Thursday Night Hockey

Thursday’s NHL hockey gave us eight games, three overtimes, two shootouts, 54 regulation goals, one overtime goal and four shootout goals.

The Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes and the Montreal Canadiens lost in regulation, securing the reigning champions a Stanley Cup Playoff spot.

 

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Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes

3-2

The Washington Capitals clinched a Stanley Cup Playoff berth by rallying to a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena, in the second of a home-and-home.

Brett Connolly, Jakub Vrana and Nic Dowd scored and Braden Holtby made 24 saves for the reigning champions, who lead the Metropolitan Division by three points.

The Capitals reached 100 points for the fifth straight season and Holtby now has at least 30 wins five seasons in a row.

Nino Niederreiter and Warren Foegle scored for Carolina, who remain a point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens for the first wild card in the Eastern Conference; Montreal have played one more game. Curtis McElhinney made 17 saves.

Micheal Ferland has gone 12 games without a goal and Sebastian Aho has gone nine for the Hurricanes, who went 0-for-1 on the night and are 0-for 15 on the power-play in their last nine games.

It was Dougie Hamilton‘s 500th NHL game.

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Up Next:

Capitals v Lightning – Saturday, March 30 (7pm)

Flyers v Canes – Saturday, March 30 (1:30pmESPN+)

 

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Detroit Red Wings v Buffalo Sabres

5-4 (OT)

Tyler Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the night at 2:18 of overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 5-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Dylan Larkin scored twice, Filip Hronek also scored, Anthony Mantha had three assists, and Jimmy Howard made 35 saves for Detroit, who have won three in a row and five of their last six games. 

Larkin is the first Red Wings player to score at least 30 goals in a season since Marian Hossa (40), Johan Franzen (34), Pavel Datsyuk (32) and Henrik Zetterberg (31) in 2008/09. 

Casey Mittelstadt had a goal and an assist, Kyle Okposo, Marco Scandella and Jack Eichel also scored, and Linus Ullmark made 29 saves for Buffalo, who have lost five in a row and are 1-10-2 in their last 13 games.

It was Eichel‘s 100th NHL goal, which Victor Olofsson, who was making his NHL debut, had the primary assist on, becoming the 500th player to play for the Sabres in both the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Up Next:

Devils v Red Wings – Friday, March 29 (7:30pm)

Sabres v Islanders – Saturday, March 30 (7pm)

 

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Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

2-6

The Columbus Blue Jackets tied the Montreal Canadiens for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference by defeating them 6-2.

Columbus and Montreal are a point behind the Carolina Hurricanes, who lost 3-2 the Capitals, for the first wild card. The Blue Jackets have a game in hand. 

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice, extending his goal streak to three games, David Savard, Artemi Panarin, Riley Nash and Brandon Dubinsky also scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves for Columbus, who have won three in a row. 

The Blue Jackets goaltender credited the line of  Nick Foligno, Dubinsky and Nash for getting the team engaged. Columbus didn’t have a shot until 10:14 of the first period.

Brett Kulak and Jeff Petry scored for the Canadiens, who led 2-1 in the second period, and Carey Price made 24 saves.

Andrew Shaw had an assist in his 500th NHL game to give him seven points (1g, 6a) in his last six games. Meanwhile teammate Max Domi, who also had an assist, played his 300th NHL game.

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Up Next:

Canadiens v Jets – Saturday, March 30 (7pm)

Blue Jackets v Predators – Saturday, March 30 (8pmESPN+)

 

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Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators

5-2

Aleksander Barkov had two assists, hitting the 90-point mark for the first time in his NHL career, and helping lift the Florida Panthers to a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Barkov is four points behind Pavel Bure‘s Panthers single-season record of 94 set in 1999/2000. The center has 22 points (6g, 16a) in his past 12 games and is the third player in franchise history to score 90+ points in a season (Bure x2 and Olli Jokinen). 

Evgenii Dadonov, Troy Bouwer, Jonathan Huberdeau (x2) and Dryden Hunt all scored for the visitors, who won for the first time in four games. Roberto Luongo made 28 saves. 

Dadonov, who also registered two assists, has 12 points (4g, 8a) in his past eight games.

Florida defenseman Brady Keeper became the first member of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation to play in the National Hockey League. He had a shot and two hits in 12:40 of ice time.

He told media after the game, “It’s a dream come true obviously. I’ve got not words to describe, like I said before, how I feel. I’m just happy my parents and my whole family came down to see me play, same with my girlfriend, my 7-month-old baby and my stepson, as well.”

Colin White and Brady Tkachuk scored, and Anders Nilsson made 29 saves for the Senators. 

It was Tkachuk‘s 20th goal of the season, tying him with Alexandre Daigle (1993/94) for the all-time Senators single-season goal-scoring record by a teenager. 

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Up Next:

Panthers v Bruins – Saturday, March 30 (1pm)

Leafs v Senators – Saturday, March 30 (7pm)

 

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New York Islanders v Winnipeg Jets

5-4

The New York Islanders moved back into second place in the Metropolitan Division by rallying from a two goal deficit to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 5-4.

