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NHL Morning Skate for Sunday, April 8, 2018: Flyers and Avalanche clinch playoff spots; Sedin Twins retire; Six of eight matchups set for 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs; Final game of 2017-18 to decide conference title, playoff matchups

NHL Public Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SATURDAY’S RESULTS 

Home Team in Caps
PHILADELPHIA 5, NY Rangers 0

WINNIPEG 4, Chicago 1

BOSTON 5, Ottawa 2

TORONTO 4, Montreal 2

NY Islanders 4, DETROIT 3 (OT)

FLORIDA 4, Buffalo 3

WASHINGTON 5, New Jersey 3

CAROLINA 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)

NASHVILLE 4, Columbus 2

Anaheim 3, ARIZONA 0

COLORADO 5, St. Louis 2

CALGARY 7, Vegas 1

EDMONTON 3, Vancouver 2 (SO)

Dallas 4, LOS ANGELES 2

Minnesota 6, SAN JOSE 3

 

CAPTAINS PROPEL AVALANCHE, FLYERS INTO STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

Needing a regulation win to clinch the final postseason berth in the Western Conference, the Avalanche received three points from captain Gabriel Landeskog (1-2—3) to defeat the Blues and complete the playoff picture.

 

* Colorado became the 13th team since 1974-75 to reach the playoffs after finishing last in the overall standings the previous season. Their 47-point differential over 2016-17 matches the fourth-largest year-to-year improvement by any team.

* Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored the first regular-season hat trick of his NHL career to reach the 100-point plateau for the first time and help Philadelphia clinch the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

 

* The Flyers took a 4-0 lead following goals six seconds apart by Giroux and Michael Raffl (1-1—2) – a franchise record – as the club advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 39th time in 51 NHL seasons. Only three teams have more appearances in the expansion era: BOS (43), STL (41) and MTL (40).

SIX OF EIGHT MATCHUPS SET FOR 2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

All four Western Conference matchups and two Eastern Conference series are confirmed for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

* After reaching the 2017 Stanley Cup Final as the lowest-ranked team, the Predators (No. 1 Central) enter this postseason as the highest-ranked team and will face the Avalanche (Wild Card 2) in the First Round, their first-ever playoff meeting.

* The Golden Knights (No. 1 Pacific) will play the Kings (Wild Card 1) in their first-ever postseason series. Of the 11 other NHL teams to make the playoffs in their inaugural season, four won their first series: the Toronto Arenas (1918 SCP) and New York Rangers (1927 SCP) did so before the modern era, while the Minneosta North Stars and St. Louis Blues defeated other expansion teams in the 1968 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The Ducks reached the 100-point mark for the seventh time in franchise history – and fifth straight season – to move into the No. 2 seed in the Pacific Division and set up a First Round meeting with the Sharks (No. 3 Pacific). This marks the eighth all-California series in NHL history and second between Anaheim and San Jose (also 2009 CQF: 4-2 ANA).

* The only matchup decided before Saturday’s games was the first-ever postseason meeting between the Jets (No. 2 Central) and Wild (No. 3 Central).

* The Capitals enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Metropolitan Division for the third straight year and will face the Blue Jackets (Wild Card 1), their first-ever postseason meeting.

* Intrastate rivals will clash for the seventh time in the postseason when the Penguins and Flyers meet in a battle between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia has won four of the previous six series, including their last meeting in the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals (4-2 W).

FINAL GAME OF 2017-18 TO DECIDE CONFERENCE TITLE, PLAYOFF MATCHUPS

First place in the Eastern Conference and the final two matchups in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be determined when the Bruins host the Panthers in the final game of the 2017-18 regular season.

 

* The Bruins (50-19-12, 112 points) sit one point back of the Lightning (54-23-5, 113 points) for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Boston will clinch first place with a win of any kind, while Tampa Bay will claim the title if Boston loses in any fashion.

 

* The No. 1 seed will face the Devils (Wild Card 2) in the First Round, while the No. 2 seed will face the Maple Leafs (No. 3 Atlantic).

 

* Boston and Toronto have met in 14 all-time playoff series (TOR 8-6), while Boston and New Jersey have met four times (NJD 3-1). Tampa Bay has played two postseason series against New Jersey (NJD 2-0) and has never faced Toronto in the postseason.

SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY’S ACTION

The Bruins will play for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference when they host the Panthers for a rescheduled game at TD Garden tonight – the final game of the 2017-18 regular season.

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NHL COMMUNITY MOURNS HUMBOLDT BRONCOS TRAGEDY

Players, coaches, executives and fans from across the NHL expressed sorrow and offered support following the tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.

 

* The Jets, Flames and Oilers – three clubs that play approximately 400 miles from the Broncos’ home arena – were among the teams to honor the Humboldt team and community.

 

* In Winnipeg, players from both teams and on-ice officials stood in unison at center ice during a moment of silence. The Jets and Blackhawks also wore “BRONCOS” name plates on their jerseys for the entire game.

* The Maple Leafs and Canadiens joined forces for a donation to support the players and families affected by the tragedy in Saskatchewan, as did many others within the NHL community. Click here for more information and comments from players past and present – including Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Hall, a Humboldt native – and a statement from Commissioner Gary Bettman.

 

McDAVID, BARZAL WRAP UP HIGH-SCORING SEASONS

* Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two assists in his final game of 2017-18, finishing with 41-67—108. With one contest remaining in the season, he is in line to become the second player in NHL history to lead the League in scoring multiple times before age 22, joining Wayne Gretzky who did so three times.

 

* Islanders forward Mathew Barzal collected two assists to conclude his first NHL season with 22-63—85 (82 GP), the most assists and points among all rookies. He became the fourth rookie in franchise history to lead the Islanders outright in scoring. His 85 points are third-most by a rookie in franchise history, while his 63 assists are tied for the third-most by a rookie in NHL history – Peter Stastny (1980-81 w/ QUE) and Joe Juneau(1992-93 w/ BOS) had 70 assists apiece in their rookie campaigns.

 

HAT TRICKS FROM START TO FINISH

The penultimate day of the 2017-18 season featured four hat tricks. The campaign began in much the same way, with four players achieving the feat in their season debut – just the second time in NHL history that four hat tricks were scored over the opening two days (also 1917-18).

 

* Saturday marked the 34th day in NHL history to feature at least four hat tricks, and first since Dec. 15, 2010. Five days have featured at least five hat tricks.

 

* Overall, there have been 81 hat tricks through 1,270 games. Only five seasons since 1990-91 have seen more three-goal games.

 

* Flyers forward Claude Giroux concluded 2017-18 with a 10-game point streak (8-11—19) to become the sixth different player in franchise history to reach the 100-point mark in a season (34-68—102) and first since 1995-96 (Eric Lindros: 47-68—115). With one game remaining in the NHL season, he ranks second in League scoring.

 

* Predators forward Filip Forsberg became the second player in franchise history to score a hat trick in the season finale (Paul Kariya in 2005-06).

 

* Stars captain Jamie Benn posted his second hat trick this week (April 3 at SJS) to finish the season with seven goals over his final three games.

 

* Flames rookie Mark Jankowski became the seventh player to score at least four goals in a game, the most in one campaign since 2002-03 (8).

 

JETS COMPLETE HISTORIC SEASON WITH ANOTHER HOME WIN

Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves and Kyle Connor scored his rookie-leading 31st goal as the Jets finished the best season in franchise history with a 52-20-10 record (114 points). Winnipeg set club records for overall wins and points, and ended the season with victories in each of their final nine games at Bell MTS Place to establish franchise records for home wins (32) and longest home win streak.

 

* Hellebuyck concluded the season with a nine-game winning streak – also the longest such run in franchise history – to set the NHL record for overall wins by a U.S.-born goaltender and tie the League benchmark for home wins in a season (30).

 

SEDIN TWINS SAY FAREWELL IN NHL FINALE

After an emotional farewell to fans in Vancouver on Thursday, Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin played their final NHL game. Since making their NHL debuts at the beginning of the 2000-01 season, all 1,465 Canucks games have featured at least one Sedin (1,360 regular season and 105 playoffs). Click here for a detailed look at their careers (with stats through games played April 4).

 

* ICYMI: The Sedins brought their children to the bench to watch the end of their final game.

 

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