Nash, Giordano, Simmonds, and More From Saturday in the NHL

Columbus Blue Jackets, Rick Nash (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images)
Columbus Blue Jackets, Rick Nash (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images) /

If you missed Saturday’s NHL action, you’ve got a lot to catch up on.

20 teams were in action yesterday, as ten games filled the day with milestones, ceremonies, and thrilling hockey. There was no shortage of headlines entering the day, and the games certainly did not disappoint.

Saturday was an exciting day in the NHL.

The Nashville Predators earned an 8-0 win, the Philadelphia Flyers continued their home dominance against the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks snagged upset wins over the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively, and those are just the things that won’t garner in-depth attention.

Here is everything you missed from a busy Saturday in the NHL.

Nick Schmaltz Scores Seven Points

The Arizona Coyotes took on the Ottawa Senators in the afternoon, and the Yotes recorded a stunning eight goals to get the win. While that is noteworthy itself, the real story came from forward Nick Schmaltz, who scored seven points on his own.

The 26-year-old netted two goals and assisted on five others to set a franchise record for points in a single game. He fired five shots on goal, earned a plus-five rating, and he did it all in just over 20 minutes of ice time.

After the Coyotes opened a 4-0 lead, the Sens stormed back to take a 5-4 lead early in the third period. Schmaltz, however, racked up four assists in the final frame to propel his club to the 8-5 victory.

Two Players Reach 1,000 Games Played

Wayne Simmonds of the Maple Leafs was one of two players to play in his 1,000th NHL game on Saturday. At 33 years old, Simmonds is in his 14th season in the league. He was a second-round pick in 2007 and began his career with the Los Angeles Kings.

The bulk of his time in the league came with the Flyers, where he played 584 games over eight seasons and scored 378 points (203 goals and 175 assists). In total, Simmonds has compiled 521 points (262 goals and 259 assists) in his career with LA, Philly, Nashville, Buffalo, New Jersey, and Toronto.

Also on Saturday, Seattle Kraken captain Mark Giordano took the ice in Washington D.C. for his 1,000th contest. The 38-year-old was undrafted out of the OHL but signed with the Calgary Flames, where he played 15 seasons and served as the captain from 2013-2021.

Now in year 16, the Norris Trophy winner has 532 points (149 goals and 383 assists) while in the NHL. He has played only for the Flames and Kraken and has worn the “C” for both.

Rick Nash Gets Jersey Retired

Speaking of 1,000-game players, Rick Nash was honored by the Columbus Blue Jackets as he watched his number 61 become the first number ever retired by the club.

Nash played 1,060 games over 15 years in the NHL. Most notably, he was the captain in Columbus, where he played 674 games in nine seasons. In that time, he scored 289 goals and 258 assists for 547 points as a Jacket.

The Blue Jackets drafted Nash first overall in 2002, and he lived up to the hype, as he now leads the franchise in games played, goals, assists, and points. He led the NHL in goals (41) in his second season, and he eclipsed the 60-point plateau four times while playing in Ohio.

Nash not only put up great numbers, but he put a franchise that was in its infancy on the map. While he never won a playoff series with the team, he gave people a reason to watch the Jackets as the team established itself in the NHL. For that, he is undoubtedly the greatest Blue Jacket of all time.

Flames, Avalanche Need OT in Battle of Division Leaders

In the most highly anticipated matchup of the day, the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames traveled to Denver to face off against the Central Division-leading Colorado Avalanche.

The teams traded goals as the game was tied at one, two, and three, before going to overtime where the game-winning goal was tallied by Johnny Gaudreau of the Flames. The clubs were even in almost all statistical categories, with the one exception being faceoffs, of which Calgary won 62.3%.

It’s an impressive win for a Flames team that was not expected to be in this position after missing the playoffs in 2021. Yet, here they are, going toe-to-toe with the best team in hockey, on the road, without starting netminder Jacob Markstrom, who has been the backbone of this team all season.

This game marks the first of three meetings between these two teams in the month of March. We can only hope that the next two, and perhaps a playoff series farther down the road, will be just as entertaining.

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Saturday was a great day to be a hockey fan, and with the trade deadline approaching and the postseason right around the corner, the action isn’t slowing down any time soon.