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NHL Rewind: Patrick Kane nets overtime winner in return to Chicago, Sidney Crosby leads Penguins past Flyers

Another week of NHL action is in the books, and there was quite a few intriguing storylines that took place. We’ve got you covered with our NHL Rewind, featuring all of the key moments from the week that was.

On Sunday, Patrick Kane made his return to Chicago when the Detroit Red Wings took on the Chicago Blackhawks. There shortly was no shortage of drama as Kane scored the game-winning overtime goal against his former team.

Another legend made his presence felt on Sunday when Sidney Crosby put together a four-point performance to help lift the Pittsburgh Penguins over their divisional rival Philadelphia Flyers in the “Battle of Pennsylvania.” 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest stories and highlights from around the NHL from over the past week.

Goal of the week: Gabriel Vilardi shows off insane hands

Patience certainly was a virtue for Winnipeg Jets forward Gabriel Vilardi over the weekend.

During Sunday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes, Vilardi found himself occupying space in front of the net. Once the Coyotes left Vilardi all alone, Jets forward Mark Scheifele dished the puck down to Vilardi in front of the net. Vilardi was then able to show off some incredible hands as he deked Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram and deposited a forehand-to-backhand goal.

Vilardi ended up registering a goal and an assist in a 4-3 overtime win in which Jets star Kyle Conner scored the game-winning goal.

Robbery of the week: Sergei Bobrovsky slides across to stop Martin Necas

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky continued his phenomenal season in a 1-0 loss at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

During the second period of Thursday’s contest, Hurricanes forward Martin Necas had the puck on his stick with only Bobrovsky in front of him. In order to put the puck into the net, Necas stick-handled wide of Bobrovsky and attempted to flip the puck past Bobrovsky. However, Bobrobsky was able to slide across to stop Necas’ shot with his pad.

Bobrovsky stopped 28 of the 29 shots that he faced, but didn’t get any offensive support in the narrow loss.

Patrick Kane scores overtime winner to lift Red Wings past Blackhawks

The script couldn’t have been written any better. Patrick Kane returned to Chicago for the first time since the Blackhawks traded him away before the 2023 deadline, and he made the most of his opportunity.

With the game tied 2-2 in overtime, Kane had the puck on his stick with a chance to life the Detroit Red Wings to victory, and he did just that. Kane had a breakaway opportunity all alone against goaltender Petr Mrazek, and lifted the puck past Mrazek for an electrifying game-winning goal.

Kane had a big hand in helping the Red Wings erase a 2-1 third-period deficit. At the 15:44 mark of the third period, Kane picked up the primary assist on an Alex DeBrincat goal. It certainly was poetic as Kane and DeBrincat skated on the same line during their time with the Blackhawks.

The Red Wings star finished the game with a goal and an assist. Kane also extended his point streak to eight games and scored a goal in his third consecutive contest.

Kane has certainly bounced back from hip surgery in a big way after struggling during his brief time with the New York Rangers last season. The star forward has registered 12 goals and 16 assists since making his Red Wings debut back in December and has Detroit making a charge toward the postseason.

Sidney Crosby’s four-point afternoon helps Penguins top Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby has had an abundance of success against his cross-state rivals in the Philadelphia Flyers. That success continued on Sunday when Crosby tallied a four-point performance en route to a 7-6 Penguins win.

Crosby racked up a goal and three assists in the win, including earning the primary assist on teammate Rickard Rakell’s third-period goal. 

The Penguins outscored the Flyers 3-2 over the final 20 minutes with Rakell, Kris Letang, and Drew O’Connor registering third period goals.

It marked the 244th career game in which Crosby recorded multiple points in a period as he tallied a goal and an assist in the opening period. Crosby’s 244 such performances are ninth in NHL history behind only Wayne Gretzky (611), Mario Lemieux (362), Jaromir Jagr (299), Marcel Dionne (287), Phil Esposito (283), Steve Yzerman (263), Gordie Howe (258) and Ron Francis (249).

Crosby’s 55 points and 126 points are both the most that any player has tallied against the Flyers in their career. It also was the 17th career game in which Crosby has registered three or more points against the Flyers. 

Sunday’s victory was a big one for the Penguins, who are currently nine points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Tyler Bertuzzi records a hat trick, pushes Maple Leafs past Avalanche

Veteran winger Tyler Bertuzzi hasn’t exactly had the season that many predicted when he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs this past summer. However, Bertuzzi showed just how dangerous he can be as he registered a hat trick in a 4-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Bertuzzi ended up scoring the game-winning goal at the 17:09 mark of the third period.

The Maple Leafs forward really happened to be in the right place at the right time late in the third period. Bertuzzi was standing right in front of the Avalanche net, and teammate William Nylander was able to flip it in front right onto Bertuzzi’s stick. The Maple Leafs’ offseason acquisition was able to deposit a quick shot past Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev.

The Maple Leafs fell behind 2-0 after Avalanche forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Andrew Cogliano registered goals to give Colorado an early advantage. That was when Bertuzzi started taking over the contest.

Bertuzzi got into the scoring column at the 13:42 mark of the opening period after Mitch Marner slid the puck across to the veteran forward for the easy tap-in goal. 

In the second period, Bertuzzi recorded his second goal of the game when he scored off an assist from Nylander.

The Avalanche certainly didn’t go away. Star forward Mikko Rantanen was able to rip a long shot past Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov to tie the game before Bertuzzi ultimately provided the game-winner.

Bertuzzi had just seven goals entering Saturday’s contest, which is a tad surprising. Still, Bertuzzi’s hat trick performance could be just the thing to steer his season in the right direction.

Appointment viewing this week

Stars at Avalanche | Tuesday, Feb. 27: The race for first in the Central Division is not only close, but that spot will be a tremendous reward. The two teams that finish second and third will have to face one another in a heavyweight fight in the first round. The winner of this game will take a huge step forward when it comes to capturing a division title.

Wild at Predators | Thursday Feb. 29: There are still a handful of teams vying for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but these two squads might be the most likely contenders. The Wild and Predators have played well of late, and this is essentially a four-point game in Nashville on Thursday.

Panthers at Red Wings | Saturday, Mar. 2: These are the two hottest teams in the NHL since the calendar flipped to 2024. The Panthers look like the Stanley Cup favorites, and the Red Wings are one of the more fun teams to watch right now. This one should provide plenty of fireworks on Saturday afternoon.

Penguins at Flames | Saturday, Mar. 2: This matchup will have some big implications for the trade deadline. The Flames and Penguins are barely hanging on in their respective playoff races, so the loser of this game will likely have to dispel any notion of reaching the postseason if they haven’t already.

Bruins at Maple Leafs | Monday, Mar. 4: Depending upon how things shake out atop the Atlantic Division, this could once again be a first-round preview. Toronto has clearly been the better team lately, but Boston seems to have the ability to turn it on when they see blue and white across from them.

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