NHL Morning Skate for Monday, May 3, 2021

THREE HARD LAPS


* The Bruins and Oilers can punch their tickets to the postseason during Monday’s 14-game slate.

Semyon Varlamov can become the third goaltender in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) with a shutout in four consecutive appearances and first since Brian Boucher blanked opponents in five straight over 17 years ago.

* The Lightning preserved their perfect record when leading after two periods this season and moved within two points of the League-leading Hurricanes in the Discover Central Division.

BRUINS, OILERS LOOK TO CLINCH BERTHS IN 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

Boston (30-14-6, 66 points) and Edmonton (30-17-2, 62 points) each have the opportunity to clinch a berth in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs as 28 teams are in action tonight, with only Calgary, Detroit and Tampa Bay idle.

* The Bruins can secure the final playoff spot in the MassMutual East Division if they earn at least one point against the Devils or if the Capitals defeat the Rangers in any fashion.

* The Oilers can become the second Scotia North Division team to reach the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs if they record at least one point versus the Canucks.

#NHLSTATS TO WATCH FOR DURING MONDAY’S 14 GAMES

* Oilers captain and League scoring leader Connor McDavid (29-58—87 in 49 GP), who is closing in on his third career Art Ross Trophy, is three points shy of 90 on the season.

* Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (38-24—62 in 47 GP), who owns a nine-goal edge over McDavid in the 2020-21 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race, needs two goals to reach 40 on the season.

* Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has at least one point in each of Colorado’s last 16 road games dating to Feb. 16 (8-17—25). That’s tied for the longest road point streak of his NHL career, a mark he set as an 18-year-old rookie en route to capturing the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Marc-Andre Fleury and Semyon Varlamov can also join elite company should they make an appearance for the Golden Knights and Islanders, respectively. Fleury needs one win to surpass Roberto Luongo for sole possession of third place on the NHL’s all-time list, while Varlamov can extend his career-high, franchise-record shutout sequence of 213:56.

LIGHTNING EDGE RED WINGS TO MOVE INTO SECOND IN DISCOVER CENTRAL
Blake Coleman opened the scoring 16 seconds into the game and assisted on a goal by Mikhail Sergachev as Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Christopher Gibson then denied all eight shots he faced in the final frame to earn his first NHL win since March 20, 2018 (w/ NYI) and help the Lightning (35-14-3, 73 points) move ahead of the idle Panthers (34-14-5, 73 points) for second place in the Discover Central Division.
 
* Tampa Bay improved to 25-0-0 when leading after two periods this season and are the only team without a loss of any kind under that criteria.

COURTESY NHLmedia.com

Posted in NHL
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