Wednesday in the NHL gave us four games and eight teams hitting the ice, and each contest brought lots to talk about.
It was an even split of four Eastern Conference teams and four Western Conference teams, in a quieter night than what we usually see in the NHL.
Below, we recap all of the action and excitement we saw Wednesday, discussing all four games and what has developed in the overall picture here in December.
The first game of the night was between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. These two Eastern Conference opponents battled for the second of three matchups this season.
Coming into this one, both the Lightning and Penguins have earned mediocre results, 22 wins in 50 games between the two teams combined.
This has not been acceptable play for a Penguins team with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Erik Karlsson, and a Lightning team with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman just to name a few.
Each team is already playing important games this year, but only one team showed up here.
The Lightning took a 3-0 lead into the third period after owning the time on attack and it was too late for Pittsburgh, who scored just one goal in the third period.
It was a step in the right direction for Tampa Bay, but as for Pittsburgh, the veteran-filled squad is scrambling.
Wednesday also brought us a matchup between the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers, a game we see just two times per regular season. However, this made it look like they were lifelong rivals.
The game started off with a three-goal first period, where Florida escaped with a 2-1 lead heading into the next frame. In the quietest period of the night, the Panthers added one more goal for a 3-1 lead. Then the real fun began.
The Stars came out flying, tying the game with two goals in less than 5 minutes. Florida, however, was not going to give up, regaining the lead just 37 seconds later. They then added another a few minutes later, making it 5-3.
Dallas cut the lead to one goal with over seven minutes left in the game, but it would end 5-4 for the Panthers.
This was an unusually high-scoring affair for these teams, as they have both been excellent on the other side of the puck. It goes to show you never know what to expect in the NHL.
Just two nights ago the Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues battled in Las Vegas.
That game resulted in a ultra-tight, 2-1 overtime win for the Blues in enemy territory. The Golden Knights looked to return the favor on Wednesday, and they did just that.
Things weren’t looking too good for Vegas after the first period, as they were dominated and down 3-1. However, knowing they had 40 minutes left to play, they found their feet.
In the second period, Vegas exploded for 4 goals to bring a 5-3 lead into the third period. Any potential for a Blues comeback was minimal, as they were then dominated in the third period, dropping the game 6-3 on home ice.
This type of game can remind teams just how strong Vegas is.
They battled through adversity against a team they should beat, picked up their play and got it done. As for St. Louis, they continue to look mediocre and will likely continue with similar results.
Wednesday was the first game scheduled for the Edmonton Oilers in the month of December, giving them a five-day rest.
They were welcomed by one of the NHL’s best in the Carolina Hurricanes, but it looked obvious that the time off did Edmonton good.
These Oilers were riding a four-game winning streak before this game and their extended time off didn’t see them lose a step.
They came out in front of their home fans in an electric way, with a 4-0 lead after the first period. It remained all Edmonton, as they won the second period 1-0, and a tied third period resulted in a 6-1 Oilers win.
This win was led by many players. Throughout the team, three players had three points, two players had two points, and three more players had one point. Goaltender Stuart Skinner also had 38 saves, while Leon Draisaitl was left pointless.
This is a massive result for Edmonton, who are continuing to try and revive their season after an almost NHL-worst start.
They are a team with major expectations and this five-game winning streak will help them crawl out of the hole they've made.
It was an off-game for Carolina, who has proven to be a strong team yet again this season, so don’t expect them to have many more showings such as this one.