Home Team in Caps
Tampa Bay 6, BOSTON 3
WASHINGTON 2, Columbus 1 (SO)
TORONTO 4, New Jersey 2
Carolina 4, MONTREAL 1
OTTAWA 2, Pittsburgh 1 (SO)
FLORIDA 3, Arizona 1
ST. LOUIS 4, Vancouver 1
NASHVILLE 3, Calgary 1
Philadelphia 3, MINNESOTA 1
CHICAGO 3, Dallas 2 (SO)
Edmonton 7, COLORADO 4
LOS ANGELES 5, Winnipeg 2
CAPITALS, BLACKHAWKS KEEP PACE IN PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY RACE
The Capitals (48-17-8, 104 points) and Blackhawks (48-20-6, 102 points) – who sit atop the Eastern and Western Conference, respectively – each earned shootout wins to improve their position in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy:
* T.J. Oshie scored the lone goal in the shootout to guide the Capitals past the Blue Jackets (47-19-7, 101 points) in a battle between two of the top three teams in the NHL. The Capitals recorded their 30th home win of 2016-17 (tops in the NHL) to match a single-season franchise record set in 1985-86 and equaled in 2009-10. Braden Holtby (29 saves) registered his 38th win of the season to move within one of tying Sergei Bobrovsky – who made 44 saves in a losing cause – for the League lead.
* Patrick Kane scored in regulation and the shootout to help the Blackhawks extend their point streak to seven games (6-0-1) and open an eight-point lead over the Wild (44-23-6, 94 points) – who lost in regulation – for first place in the Central Division. Corey Crawford (42 saves) reached the 30-win mark for the sixth time in his career, the second-most such campaigns in Blackhawks history (Tony Esposito: 8). Chicago has posted an 18-3-1 record since the start of February to lead the NHL in wins (18) and points (37) in that span.
KUCHEROV’S HAT TRICK POWERS LIGHTNING TO CRUCIAL WIN IN BOSTON
The Lightning and Bruins combined for six goals in the second period – with Tampa Bay scoring three tying goals, each within 95 seconds of Boston taking the lead – before Nikita Kucherov (3-0—3) completed a hat trick to seal Tampa Bay’s fourth straight road win.
* At 35-29-9 (79 points), the Lightning moved within three points of the Bruins (38-30-6, 82 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston owns a 36-31 advantage in ROW and leads the season series, which closes on April 4 at TD Garden (BOS: 3-1-0; TBL: 1-2-1).
* Kucherov has collected 16-11—27 in his last 15 games dating to Feb. 21 – including two of his three career hat tricks – to move from a share of 23rd to sixth place in League scoring.
SENATORS, MAPLE LEAFS GAIN GROUND IN ATLANTIC DIVISION
The Senators (41-24-8, 90 points) and Maple Leafs (35-23-15, 85 points) each earned wins to gain ground in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens (41-24-9, 91 points) and Bruins (38-30-6, 82 points) – the first and fourth place teams in the division, respectively – each lost in regulation.
* Mike Condon made 34 saves through overtime and denied both attempts in the shootout to help the Senators move within one point of the Canadiens for first place. Condon, who began the 2016-17 campaign with Pittsburgh (1 GP), improved to 19-12-6 in 39 contests with Ottawa. Mike Hoffman scored the tying goal midway through the third period to extend his point streak to five games (1-5—6).
* William Nylander (1-1—2) and Auston Matthews (0-2—2) were among five Maple Leafs rookies to find the score sheet as Toronto extended its point streak to five games (4-0-1). Nylander registered a point for the 10th consecutive game (4-8—12) to establish a franchise record for longest point streak by a rookie. Matthews, meanwhile, became the third Maple Leafs rookie to reach the 60-point mark in a season (33-27—60) and moved within one point of Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine (34-27—61) for the rookie scoring lead.
WESTERN CONTENDERS EARN WINS
Four other Western Conference contenders earned wins on Thursday:
* Leon Draisaitl (1-1—2) factored on two of five unanswered goals by the Oilers in the third period as Edmonton overcame a 4-2 deficit to win for the fifth time in their past six games. Elias notes that Draisaitl (3-10—13) became the first Oilers players to post six straight multi-point games since Mark Messier did so from Jan. 16-30, 1990 (8-11—19 in 6 GP). The only longer such run in the past 12 seasons was by Tampa Bay’s VincentLecavalier from Nov 3-19, 2007 (7-14—21 in 8 GP).
* Jake Allen made 27 saves and the Blues scored four unanswered goals to improve to 9-1-0 in their past 10 games. At 40-28-5 (85 points), St. Louis maintained its grasp on third place in the Central Division by virtue of owning the ROW tiebreaker (39-35) against the Predators (37-25-11, 85 points). Nashville, however, has won three of four meetings in the season series, which concludes at Scottrade Center on April 2 (NSH: 3-1-0; STL: 1-3-0).
* Pekka Rinne made 24 saves to backstop the Predators (37-25-11, 85 points) past the Flames (41-29-4, 86 points) in a battle between the two Western Conference Wild Card teams. Rinne picked up his 29th win of the season as Nashville improved to 5-1-2 in its past eight contests.
* Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar and Jake Muzzin each posted 1-1—2 as the Kings (35-31-7, 77 points) scored four unanswered goals – including three in the third period – to defeat the Jets (33-34-7, 73 points) and keep pace in the race for the final Wild Card spot. The win also prevented Minnesota – who lost in regulation – from clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid (0-2—2) extended his point streak to six games (3-9—12) to increase his League leads in both assists (61) and points (87) . . . The Hurricanes extended their point streak to nine games (6-0-3) . . . Carolina’s Elias Lindholm scored to extend his point streak to nine games (4-6—10) . . . Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was suspended for three games for interference against Penguins forward Jake Guentzel . . . Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak was suspended for two games for boarding Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand . . . The starting time of the Predators/Stars game on April 6 at American Airlines Center has been changed to 7:30 p.m. CT (originally 7 p.m. CT) . . . The NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament – which features draft picks from 30 of 31 NHL teams – begins today at 3 ET when 2017 NHL Draft prospect Jake Oettinger leads Boston University against the University of North Dakota, last year’s champion . . . Ed Belfour took the ice at United Center as part of the Blackhawks’ One More Shift program.
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHL MORNING SKATE