“NHL Morning Skate,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.
Home Team in Caps
TORONTO 4, Boston 2
Buffalo 2, DETROIT 1
NASHVILLE 3, Arizona 1
DALLAS 1, San Jose 0
EDMONTON 2, Los Angeles 0
MAPLE LEAFS SWEEP SEASON SERIES WITH BRUINS
Tyler Bozak broke a 1-1 tie with 1:57 remaining in regulation and the Maple Leafs added two empty-net goals to sweep their four-game season series with Boston (BOS: 0-4-0), outscoring the Bruins 18-9 in those contests.
* At 33-23-15 (81 points), the Maple Leafs strengthened their grip on the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and climbed within one point of the Bruins (38-28-6, 82 points) for third place in the Atlantic Division.
* Elias notes that Toronto swept a season series of at least four games versus Boston for the second time in franchise history (also 1924-25: 6-0-0).
TALBOT POSTS SECOND STRAIGHT SHUTOUT, OILERS CLIMB PACIFIC DIVISION
Cam Talbot (35 saves) posted his second straight shutout (also March 18 vs. VAN) to backstop Edmonton to its fourth consecutive win. At 39-24-9 (87 points), the Oilers moved ahead of the idle Ducks (38-23-11, 87 points) for second place in the Pacific Division; the teams meet Wednesday at ANA.
* Talbot registered his seventh shutout of the season and improved to 37-20-8 overall (2.32 GAA, .922 SV%, 7 SO). He became the first Oilers goaltender to earn seven shutouts in a season since Tommy Salo (8) in 2000-01 and climbed within three wins of matching the single-season franchise record, set by Grant Fuhr (40) in 1987-88.
* Connor McDavid collected two assists to move back into first place in the Art Ross Trophy race (25-57—82).
PREDATORS RECLAIM THIRD PLACE IN CENTRAL DIVISION
Ryan Ellis (2-0—2) registered his second multi-goal game of the season to power the Predators to their fourth win in their last five games.
* Nashville (36-25-11, 83 points) moved two points ahead of idle St. Louis (38-28-5, 81 points) for third place in the Central Division. The Predators hold a 3-1-0 edge in their five-game season series with the Blues (STL: 1-3-0), which concludes April 2 at STL.
* Pekka Rinne (25 saves) improved to 6-1-2 in his last nine outings (2.60 GAA, .911 SV%) and 28-16-8 overall this season (2.51 GAA, .915 SV%, 2 SO).
Jack Eichel scored to reach the 50-point milestone for the second time in as many seasons (21-29—50) and help the Sabres earn a win in their final visit to Joe Louis Arena . . . Kari Lehtonen (30 saves) posted his 36th career shutout as the Stars hosted Veterans Appreciation Night . . . Brad Marchand (37-43—80) collected an assist to become the first Bruins player to reach the 80-point mark in a season since Marc Savard in 2008-09 (25-63—88) . . . William Nylander (2-6—8 in 8 GP) and Viktor Arvidsson (4-2—6 in 5 GP) each extended point streaks . . . Sabres defenseman Brady Austin made his NHL debut . . . The Red Wings honored former forward Dallas Drake in a pre-game ceremony at Joe Louis Arena . . . Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk was suspended for two games for elbowing Kings defenseman Drew Doughty . . . Bruins forward Brad Marchand, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Flames goaltender Brian Elliott were named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 19 . . . Renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris unveiled portraits of Bernie Parent and Guy Lafleur as part of the NHL Centennial Celebration.
SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Ottawa @ Boston, 7 p.m., NESN, RDS2, TSN5
Pittsburgh @ Buffalo, 7 p.m., MSG-B, ROOT
NY Rangers @ New Jersey, 7 p.m., MSG+, MSG
Calgary @ Washington, 7 p.m., CSN-DC, SNW
Detroit @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m., SNE, RDS, FS-D
Arizona @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., TVAS, SUN, FS-A PLUS
Carolina @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., FS-F, FS-CR
Philadelphia @ Winnipeg, 8 p.m., TSN3, CSN-PH
San Jose @ Minnesota, 8:30 p.m., NBCSN
Vancouver @ Chicago, 8:30 p.m., CSN-CH, SNP
St. Louis @ Colorado, 9 p.m., ALT, FS-MW
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ATLANTIC DIVISION CONTENDERS MEET AT TD GARDEN
The Senators (39-24-8, 86 points) visit the Bruins (38-28-6, 82 points) in a meeting between two of the top three teams in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa sits four points back of Montreal (41-23-8, 90 points) and aims to reach the 40-win mark for the first time since 2014-15 (43-26-13, 99 points), while Boston looks to extend its home win streak to four contests. The Senators have won four consecutive games against the Bruins dating to Jan. 9, 2016 (BOS: 0-3-1), including a 2-0-0 record in their four-game season series.
ELLIOTT AIMS TO ESTABLISH FRANCHISE RECORD WITH 12TH STRAIGHT WIN
Flames goaltender Brian Elliott has won 11 consecutive games (1.70 GAA, .942 SV%, 2 SO) and can establish the longest win streak by a netminder in franchise history with a victory over the Capitals, eclipsing the mark set by Mike Vernon from Jan. 17 – Feb. 27, 1989 (11-0-0). Calgary (41-27-4, 86 points) enters the contest with a 13-1-1 record in its last 15 games, while Washington (46-17-8, 100 points) recently clinched a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs – the 27th postseason appearance in franchise history and ninth in the past 10 seasons.