Five things you need to know about Monday’s games:
1. The Maple Leafs got a scare when starting goalie James Reimer left Monday’s game early against the Flyers with a lower-body injury. Ben Scrivens was strong in relief, making 32 saves in Toronto’s 5-2 win over the Flyers. The better news for Leafs fans came after the game, when Randy Carlyle told reporters that the injury to Reimer wasn’t believed to be serious. Might not hurt for Canucks GM Mike Gillis to make an exploratory phone call to Leafs GM Dave Nonis anyway.
2. The Sharks have completely wiped out their fast start. The Sharks didn’t lose a game in January and have been just as streaky in February, losing every game this month. Monday night might have been the worst; they lost 6-2 to the Blue Jackets to drop them to 0-3-2 in February. Brandon Dubinsky scored his first goal as a member of the Blue Jackets. The players acquired from New York in the Rick Nash trade have now combined for 15 points this season.
3. If the Islanders want to make the playoffs, they might actually need Tim Thomas to be more than just a contract that keeps them above the salary floor because their goaltending isn’t cutting it. Rick DiPietro allowed five goals on 30 shots in the Islanders' 6-4 loss to the Hurricanes. Neither Evgeni Nabokov nor DiPietro has a save percentage above .900 this season. Former Leafs prospect Jiri Tlusty scored twice for the Hurricanes and has seven points in his last five games. Four of those points came in the third period Monday night.
4. Shane Doan can still will his team to a win. He scored twice against the Avalanche, his second goal coming in the final minute of overtime after a clearing attempt hit a referee; the puck went to Kyle Chipchura, who found Doan for the winner. After a slow start, Mike Smith is heating up, finishing with 41 saves in the win. He has won four of his last five starts.
5. Goaltending is an issue for the Blues, but not for the Wild. Jaroslav Halak’s triumphant return didn’t make it out of warm-ups. He was activated from the injured reserve but a groin strain meant Brian Elliott was thrust into starting against the Kings. Elliott allowed four goals on 23 shots, including a pair to Jeff Carter, dropping his save percentage to .849 on the season. Niklas Backstrom was strong for the Wild, leading Minnesota to their first road win by allowing one goal on 24 shots against the Flames. The Blues and Flames are in the group of four teams (Oilers and Stars) sitting at 13 points, tied for the No. 8 spot in the West.