NHL Top Three: Panarin Update, Ovechkin Passes Esposito, and Daccord Defeats Toronto

Another interesting week has gone by in the NHL and we have you covered with the top three highlights from this week. Stay tuned as we provide an update on Artemi Panarin, check in on where Ovechkin sits in the list of top all time goal scorers, and dive into the newest bright spot for the Ottawa Senators.

Panarin Returns to the New York Rangers

A few weeks ago, we covered the rather scary situation in regards to New York Rangers star player Artemi Panarin. As previously mentioned, Panarin was faced with uneasy claims that were said to have come from the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in an attempt to ruin his career after Panarin spoke out against him.

These claims have yet to be validated, however, Panarin has since returned to the New York Rangers. He originally returned to practice with them in Boston on March 10th, but did not participate in the following game.

While we don’t have much to report due to Panarin refusing to give away any details, it is obvious that he seems to be back in the proper mental state to play his game and help the Rangers. He missed a total on nine games due to his absence and the Rangers expressed their desire to have him back in the lineup.

Panarin stated that, ” [he] has nothing to hide. [He] will address everything after the season…”.

So for now everything remains up in the air, but it’s good to see Panarin healthy and back on the ice.

Ovechkin Passes Esposito

One of the biggest questions surrounding Ovechkin continues to be how high he’ll move up on the list of all time scorers. He’s surpassed another milestone as he passed Phil Esposito for sixth on the NHL goal list at 718.

Ovechkin is now 35 years old, sitting at 718 goals in 1,177 games. He currently trails Marcel Dionne (731), Brett Hull (741), Jaromir Jagr (766), Gordie Howe (801), and Wayne Gretzky (894).

Ovechkin’s milestone was celebrated by a video tribute from Esposito:

“I got to tell you, man, congratulations. You are a fantastic hockey player, and I don’t know how you score all those goals with the way these guys block shots with the great equipment that they wear. Good luck. Keep it going, but not against the Lightning.”

Fellow players spoke highly of “The Great Eight” as well, clearly demonstrating how long and hard he’s been working towards this achievement? How long until he reaches fifth? Will he continue to climb the list and reach Gretzky before he retires?

Daccord Records First NHL Win Against the Toronto Maple Leafs

After Matt Murray sustained an upper body injury while warming up prior to the Ottawa Senators game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, young rookie Joey Daccord was called up to play within minutes of game time. While this was the 24 year olds fifth NHL start, he would go on to win his first NHL game 4-3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Daccord definitely kept the Senators in the game, allowing them to focus on their play on the other end of the ice. Brady Tkachuk and Ryan Dzingel scored two goals, seven seconds apart, making it the second fastest two goals in Senators history. They trail  Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Vladislav Namestnikov, who scored two goals four seconds apart back in 2019.

The Senators continued to dominate against the Leafs as Daccord saved them in the back.

What captured fans most, though, was Daccord’s post game interview, in which he expressed his gratitude towards his team and got emotional in the process.

“What an incredible feeling. The effort the guys gave tonight was outstanding. Just a really special moment. I hope my family and friends were watching because they probably didn’t know I was playing.”

NHL.com

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