2017 NFL Divisional Draft Needs – AFC East Cover Image
2017 NFL Divisional Draft Needs – AFC East
Dom Murtha

Latest from Ray Flowers' MLB Draft Guide

Jason Pominville Headshot

Pominville contributed a goal and an assist in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Capitals.

Pominville's line with Martin Hanzal and Nino Niederreiter combined for two goals and five points, which looks nice until it's compared to the five goals and nine points generated by Washington's top trio of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. Still, this can only be viewed as a step in the right direction considering Pominville had potted just one goal in his previous 19 appearances. While Minnesota's third line is more skillful than most, the 34-year-old winger's 13:00 of ice time is a reminder of the limited opportunities that come with such a role.
3:01 am (EST)
Martin Hanzal Headshot

Hanzal finished with a goal and an assist Tuesday against the Capitals.

Both of Hanzal's points came in the second period of what was ultimately a 5-4 overtime loss. He has contributed a healthy nine points in 14 games since coming over from Arizona at the trade deadline, though Minnesota's 2-8-2 record over the past 12 indicates the Wild haven't been able to take advantage of the veteran center's production.
2:55 am (EST)
Jared Spurgeon Headshot

Spurgeon finished with a goal and two assists in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Capitals.

Spurgeon's late heroics helped his team secure a point, as he cut the deficit in half by scoring with 4:57 left before assisting on Eric Staal's game-tying goal with 27 seconds remaining. This type of performance had been missing from Spurgeon during Minnesota's late-season swoon, with no goals and just two assists coming off the blueliner's stick in the previous 15 games. Even with this recent lull, the 27-year-old is sitting on new career highs in points (35) and plus-minus (31) with six games to play.
2:47 am (EST)
Nicklas Backstrom Headshot

Backstrom dished out three assists -- two on the power play -- in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win over the Wild.

Backstrom had one helper in each period of regulation. His 14 assists in the past eight games have the veteran Swede just two back of Connor McDavid for the league lead, and he could easily bridge that gap over the remaining seven games with linemates T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin both firing on full cylinders at the moment. Backstrom's over the 80-point mark for the first time since 2009-10, but he'll end up well short of 101 points he put up in that campaign.
2:35 am (EST)
Marcus Johansson Headshot

Johansson dished out four helpers -- including three on the power play -- in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win against the Wild.

All of Johansson's points came after the 7:31 mark of the second period. His three regulation assists all led to power-play goals by Alex Ovechkin, while his final contribution of the night resulted in T.J. Oshie's overtime winner. Johansson still hasn't scored a goal in the past seven games, but his six helpers in the past three games are making that fact easy to overlook.
2:25 am (EST)
Devan Dubnyk Headshot

Dubnyk made just 15 saves in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to Washington.

Dubnyk was let off the hook for stopping just 13 of 17 pucks in regulation when his offense scored twice in the final five minutes to send the game into overtime, but proceeded to give up the game-winner to T.J. Oshie less than two minutes into the extra session. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin were responsible for all five goals against the struggling netminder, with all three of Ovechkin's coming on the power play. Dubnyk's 2-7-2 stretch has thoroughly dashed his Vezina Trophy hopes following a 35-12-3 start.
2:20 am (EST)
Braden Holtby Headshot

Holtby turned aside 26 shots in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime victory over Minnesota.

This victory looked like it was going to come much more easily until Minnesota scored twice in the final five minutes of regulation. While this wasn't his finest performance, Holtby has still rebounded from a preceding 1-3-1 slump by winning five consecutive starts to reach 40 wins for the third consecutive campaign. His Vezina Trophy hopes have gotten a boost in this stretch thanks to head-to-head wins over Sergei Bobrovsky and now Devan Dubnyk, but Holtby still lags behind Bobrovsky in wins, GAA and save percentage. One more victory would make Holtby only the second goalie after Martin Brodeur to win more than 40 games in three consecutive NHL campaigns.
2:13 am (EST)
T.J. Oshie Headshot

Oshie scored twice in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win in Minnesota.

Oshie bookended the scoring, giving his team a 1-0 lead 11:36 into the game and ending the contest with the game-winner 1:52 into overtime. He and teammate Alex Ovechkin entered this one tied for the team lead with 30 goals apiece, but the Russian actually ended the night back on top by himself thanks to a hat trick. Both wingers are thriving on a line with Eastern Conference assists leader Nicklas Backstrom, and should continue to do so down the stretch for a Washington team that's inching closer to locking up its second consecutive Presidents' Trophy.
2:06 am (EST)
Alex Ovechkin Headshot

Ovechkin scored three power-play goals and added an even strength assist along with six shots in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win over the Wild.

All five of Ovechkin's goals over the past four games have come with the extra man. This performance propelled the Russian sniper above his previous career lows of 32 goals and 23 power-play points, and it only took him 2:44 of power-play time and 16:15 of total ice time. Arguably more impressively, Ovechkin was able to generate 30 percent of his team's 20 shots for the game in that short span en route to his second hat trick of the season.
1:59 am (EST)
Connor McDavid Headshot

McDavid opened the scoring in Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Kings with his 27th goal.

The lone assist on McDavid's goal went to Leon Draisaitl, simultaneously extending both players' point streaks to eight games. The 20-year-old captain is starting to run away with the scoring title, as he holds a seven-point lead over Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane and Nicklas Backstrom with 89.
1:46 am (EST)
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