Sidney Crosby’s milestone night, other takeaways from a busy NHL Saturday

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Chris Kreider (20)
Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Coming up big

A common theme throughout a busy night in the NHL on Saturday was a number of teams coming up with huge wins that they absolutely needed to have. It seemed to happen a lot and we saw it in the Battle of Alberta with the Edmonton Oilers beating the Calgary Flames 7-1 thanks to another typical Connor McDavid show, a game we covered in a previous slide.

But there were plenty more examples, including in New Jersey where the Buffalo Sabres beat the Devils 3-2 in what was a must win for a team flirting with not making the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 10th consecutive year.

Taylor Hall (4)
Taylor Hall #4 of the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Taylor Hall, making his return to The Garden State, tallied an assist and Sam Reinhart scored twice with the Devils unable to complete the comeback despite both Kyle Palmieri and P.K. Subban lighting the lamp in the third period.

We also saw a really impressive win for the New York Rangers who played arguably their best hockey of the year to beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 at Capital One Arena, a game in which everything seemed to click for the Blueshirts.

Alexis Lafreniere recorded his second goal of the year from a sublime pass from Artemi Panarin, who has 18 points (5 G, 13 A) in 14 games, while Mika Zibanejad also scored a huge, huge goal with an empty-netter. Igor Shesterkin stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced and the Rangers will need to build off this performance and this win now.

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There were also notable wins for the Detroit Red Wings who beat the Florida Panthers 2-1, the San Jose Sharks who knocked off the St. Louis Blues 5-4 and the Nashville Predators got a huge boost by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2, so it was a busy and very entertaining Saturday in the NHL overall and there was something for everyone.