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June 2018
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NHL Morning Skate for Tuesday, February 20, 2018: Capitals reclaim division as Ovechkin nears 600 NHL goals; Marchand scores in OT for Bruins; Arvidsson scores 20th goal as Predators move atop Central

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

Minnesota 5, NY ISLANDERS 3
Washington 3, BUFFALO 2

Boston 2, CALGARY 1 (OT)
NASHVILLE 5, Ottawa 2
Los Angeles 3, CHICAGO 1

Anaheim 2, VEGAS 0

 

CAPITALS RECLAIM DIVISION LEAD, OVECHKIN CHASES 600 GOALS

Three different players scored – including Alex Ovechkin’s 35th goal of the season – to help the Capitals (34-18-7, 75 points) leapfrog the idle Penguins (35-22-4, 74 points) into first place in the Metropolitan Division.

* Ovechkin, who collected his 1,100th NHL point on Feb. 15 at MIN, scored for the third time in five contests and sits seven goals shy of becoming the 20th player in NHL history to reach 600 career goals.

* Ovechkin, who leads the NHL in goals and the Capitals in points (35-31—66 in 59 GP), is in pursuit of his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, the most by a single player since its introduction in 1998-99. In fact, among the 11 others to receive the award, no other player has achieved the honor more than twice.

* Ovechkin also sits five goals shy of becoming just sixth player in NHL history to record at least nine 40-goal seasons. The others: Wayne Gretzky (12), Mario Lemieux (10), Marcel Dionne (10), Mike Gartner (9) and Mike Bossy (9).
MARCHAND SCORES IN OT, BRUINS INCH CLOSER TO LIGHTNING
Brad Marchand
scored with 1:24 remaining in overtime to lead the Bruins (36-13-8, 80 points) to their seventh win in nine contests and within one point of the idle Lightning (39-17-3, 81 points) for top spot in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings. Boston also stretched its lead to three points over the Maple Leafs (36-20-5, 77 points), who rank third in the division.

 

* The Bruins reached 80 standings points in their 57th game of 2017-18, matching the Golden Knights for fastest – in terms of games played – to reach the 80-point mark this season. The Lightning, the only other team to hit the mark, reached 80 points in their 58th contest.

 

* This marks the fastest – in terms of games played – the Bruins have reached 80 points in a season since 2008-09, when they needed only 51 games (37-8-6, 80 points).

 

* Marchand – who leads the Bruins with 22-33—55 in 44 GP this season – scored his ninth career overtime goal to move within one of the franchise record.

WESTERN CONFERENCE RACES HEAT UP

The Predators (35-14-9, 79 points), Wild (32-20-7, 71 points), Ducks (30-20-11, 71 points) and Kings (32-22-5, 69 points) each secured victories to keep pace in their respective playoff races:

Viktor Arvidsson (2-0—2) scored twice and was one of five Predators to collect multiple points as Nashville moved into a tie with the Jets (35-15-9, 79 points) for top spot in the Central Division. Arvidsson, who led the Predators in goals (tied) and points (tied) last season with 31-30—61 in 80 GP, reached the 20-goal mark for the second consecutive season.

 

* The Wild benefited from three goals in a 4:12 span of the second period and a multi-goal effort from Jason Zucker (2-0—2) to improve to 3-1-1 in their last five contests and strengthen their hold on the second Wild Card position in the Western Conference. Minnesota moved within one point of the Stars (34-21-4, 72 points) and Blues (32-22-4, 72 points), who hold third and fourth place in the Central Division, respectively.
John Gibson (13 saves) and Ryan Miller (20 saves) combined to shut out the Golden Knights and backstop the Ducks to their third straight win. Anaheim, who completed their four-game road trip with a 3-1-0 record, leapfrogged the Flames (30-21-9, 69 points) and Kings into third place in the Pacific Division. Gibson and Miller became the 64th pair of goaltenders in NHL history to combine for a shutout and the first to accomplish the feat this season. Last season two teams had goaltenders combine for a shutout: Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta of the Rangers (Dec. 15, 2016) and Michal Neuvirth and Anthony Stolarz of the Flyers (April 1, 2017).
* Three different players scored – including Dion Phaneuf’s second goal in three contests since being acquired on Feb. 13 – to guide the Kings to consecutive wins on the heels of a three-game skid (0-3-0). The Kings and Flames are tied with 69 points apiece, with both teams two points back of a playoff spot.
QUICK CLICKS

 

· Hischier, Raanta and Scheifele named Three Stars of the Week

· Petr Mrazek traded to Flyers by Red Wings

· Michal Kempny traded to Capitals by Blackhawks

· Five Questions with Patrick Sharp

· Rookie Watch: Mark Jankowski finds niche with Flames

· Persistence pays off for Sudarshan Maharaj with Ducks

 

SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION

NBC Sports Channel FinderSportsnet Channel FinderNHL Network Channel Finder

 

DIVISION LEADERS SQUARE OFF IN WASHINGTON

The Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference-leading Lightning (39-17-3, 81 points) travel to Capital One Arena to battle the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals (34-18-7, 75 points). The contest features two of the top offensive players in the game: Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov holds a seven-point lead in the race for the Art Ross Trophy (31-46—77 in 59 GP) while Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (35-31—66 in 59 GP) holds a two-goal edge over Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (33) in the race for the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.

 

MORNING SKATE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY OF NHLmedia.com