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NHL Wednesday review: Flyers win in shootout, Stars dominate, Vegas keeps struggling

Another week in the NHL is now halfway complete, as we now approach the midpoint of January, and there has been plenty more to talk about from the latest action.

Even with half of the season just about gone, the fun is still just beginning and there is still lots to uncover in the rest of the campaign.

However, for now, here is a review of the three games that took place on Wednesday in the NHL.

Flyers protect home ice in shootout win

The night kicked off with an Eastern Conference matchup between the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Arena, the first of three matchups between the two.

There was some intrigue in this game with defenseman Jamie Drysdale making his Flyers debut after a controversial and surprising trade from Anaheim for prospect Cutter Gauthier.

Montreal burst into an early 1-0 lead after Sean Monahan’s goal and, after the first period, they had a 2-1 lead. The game was on pace for nine goals, but the offensive results changed.

The second period gave us one goal for the Flyers, which tied up the match, while no goals in the third or overtime periods resulted in a shootout.

Flyers goaltender Sam Ersson stopped all three shots in the shootout, while his teammate Sean Couturier scored to win the game 3-2 for Philadelphia.

It was a welcomed return to winning ways for Philadelphia, who had gone down 4-1 to the Penguins prior to this game, and their record this season now stands at 21-14-6.

The Flyers are third in the Metropolitan Division, currently clinging onto a playoff spot, and they will be eager to build a winning streak off the back of this victory.

As for Montreal, this defeat adds to what has been a mediocre season so far, as they sit sixth in the Atlantic Division with a record of 17-17-6.

Perhaps not a lot was expected from this young team and it looks to be a rebuilding process for the Canadiens, who won’t be going further than the regular season if things don’t drastically improve.

Stars dominate at home

The second game of the night was between two Central Division rivals in Minnesota and Dallas, who followed up their dominant 4-0 win over the Wild on Monday with a 7-2 thumping on Wednesday.

Dallas led 3-0 heading into the third period and although Minnesota pulled one back to make it 3-1, the Stars quickly regrouped to restore their three-goal lead.

It turned out to be a procession for the Stars from then on, as they ended taking the match 7-2 to inflict another heavy defeat on the Wild.

It is now two wins in a row for Dallas since a three-match losing streak and they sit third in a competitive Central Division, with the Jets and Avalanche sitting five and four points above the Stars respectively.

This defeat adds to what has been a challenging season for Minnesota, who find themselves seventh in the Central with just one win from their last seven outings.

Vegas’ struggles continue

In the most anticipated game of the night, the Vegas Golden Knights hosted the Colorado Avalanche in what was expected to be an enthralling contest.

Colorado managed to win 3-0, scoring in each period to make it six victories from their last seven. The Avalanche were brilliant in shutting down the Golden Knights, who have now lost three of their last four matches.

Despite this drop in form, Vegas still sit second in the Pacific Division but any cushion they had previously built up has now eroded, with the Canucks ahead of them.

Colorado are on a hot streak that has helped them climb to second in the Central Division and they look like a force to be reckoned with. Nathan MacKinnon is tied for the league lead in points with 67, while Cale Makar is 12th with 48.

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