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NHL Morning Skate Report for Thursday, March 16, 2017

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
PHILADELPHIA 4, Pittsburgh 0
Boston 5, CALGARY 2
COLORADO 3, Detroit 1
ANAHEIM 2, St. Louis 1

MARCHAND, PASTRNAK HELP BRUINS END FLAMES’ STREAK
Brad Marchand (1-1—2) scored his 36th goal of the season to take over the League lead and power the Bruins to their fourth straight victory, halting Calgary’s franchise-record-tying win streak at 10 games.

* The Bruins (38-26-6, 82 points) improved to 12-3-0 in their last 15 contests to move within three points of the Senators (39-22-7, 85 points) for second place in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa holds a 2-0-0 edge in the season series (BOS: 0-2-0), though the teams meet twice more this season: March 21 and April 6, both at BOS.

* Marchand (36-40—76) – who has seven goals in his last five games – moved into a tie with Patrick Kane (31-45—76) and Connor McDavid (24-52—76) in the Art Ross Trophy race. His 36 goals place him one ahead of Sidney Crosby (35) in the push for the “Rocket” Richard Trophy and within one of equaling a career high established in 2015-16.

David Pastrnak scored twice to reach the 30-goal mark for the first time and extend his career-high point streak to 10 games (5-9—14). Elias notes that Pastrnak is the first Bruins player with a point in 10 straight team games since Patrice Bergeron had a 12-game streak from March 17 – April 8, 2014 (10-6—16).

DUCKS, FLYERS RIDE STRONG GOALTENDING TO KEY WINS
The Ducks and Flyers were backstopped to key wins via strong performances from their netminders:

Jonathan Bernier (26 saves) earned his fourth straight victory and Rickard Rakell scored his 30th goal of the season as the Ducks improved to 4-1-0 in their last five contests and 6-1-0 in their last seven games at Honda Center. Anaheim (37-23-10, 84 points) established a two-point lead over Calgary (39-27-4, 82 points) for second place in the Pacific Division. Rakell reached the 30-goal mark in his 59th game of the season, one more goal than his total from his first 165 career contests.

Steve Mason (23 saves) earned his third shutout of the season to help the Flyers (32-29-8, 72 points) snap a three-game slide and move back within five points of the idle Islanders (33-25-11, 77 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Wayne Simmonds netted the 200th goal of his NHL career to move within one tally of reaching 30 goals for a second time (2015-16: 32 in 81 GP); he shares the League lead with 15 power-play goals this season (tying a career high set in 2013-14).

LOOSE PUCKS
The League issued a statement regarding Wednesday’s decision by the U.S. District Court regarding the suspension of Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman . . . Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron hit the 30-assist plateau for the 10th time in his career. Elias notes that only three other Bruins players have recorded at least that many 30-assist seasons: Ray Bourque (19), Johnny Bucyk (17) and Rick Middleton (10) . . . Flames forward Matt Stajan (0-1—1) recorded the 400th point of his NHL career . . . Avalanche forward J.T. Compher recorded his first NHL goal (8 GP), while teammate Anton Lindholm made his NHL debut . . . ICYMI: Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr, 45, issued a workout challenge to fans on Facebook . . . Members of the 100 Greatest NHL Players gathered in Ottawa to help start the celebration of 125 years of the Stanley Cup.

Photo via Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photography

SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Philadelphia @ New Jersey, 7 p.m., TVAS, MSG+, CSN-PH
Winnipeg @ NY Islanders, 7 p.m., MSG+ 2, TSN3
Nashville @ Washington, 7 p.m., NHLN-US, CSN-DC, FS-TN
Minnesota @ Carolina, 7 p.m., FS-CR, FS-N, FS-WI
Florida @ Columbus, 7 p.m., TVAS, FS-O, FS-F
Chicago @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m., TSN5, RDS, CSN-CH
Toronto @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., SUN, SNO
Boston @ Edmonton, 9 p.m., SNW, NESN
Dallas @ Vancouver, 10 p.m., SNP, FS-SW
Detroit @ Arizona, 10 p.m., FS-A, FS-D
Buffalo @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., FS-W, MSG-B
St. Louis @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., CSN-CA, FS-MW
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ART ROSS CONTENDERS FACE OFF IN EDMONTON
Forwards Connor McDavid (24-52—76) and Brad Marchand (36-40—76) – who are tied for first in NHL scoring with Patrick Kane (31-45—76) – continue their pursuit of the Art Ross Trophy when the Oilers (36-24-9, 81 points) and Bruins (38-26-6, 82 points) meet in Edmonton. Marchand collected 1-1—2 last night to take sole possession of the League lead in goals and help Boston secure a fourth straight win. McDavid, meanwhile, needs four points to become the third Oilers player to reach 80 points in the past 20 years.

WILD CARD RACES INTENSIFY IN BOTH CONFERENCES
Several teams – both inside and outside the playoff picture – take to the ice in hopes of improving their position:

* In the East, the Lightning (34-26-9, 77 points) host the Maple Leafs (31-23-14, 76 points) as both clubs look to overtake the Islanders (33-25-11, 77 points) – who host the Jets (30-33-7, 67 points) – for the second Eastern Conference Wild Card spot. Toronto is 3-1-0 in its last four contests, while Tampa Bay has earned a point in six straight games (5-0-1).

* In the West, the Kings (33-29-7, 73 points) host the Sabres (28-30-12, 68 points) looking to reel in the Blues (36-28-5, 77 points), who continue a five-game road trip against the Pacific Division-leading Sharks (42-20-7, 91 points). Los Angeles sits four points back of St. Louis for the second and final Wild Card spot.

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PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHL MORNING SKATE REPORT