.00 GAA, .934 SV%, 1 SO).
* After going without an even-strength goal through its first three games, Boston tallied three such goals Thursday – including two in a span of 1:09 – en route to a come-from-behind win over Philadelphia. The Bruins and Flyers are scheduled to meet three more times (Jan. 23, Feb. 3 & Feb. 5) before squaring off in the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe event on Feb. 21.
* Los Angeles, which contested the last NHL game played outdoors, received an 0-2—2 outing from its captain Anze Kopitar – which included an assist on the go-ahead goal by Adrian Kempe with 3:56 remaining in regulation – as the Kings rallied past the Avalanche to earn their first win of the season. Kopitar has recorded two assists in three of Los Angeles’ four games in 2020-21.
STARS SET FOR SEASON DEBUT ON EIGHT-GAME FRIDAY NIGHT
A busy Friday night in the NHL is slated to include the season debut of the Stars, the third of four straight games between the Coyotes and Golden Knights, along with a potential reunion between the Wild and Sharks.
* Dallas rallied to win the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic but Nashville has won each meeting since, both via shutout with Juuse Saros making a combined 70 saves in those games. The Predators have never shut out an opponent in three consecutive meetings, while the Stars/North Stars have been shut out in three straight contests against one opponent only twice, against the Kings (April 8 – Dec. 11, 2002) and Canadiens (Jan. 23 – Nov. 19, 1975).
* Led by new captain Mark Stone (2-5—7 in 4 GP) who has factored on all four of Vegas’ game-winning goals, the Golden Knights look to start a season with five straight victories for the first time when they contest their third of four consecutive head-to-head games against the Coyotes. The longest season-opening win streaks in 2019-20 were five games, achieved by the Avalanche, Hurricanes and Oilers.
* Minnesota, which has earned its three victories via an overtime winner or a go-ahead goal in the third period, aims to improve to 4-1-0 when they host San Jose in the first of two straight head-to-heads. The Wild may face their former goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who manned the Minnesota crease for parts of six seasons (2014-15–2019-20) before being traded to the Sharks during the offseason.