The Isles fell behind 4-2 when Mark Scheifele scored his Jets-leading 36th goal early in the third period. Jordan Eberle and Casey Cizikas then scored to tie the game, before Eberle scored his second 33 seconds later to give the visitors a 5-4 lead. 

Ryan Pulock had three assists, and Robin Lehner made 33 saves for the Islanders, who are two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and three points behind first-placed Washington Capitals. The Pens have a game in hand over both New York and the Caps. 

Mathew Barzal scored his first goal in 20 games for the visitors. 

The Jets failed to extended their lead atop the Central Division. They lead the Nashville Predators by two points and the St Louis Blues by four. The latter has a game in hand on both Winnipeg and Nashville. 

Adam Lowry had two goals and an assist, Brandon Tanev had a goal and two assists, Blake Wheeler had an assist on Scheifele‘s goal for his first point in five games, and Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves for the Jets, who are 5-5-0 in their last 10. 

Wheeler is two points shy of tying his NHL career high of 91 points, which he set last season.

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Up Next:

Sabres v Islanders – Saturday, March 30 (7pm)

Canadiens v Jets – Saturday, March 30 (7pm)

 

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Dallas Stars v Edmonton Oilers

3-2 (SO)

The Dallas Stars extended their lead for the first wild card in the West by rallying from behind to beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in a shootout.

Alexander Radulov and Miro Heiskanen scored in regulation and Anton Khudobin made 40 saves for Dallas, who moved five points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, but still trail the St Louis Blues by two points for third place in the Central. 

Radulov extended his point streak to four games (2g, 3a).

Tyler Seguin, who had the primary assist on Radulov‘s goal, scored in the shootout, as did Jamie Benn

The Stars will try and finish their four-game road trip undefeated when they play the Canucks on Saturday. They have won seven in succession on the road, the longest active streak in the League.

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid scored for the Oilers, who trail the Avalanche by six points for that second wild card with five games remaining. Mikko Koskinen made 20 saves.

Draisaitl (101) and McDavid (114) are the first set of oilers teammates to reach 100pts in a season since Jari Kurri (102) and Jimmy Carson (100) in 1988/89.

McDavid is also the first Oilers player to score at least 40 goals in back-to-back seasons since Kurri reached the mark for a seventh consecutive season in 1988/89.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in the shootout for Edmonton.

 

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SHOOTOUT

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** WINNING SHOT

Up Next:

Stars v Canucks – Saturday, March 30 (10pm)

Ducks v Oilers – Saturday, March 30 (10pm)

 

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Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks 

2-3 (SO)

The Vancouver Canucks avoided being eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention with a 3-2 shootout win over the already eliminated L.A. Kings.

The hosts, who ended a three-game losing streak, are seven points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second western wild card. They will be eliminated if they Avs get a point against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. 

Alexander Edler and Brock Boeser scored, whilst Quinn Hughes, who was the No.7 pick in the 2018 Draft, had an assist on their second goal in his NHL debut, and Thatcher Demko made 37 saves for Vancouver.

Edler‘s goal was his 94th in the NHL, passing Mattias Ohlund for most by a defenseman in Canucks history. He also has eight points – three goals, five assists – in his last six games.

Tanner Pearson was the only player to convert his penalty in the shootout.

Austin Wagner and Adrian Kempe scored, and Jonathan Quick made 36 saves in his 600th NHL game for the Kings, who have lost two in a row.

L.A. forward Dustin Brown played his 1,112th NHL game, passing Dave Taylor for most in franchise history. 

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SHOOTOUT

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** WINNING SHOT

Up Next:

Blackhawks v Kings – Saturday, March 30 (10:30pm)

Stars v Canucks – Saturday, March 30 (10pm)

 

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Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks 

5-4

The San Jose Sharks lost a season-high seventh consecutive game and missed the chance to gain ground in the Pacific Division. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated them 5-4.

Lukas Radil, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier scored, whilst Martin Jones made 22 saves, for the Sharks, who remain six points behind the Calgary Flames and five ahead of the third-placed Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific. They’ve lost seven straight for the first time since February 2013.

Alex DeBrincat (21 years, 100 days) had two goals to become the youngest player in Blackhawks history to score 40 goals in a season. Connor Murphy, Jonathan Toews and Chris Kunitz also scored and Corey Crawford made 26 saves for Chicago, who moved within five points of the Colorado Avalanche for the second western wild card.

Not only did DeBrincat break the record set by Steve Larmer (21 years, 284 days) in 1983, but the forward and Patrick Kane are the second U.S.-born teammates in NHL history to each score 40+ goals in a season. Kevin Stevens and Joe Mullen did it with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991/92. 

Brandon Saad, Erik Gustafsson and Kane each had two assists for Chicago.

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Up Next:

Blackhawks v Kings – Saturday, March 30 (10:30pm)

Knights v Sharks – Saturday, March 30 (9pmESPN+)

 

KEY

Hockey Key

 

ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN

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