Super Saturday Showdown

This season of the NHL has been so exciting, exhilarating, full of shocks, horrors and straight up entertainment, but sadly the regular season has come to an end.

It ended how it started, in fantastic fashion, with 99 goals across 15 games, 30 of 31 teams playing (Anaheim Ducks’ season finished Friday night), two overtimes and two shootouts.

The final positions of each team, conference and division have been set. Those last few postseason places were configured and now we know who will play who, where and when.

Let the postseason excitement commence.

 

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Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins 

6-3

The Tampa Bay Lightning tied the NHL record for wins in a season with a 6-3 victory over the Boston Bruins.

It was the Bolts’ 62nd win of the regular season, matching the 1995/96 Detroit Red Wings, who were 62-13 with seven ties. The Lightning won six game sin a shootout, which was introduced in 2005/06.

Erik Cernak, Tyler Johnson, Steven Stamkos, Anthony Cirelli and Braydon Coburn scored for the Lightning, who will have home-ice advantage through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Stamkos set an NHL career-high in points with 98 (45g, 53a). He had 97 (60g, 37a) in 2011/12.

Nikita Kucherov also scored and had an assist to set the single-season NHL points record (128) for a Russia-born player. The NHL scoring leader finished with 41 goals and 87 assists, passing Alexander Mogilny, who had 127pts (76g. 51a) for the Buffalo Sabres in 1992/93. 

Tampa’s 128 points are the fourth most in NHL history, passing the 1975/76 Montreal Canadiens (127). The 1976/77 Canadiens hold the record of 132. The Bolts also became the second team to earn 30 road wins, joining the 2005/06 Red Wings (31).

David Krejci, Danton Heinen and Matt Grzelcyk scored for Boston, who finished in second place behind the Lightning in the Atlantic Division and will have home ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.

Bruins forward Charlie Coyle played his 500th NHL game, he played his first 479 for the Minnesota Wild.

Edward Pasquale made 30 saves for Tampa and Tuukka Rask made 16 for the Bruins.

 

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Up Next:

Blue Jackets v Lightning – Wednesday, April 10 (7pmUSA)

Leafs v Bruins – Thursday, April 11 (7pm – NBCSN)

 

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Vancouver Canucks v St Louis Blues

2-3 (SO)

The St Louis Blues failed to win the Central Division despite a 3-2 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

The Blues, who finished one point behind the Nashville Predators, who won 5-2, and will play the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, won their final seven home games and 14 of their last 16.

Jordan Binnington made 23 saves to finish the season with a Blues rookie record of 24 wins. He made his first NHL start on January 7 and was 24-5-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average. The youngster had five shutouts this season.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, Brayden Schenn also scored in regulation for St Louis, who went 9-1-2 in their final 12 regular season games.

Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron scored in the shootout, where Binnington made saves on Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser to help lead his team to victory. 

Center Tyler Bozak was scratched as a precaution after being in a car accident on the way to the game, whilst defenseman Colton Parayko (mid-body) missed his second consecutive game after playing the fist 80. He is expected to return for the playoffs.

Tanner Pearson and Elias Pettersson scored, and Thatcher Demko made 36 saves for the Canucks, who failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a fourth straight season. 

Pearson finished the season with four goals in the last three games, whilst Demko recorded his first NHL assist on Pearson‘s goal. 

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SHOOTOUT

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Up Next:

Canucks – Season Ended 

Blues v Jets – Wednesday, April 10 (8pmNHL Network)

 

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Carolina Hurricanes v Philadelphia Flyers

4-3

The Carolina Hurricanes clinched the first Eastern Conference wild card with a 4-3 win at the Philadelphia Flyers.

Carolina, who are in the postseason for the first time since 2009, will play the Metropolitan Division champions and current Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference First Round.

Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and an assist for the Canes, Warren Foegele also scored, and Brock McGinn had two assists. Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves.

The victory was Carolina’s 22nd on the road this season, setting a Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers record. Their 46 total wins are the second-most in Hurricanes/Whalers history; in their 2005/06 Stanley Cup winning season they had 52 wins.

Oskar Lindblom, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny scored for Philadelphia, who failed to qualify for the postseason for the second time in three season. 

Carter Hart made 24 saves for the Flyers, who outshot Carolina 10-1 in the third but ended the season with five consecutive losses.

 

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Up Next:

Canes v Capitals – Thursday, April 11 (7:30pmUSA)

Flyers – Season Ended 

 

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Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens

5-6 (SO)

Ryan Poehling not only scored a hat trick in his NHL debut for the Montreal Canadiens, but he also scored the winning penalty in the shootout to see the Habs 6-5 victors.

The 20-year-old scored his third goal of the game with 2:31 left in the third period to send the game to extra time. He is the first Canadiens player to score three goals in his first NHL game since Alex Smart on January 14, 1943, and the first to score more than three in his debut since Joe Malone, who scored five in his Canadiens NHL debut on December 19, 1917. 

