Home Team in Caps
PHILADELPHIA 6, NY Islanders 3
CAROLINA 2, Columbus 1 (OT)
BOSTON 2, Dallas 0
MONTREAL 6, Florida 2
TAMPA BAY 5, Detroit 3
Toronto 3, NASHVILLE 1
MINNESOTA 5, Ottawa 1
WINNIPEG 4, Anaheim 3 (OT)
EDMONTON 3, San Jose 2
CANADIENS PUNCH TICKET TO THE POSTSEASON
Brendan Gallagher (1-3—4) established single-game career highs for assists and points to help the Canadiens clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, their fourth postseason appearance in the past five seasons.
* At 44-24-9 (97 points), the Canadiens opened a six-point lead atop the Atlantic Division and moved within three points of reaching the 100-point mark for the third time in their last four seasons.
* Paul Byron scored twice to bring his total to 22 goals this season (76 GP). Prior to 2016-17, Byron tallied 28 goals in his first 200 NHL games.
OILERS EARN SEVENTH STRAIGHT HOME WIN, CLIMB PACIFIC DIVISION
Patrick Maroon (2-0—2) and Connor McDavid (1-1—2) combined for all three goals to help the Oilers defeat the Sharks and earn their seventh consecutive win at Rogers Place.
* At 43-25-9 (95 points), the Oilers moved past the Sharks (43-27-7, 93 points) for sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division, one point back of the Ducks (42-23-12, 96 points).
* McDavid extended his point streak to nine games (5-11—16) and leads the League with 28-63—91 this season; he became the first Oilers player to record 91 or more points in a season since Doug Weight in 1995-96 (25-79—104).
MAPLE LEAFS, BRUINS IMPROVE CHANCES OF CLINCHING PLAYOFF BERTHS
The Maple Leafs (37-24-15, 89 points) and Bruins (41-30-6, 88 points) each secured victories to improve their chances of clinching a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
* Auston Matthews scored his seventh game-winning goal of the season to extend his point streak to seven games (5-3—8) and guide the Maple Leafs to a 6-1-1 record in their last eight outings. Elias notes that Matthews moved within one game-winning goal of matching the single-season franchise rookie record, set by Howie Meeker in 1946-47 (8). Toronto maintained its hold on third place in the Atlantic Division and climbed within two points of Ottawa (41-26-9, 91 points), who lost in regulation.
* Tuukka Rask (27 saves) picked up his seventh shutout of 2016-17 to match his single-season career high set in 2013-14 and backstop the Bruins to their third consecutive win. Brad Marchand (1-1—2) scored his 38th goal of 2016-17 to eclipse his single-season career high of 37 set in 2015-16. Boston kept pace with Toronto and reinforced its hold on the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
CLUBS EARN VALUABLE POINTS IN EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD RACE
The Lightning (38-29-9, 85 points), Hurricanes (35-27-14, 84 points) and Flyers (37-32-8, 82 points) each earned wins to keep pace in the race for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference:
* Five different skaters scored to power the Lightning to their fourth consecutive win. Victor Hedman (15-51—66) collected an assist to establish a single-season franchise record for points by a defenseman, besting the mark set by Roman Hamrlik in 1995-96 (16-49—65). The Lightning remained three points back of the Bruins for the last Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
* Jeff Skinner (1-1—2) tied the game with 4:20 remaining in regulation and assisted on Noah Hanifin’s overtime winner as the Hurricanes extended their point streak to a franchise-record 13 games (9-0-4). Skinner has scored nine goals in his last eight outings (9-2—11).
* The Flyers raced to a 5-0 lead in the first period and held off an Islanders rally to improve to 4-1-0 in their last five games. Wayne Simmonds (1-2—3) reached the 30-goal mark for the second straight season (32 G in 2015-16).
Alex Stalock made 18 saves to earn a win in his team debut and help the Wild (45-24-8, 98 points) snap a four-game slide (0-2-2) . . . Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner (0-1—1) leads all rookies with 41 assists this season; Elias notes that Marner established a single-season franchise rookie record for assists, besting the mark set by Gus Bodnar in 1943-44 (40) . . . Mark Scheifele reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career, while Filip Forsberg hit the mark for the second straight season (33 G in 2015-16) . . . Nashville’s Peter Laviolette served his 1,000th career game as an NHL head coach . . . Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg (0-1—1) reached the 900-point milestone (325-575—900) . . . Leon Draisaitl (4-12—16 in 9 GP), Ondrej Palat (2-8—10 in 6 GP) and Eric Staal (3-3—6 in 6 GP) extended their point streaks . . . Jason Pominville (900), David Krejci (700) and Jason Demers (500) skated in milestone games . . . The Canadiens honored former Montreal Expos player Tim Raines, who was recently elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Pittsburgh @ NY Rangers, 7 p.m., SN, MSG 2, ROOT
New Jersey @ NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m., MSG+, MSG+ 2
Columbus @ Chicago, 8:30 p.m., CSN-CH, FS-O
St. Louis @ Colorado, 9 p.m., ALT, FS-MW
San Jose @ Calgary, 9 p.m., SNW, CSN-CA
Los Angeles @ Vancouver, 10 p.m., SN360, SNP, FS-W
Washington @ Arizona, 10 p.m., FS-A, CSN-DC+
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BLUES, FLAMES LOOK TO CLINCH POSTSEASON BERTHS
The Blues (42-28-6, 90 points) and Flames (43-30-4, 90 points) look to clinch berths in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday:
* The Blues aim to clinch their sixth consecutive postseason berth when they visit the Avalanche at Pepsi Center. St. Louis owns a record of 11-2-1 in March, including points in its last seven games (6-0-1).
* The Flames aim to clinch their first postseason berth since 2015 when they host the Sharks at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary owns a record of 9-2-0 in its last 11 home games.