Nikita Kucherov led Tampa Bay Lightning to better results in franchise history, while Eric Karlsson returned from his suspension in a dominant manner.
Here are four things we learned in the NHL on Saturday.
Kucherov and Lightning show no signs of slowing down.
Having won first place in the NHL test race, Kucherov continued his dominant performance, making a few points against Montreal Canadiens on Saturday evening.
With the goal and help in winning Lightning 6-5, Kucherov expanded his series of points to 10 games and recorded his fifth consecutive multi-point result. Only Vincent Lecavalier had more games in a row with several points in franchise history.
Kucherov increased his lead in the driving race over Mikko Rantanen, taking 63rd place in the season, as Tampa Bay ended December with the best result in franchise history.
Not only did they set a new record for wins and points for the month, but Lightning also demonstrated its ability to light a lamp at will with another achievement with five or more goals.
Carlson corrects the suspension clause
After a long Christmas break, Carlsson’s return was great, as he scored four seasons in the season against the Edmonton Oilers.
It was the first game of the Sharks defender after he was dismissed from two games for hitting Austin Wagner’s head.
– San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 29, 2018
In 38 games this season, Karlsson has three goals and 27 assists, which is the seventh among defenders. His teammate Brent Burns is the third-largest quarterback with 38 points in 40 games.
In December, the 28-year-old has one goal and 14 assists in 12 games after a slow start to the season, where he scored 15 points in 26 games.
Joe Thornton also reached another milestone, playing in his 1524th career game, which linked him to Brendan Shanahan, who took 17th place in the list of games of all time.
Barsal dazzles with a natural hat-trick
It seems that Matthew Barsal again gets his points for the New York islanders after Saturday counted a natural hat trick against Toronto's maple leaves.
– New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 30, 2018
He became the first Islanders striker to score three goals against Maple Leaves since Mike Bossi did it back in 1986.
Having scored three goals in his first 24 games of the season, in December Barzal changed the situation with seven goals in 12 games. The 2017 Calder Trophy winner is leading the Islanders game with 35 points in 36 games this season.
Rask reaches a new milestone with the Bruins.
Playing in his 468th game in the form of Boston Bruins, Tuukka Rask tied Tiny Thompson for most of the games played by the goalkeeper in franchise history.
With a 3–2 win over Buffalo sabers, the 31-year-old also approaches another brand franchise, held by Thompson as the undisputed leader of Boston wins.
The former three-time winner of the Vezina Trophy scored 252 wins, so Rask needs only six wins to beat Thompson for the Bruins record.