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April 2018
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NHL Morning Skate for Sunday, March 18, 2018: Blue Jackets move up in Metro Division with 7th straight win; Maple Leafs push home streak to 12 contests; Bruins get closer to 1st place in Atlantic Division

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SATURDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
BUFFALO 5, Chicago 3
Edmonton 4, FLORIDA 2
New Jersey 3, LOS ANGELES 0
Boston 3, TAMPA BAY 0
TORONTO 4, Montreal 0
Philadelphia 4, CAROLINA 2
COLUMBUS 2, Ottawa 1
ST. LOUIS 4, NY Rangers 3 (OT)
Minnesota 3, ARIZONA 1
San Jose 5, VANCOUVER 3

BRUINS, MAPLE LEAFS INCH CLOSER TO TOP OF ATLANTIC WITH SHUTOUTS
The Bruins (45-17-8, 98 points) and Maple Leafs (43-22-7, 93 points) – the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the Atlantic Division, respectively – each earned shutout wins to inch closer to the Lightning (48-19-4, 100 points) for the top spot in both the division and Eastern Conference:

Tuukka Rask made 23 saves to help the Bruins shut out the Lightning and improve to 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. Boston improved to 2-0-0 against Tampa Bay this season and moved within two points of them for first place. The two clubs meet twice in the remaining three weeks of the regular-season: March 29 at TD Garden and April 3 at AMALIE Arena.

* Rask improved to 6-0-0 in his last six appearances and 30-11-4 overall (2.29 GAA, .919 SV%, 3 SO). He became the eighth goaltender to reach the 30-win mark in 2017-18, hitting the milestone for a fifth consecutive season – the only Bruins goaltender ever to achieve that feat.

Curtis McElhinney turned aside all 33 shots he faced as the Maple Leafs recorded their fourth straight win overall and extended their franchise-record home win streak to 12 games, the longest in the NHL this season. McElhinney improved to 7-0-1 in his last eight decisions dating to Jan. 25 (1.46 GAA, .954 SV%, 2 SO).

* The Maple Leafs share second in the NHL with 25 home wins in 2017-18 (behind PIT: 26), one shy of matching the single-season franchise record established in 2005-06 (26-12-3, 2005-06), with six contests remaining at Air Canada Centre. Overall, Toronto sits two victories shy of matching the highest single-season total in franchise history (45: 1998-99, 1999-00 and 2003-04).

PLAYOFF PICTURE REMAINS MUDDLED AMONG METROPOLITAN DIVISION
The Flyers (36-25-11, 83 points), Blue Jackets (39-28-5, 83 points) and Devils (37-26-8, 82 points) all earned wins to keep pace in the air-tight Metropolitan Division standings, where only seven points separate the top five clubs:

* The Flyers scored all four of their goals in the third period – including the winning tally by Valtteri Filppula with 5:49 remaining – to defeat the Hurricanes (30-30-11, 71 points). Philadelphia trails only Washington (41-23-7, 89 points) and Pittsburgh (41-26-5, 87 points) in the Metropolitan Division, with one game remaining against each club (today vs. WSH and March 25 at PIT).

Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves and Markus Nutivaara netted his first career game-winning goal to lead Columbus to a season-high seventh straight victory. The Blue Jackets, who sit in the first Wild Card position, improved to 8-2-0 since the Trade Deadline – tied for the second-best record in the NHL in that span.

Keith Kinkaid turned aside all 38 shots he faced as the Devils improved to 3-0-0 on their season-high six-game road trip. Nico Hischier, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, scored his 16th goal of the season (16-30—46 in 71 GP) to move within four goals of becoming the fourth rookie to score 20+ goals in a Devils uniform.

WESTERN CONFERENCE CLUBS MAINTAIN MOMENTUM
The Wild (41-24-7, 89 points), Sharks (40-23-9, 89 points) and Blues (38-28-5, 81 points) each made positive strides in their push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, where a group of eight teams are separated by nine points:

Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves to record his 200th NHL win and Eric Staal (38-32—70) scored to reach the 70-point mark as the Wild earned their second victory in as many days. Staal, who posted at least 70 points for the first time since 2011-12 (24-46—70), became just the fourth player in Wild franchise history to accomplish the feat.

* Four different players collected multiple points as the Sharks equaled a season high with their fourth consecutive win overall and swept their three-game road trip through Western Canada. San Jose moved within six points of Vegas (45-21-5, 95 points) for top spot in the Pacific Division, with two head-to-head meetings remaining (March 22 vs. VGK and March 31 at VGK).

* Captain Alex Pietrangelo (2-1—3) collected three points and Brayden Schenn scored his career-high eighth game-winning goal (in overtime) to guide the Blues to their third win in four contests. St. Louis moved within three points of the idle Avalanche (38-25-8, 84 points) and Stars (38-26-8, 84 points) for a Western Conference playoff spot, with one game remaining against Colorado this season (April 7 at COL).

QUICK CLICKS

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· Predators rode Rinne, depth, balance to clinch playoff berth

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com