NHL Rewind: Erik Karlsson gets 700th career point, wild win fifth consecutive game

It’s safe to say that it was a chaotic weekend in the NHL ranks. We saw everything from the Minnesota Wild keeping up their winning ways to a pair of historic milestones.

Let’s get caught up on all of the action with the NHL rewind.

Goal of the weekend: Jordan Eberle pulls off insane spinning, backhand goal

Sometimes you need the right combination of still and luck to pull off a ridiculous goal. That was the case for Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle in Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

During the second period of Sunday’s contest, defenseman Adam Larsson put a slap pass right on the tape of Eberle’s stick. Eberle then spun and uncorked a backhanded shot that somehow found its way past Jets goaltender David Rittich.

Eberle was able to gather the puck and put the puck on net. Obviously, he didn’t know where exactly the puck would end up, but sometimes some luck never hurts. This was one of the more insane goals that we’ve seen this season.

Robbery of the weekend: Charlie Lindgren denies Mitch Marner

Ever since Darcy Kuemper went down with injury, Charlie Lindgren has stepped up in goal for the Washington Capitals. In the Caps’ 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, Lindgren came up big on multiple occasions.

None of Lindgren’s saves were bigger than his first-period stop on Mitch Marner. Somehow, Washington defenders lost track of Marner — but Lindgren did not. He tracked the puck from Rasmus Sandin’s stick in the corner to Marner’s in front of the net and slid across to make a gorgeous blocker save.

Since Dec 5, Lindgren has posted 5.03 goals saved above average, which is fourth in the NHL in that span. He has been a huge part of the Capitals’ turnaround.

Wild top senators to win fifth straight game

The Minnesota Wild are currently one of the hottest teams in the NHL and kept that stellar stretch going with a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. It marked the fifth consecutive win for the Wild.

Star winger Kirill Kaprizov registered his second consecutive three-point performance as he tallied a goal and two assists. Kaprizov also became the fastest Wild player to reach 200 career points in Sunday’s win.

Kaprizov opened the scoring just 8:19 into the contest when he received a picture-perfect pass from teammate Mats Zuccarello and one-timed the puck past Senators goalie Anton Forsberg.

With the Wild already leading 2-0 in the second period, Kaprizov hit a cutting Jared Spurgeon right in front of the net and Spurgeon roofed a shot past Forsberg to make it a 3-0 game. Kaprizov ended up assisting on Minnesota’s first three goals.

With their fifth consecutive win in toe, the Wild now sit in third place in the Central Division with a 18-11-2 record (38 points). Minnesota is only four points behind the division-leading Dallas Stars due to the recent surge. The Wild have a fairly easy stretch coming up with the likes of the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharksand St Louis Blues coming up on their schedule. It’s quite likely that this group continues to make moves in the Western Conference as the NHL moves into the New Year.

Elias Lindholm scores twice in 19 seconds to help flames beat Sharks

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm had quite the accomplishment during Sunday’s 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Lindholm scored two goals in 19 seconds to open the third period.

In doing so, Lindholm tied Bob Murray for the eighth-fastest two-goal stretch by one player to begin a period in NHL history. The most recent skater to score two faster period-beginning goals was former Boston Bruins forward Mike Knuble, who did it in the first 27 seconds of the first period on Feb. 14, 2003.

Lindholm scored just 16 seconds into the final period off assists from veteran forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri while the Flames were on the power-play.

Erik Karlsson records 700th career point

Defenseman Erik Karlsson is in the midst of having one of the more impressive seasons of his NHL career. On Sunday, Karlsson recorded his 700th career point in a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Karlsson just became the 27th defenseman in NHL history to record at least 700 points. The only other active defenseman to register 700 career points is Brent Burns of the Carolina Hurricaneswho currently has 799 points (17th all-time) to his credit.

In addition to reaching the 700-point plateau, Karlsson also became the first defenseman in the league to reach the 40-point mark during the 2022-23 season. Karlsson needed the third-fewest games in order to reach 40 points over the past 20 years. Only John Carlson (29 games in 2019-20) and Bryan McCabe (32 games in 2005-06) accomplished the feat in a shorter span of time.

Karlsson now has 41 points (12 goals & 29 assists) on the season, including two assists that he recorded in Sunday’s loss. The veteran defenseman leads the Sharks in points (41) and assists (29) on the year.

The 32-year old is set to have his best year since being traded to San Jose prior to the 2018-19 campaign. Karlsson’s career-high is 82 points (16 goals & 66 assists), which came during the 2015-16 season as a member of the Ottawa Senators. Now Karlsson may not set a new career high, but he’s enjoying one of his best seasons in years.

John Tortorella scratches Kevin Hayes

As the Philadelphia Flyers continue to struggle and sink toward the bottom of the NHL standings, drama is brewing between head coach John Tortorella and leading scorer Kevin Hayes.

Despite leading the Flyers in points with 29, Hayes was a healthy scratch for Saturday night’s loss to the New York Rangers. Prior to that game, Tortorella chose not to expand on his decision. He opened up more on Monday.

“Standards are held for everybody in this organization, no matter what draft pick or no matter what stature,” Tortorella told reporters. “No matter what you’re thinking about in the area here, I have to hold a standard for everybody, and that’s how it’s going to be. I think that’s the proper way to build this hockey club.”

Hayes was taken back by Tortorella’s decision to scratch him but acknowledged that Tortorella has the final say on lineup decisions.

“I don’t think I should have been benched, but he’s the coach, I’m the player,” Hayes said, according to Giana Han of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Tortorella has been known to push his players with hard-nosed coaching throughout his career. It’ll be interesting to see how Hayes responds when he gets back into game action.

Appointment viewing this week

Lightning at Maple Leafs | Tuesday, Dec 20: Not only are these two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but they are also two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference. The Maple Leafs and Lightning are both playing great hockey right now, and thiis should be a barn burner.

Oilers at Stars | Wednesday, Dec 21: If you like goals, this is the game for you. Edmonton and Dallas are both top-five in the NHL in goals scored, and there is offensive firepower on both sides. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl gong up against Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz is must-watch TV.

Capitals at Senators | Thursday, Dec 22: The biggest game of the week is always the next Capitals game, at least for now. Alex Ovechkin had multiple shots to tie or surpass Gordie Howe against the Detroit Red Wings, but he narrowly missed on those scoring chances. We’ll see if he can get it done against the Senators.

Bruins at devils | Friday, Dec 23: Before the NHL goes on its three-day Christmas break, make this one of the games you watch. There’s not too much I need to say about this one because the Bruins and Devils have simply been the two best teams in the league this year.

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