He was the No. 25 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft. 

Jordan Weal and Andrew Shaw also scored in regulation, Jonathan Drouin scored the other penalty in the shootout for the hosts, with Charlie Lindgren making 44 saves in his season debut for the Canadiens, who were eliminated from the playoffs on Friday. 

Despite losing their final three games, the Toronto Maple Leafs reached 100pts, marking the first time the Leafs, who had 105pts last season, have had consecutive 100pt seasons.

Zach Hyman, Jake Gardiner, Trevor Moore, William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen scored, and Frederik Andersen made 44 saves for Toronto, who finished third in the Atlantic Division and face the Boston Bruins in the first round.

Mitch Marner finished the season with 94 points, the most by a Leafs player since Mats Sundin had 94 in 1996/97. 

Gardiner’s goal was the 7,589th scored in the NHL this season, surpassing the previous record of 7,588 set in 2005/06. 

 

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SHOOTOUT

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Up Next:

Leafs v Bruins – Thursday, April 11 (7pm – NBCSN)

Canadiens – Season Ended 

 

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Columbus Blue Jackets v Ottawa Senators

6-2

The Columbus Blue Jackets remained the second wild card from the Eastern Conference despite an easy 6-2 victory over the eliminated Ottawa Senators.

The visitors, who won seven of their last eight games, will play the Presidents’ Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs. Columbus finished one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the first wild card.

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice, Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and two assists, Markus Nutivaara, Alexander Texier and Riley Nash also scored, and Joonas Korpisalo made 27 saves for the Blue Jackets.

It was Texier‘s first NHL goal.

Thomas Chabot and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Senators, who lost three of their last four. Craig Anderson allowed three goals on seven shots before being pulled in the first period, Anders Nilsson made 17 saves in relief.

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Up Next:

Blue Jackets v Lightning – Wednesday, April 10 (7pmUSA)

Senators – Season Ended 

 

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Buffalo Sabres v Detroit Red Wings

7-1

Jeff Skinner scored twice, taking his season tally to 40 goals, to help the Buffalo Sabres thrash the Detroit Red Wings 7-1.

Skinner, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, became the first Sabre to reach 40 goals since current Red Wings forward Thomas Vanek achieved the feat in 2008/09. It’s the first time the Markham, Ontario native has scored 40 goals in his nine NHL seasons.

After the game, head coach Phil Housley told media “Once Skinner got to 39, I was trying to find every possible time to get him on the ice. That was a nice moment for him.”

It was announced on Sunday that Housley had been fired.

Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and an assist, Sam Reinhart, Conor Sheary, Zemgus Girgensons and Brandon Montour also scored, whilst Jack Eichel and Rasmus Ristolainen each had two assists for Buffalo, who finished the season with their first back-to-back victories since December 11-13. Linus Ullmark made 23 saves.

Reinhart, Skinner and Dahlin each played all 82 games for Buffalo.

Detroit’s only goal came on the power play from Anthony Mantha, and Dylan Larkin became the first player to lead the Red Wings in goals (32), assists (41) and penalty minutes (75) since Johnny Sheppard did it for the Detroit Cougars in 1926/27, the franchise’s first NHL season.

Jimmy Howard allowed five goals on 26 shots before leaving the game with a strained groin muscle in the second period. He was replaced by Kaden Fulcher, who made nine saves in his first NHL game.

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Up Next:

Sabres – Season Ended 

Red Wings – Season Ended 

 

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New Jersey Devils v Florida Panthers

4-3 (OT)

Aleksander Barkov set a Florida Panthers single-season points record in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.

He had a goal and an assist to finish with 96pts (35, 61a) and break the record set by Pavel Bure in 1999-2000 (94pts – 58g, 36a). 

Travis Zajac won the affair with a power play goal 56 seconds into overtime. It came on the wrist shot after Jonathan Huberdeau was called for delay of game at 19:59 of the third period.

Nathan Bastian scored two goals for New Jersey, who were 4-2-1 in their last seven games, Pavel Zacha also scored and Mackenzie Blackwood made 37 saves.

Blackwood became the fourth Devils goalie to win at least 10 games as a rookie, joining Martin Brodeur )1993/94), Sean Burke (1987/88) and Alain Chevrier (1985/96).

Huberdeau had a goal and an assist, Mike Hoffman also scored, and Roberto Luongo made 23 saves, two days after turning 40, for Florida.

Barkov, Hoffman and Huberdeau each have 30 goals this season, the first time in franchise history three players managed the feat.

Florida defenseman Keith Yandle completed his 10th consecutive season without missing a game. His streak of 706 consecutive games is the longest active in the NHL.

Panthers head coach Bob Boughner was fired Sunday morning.

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Up Next:

Devils – Season Ended 

Panthers – Season Ended 

 

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New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins

4-3 (OT)

The Pittsburgh Penguins held on for third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers.

Jake Guentzel scored his 40th goal of the season with just over two and half minutes remaining, sending the game to overtime and giving the Pens the point needed to avoid falling into the first wild card spot. 

They will play the New York Islanders, who clinched second in the division and home-ice advantage in the series with a 3-0 win against the Washington Capitals, in the first round.

Sid Crosby had a goal and an assist to reach 100pts on the season for the first time since he had 104 in 2013/14, and the sixth time in his 14 NHL seasons.

Nick Bjugstad also scored and Matt Murray made 26 saves for Pittsburgh, who won 11 of their final 18 games.

Brady Skjei and Vladislav Namestnikov scored 1:16 apart in the third period, Brendan Smith also scored in regulation and Alexander Georgiev made 36 saves for New York, who didn’t qualify for the playoffs.

Ryan Strome won it at 2:09 of overtime for the Rangers, who had lost their previous three against the Penguins this season, having been outscored 18-9.

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Up Next:

Rangers – Season Ended 

Penguins v Islanders – Wednesday, April 10 (7:30pmNBCSN)

 

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New York Islanders v Washington Capitals

3-0

The New York Islanders clinched second place in the Metro Division with a 3-0 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Valtteri Filppula scored twice for the Isles after missing seven games due to a hyperextended elbow. Matt Martin also netted and Robin Lehner made 29 saves for his sixth shutout of the season. 

Lehner and Thomas Greiss will share the William M. Jennings Trophy for the Islanders, who allowed the fewest goals (191) in the NHL after giving up a league-high 293 last season.

The Islanders also set a single-season team record with 11 shutouts; they had 10 in 1975/76.

New York, who finished the regular season by winning six of their final eight games, will have home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s the first time they’ve secure the home-ice advantage since 1988.

Pheonix Copley made 21 saves for the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, who clinched their fourth successive Metro Division championship. They’ll also have home-ice advantage for at least the first two round of the playoffs. 

Washington will play the Carolina Hurricanes, the first eastern wild card, in the first round.

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Up Next:

Penguins v Islanders – Wednesday, April 10 (7:30pmNBCSN)

Canes v Capitals – Thursday, April 11 (7:30pmUSA)

 

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Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators

2-5

The Nashville Predators won the Central Division for the second season running with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

These back-to-back division championships are the only two times they’ve won the Central. They will play the Dallas Stars in the first round. 

Nashville fought hard for the win, scoring five straight goals after trailing 2-0, with Dante Fabbro, Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Colton Sissons and Nick Bonino all scoring. Pekka Rinne made 31 saves. 

Brendan Perlini and Drake Caggiula scored, and Cam Ward made 45 saves for Chicago, who miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Patrick Kane registered an assist on the second goal, becoming the third U.S.-born player to get at least 110pts in an NHL season. He joins Pat LaFontaine (148 in 1992/93), Kevin Stevens (121 in 1991/92 and 111 in 1992/93), and Joe Mullen (110 in 1988/89).

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Up Next:

Blackhawks – Season Ended 

Stars v Predators – Wednesday, April 10 (9:30pmUSA)

 

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Minnesota Wild v Dallas Stars

0-3

The Dallas Stars secured the first western wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 shutout win over the Minnesota Wild.

Tyler Seguin scored twice, Tyler Pitlick once for the Stars, with Alexander Radulov getting his 300th NHL point with the primary assist on Seguin‘s first. 

Seguin had 15pts (6g, 9a) in the final 10 games and Radulov ended the season on an eight-game point streak (5g, 7a) for Dallas, who face the Nashville Predators in the first round. They went 2-1-1 against them in the regular season.

Ben Bishop made 24 saves for his NHL career-high seventh shutout of the season. The goalie, who had 12 saves in the third period alone, was playing for the first time since March 27 because of a lower-body injury. 

Greg Pateryn appeared to have put the Wild on the scoreboard in the second period, but the play was challenge for offside, and the call was reversed after a video review, leading to Minnesota being shutout for the 11th time this season. That’s the second most in their history; they were shutout 14 times in their inaugural season of 2000/2001.

Alex Stalock made 41 saves for the visitors, who were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday and will miss the postseason or the first time since 2012.

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Up Next:

Wild – Season Ended 

Stars v Predators – Wednesday, April 10 (9:30pmUSA)

 

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Winnipeg Jets v Arizona Coyotes

4-2

The Winnipeg Jets clinched second place in the Central Division with a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

They will have home-ice advantage over the St Louis Blues in the Western Conference First Round. The two teams finished tied in points, but the Jets had three more regulation/overtime wins. 

Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor each had a goal and an assist, Jacob Trouba and Nikolaj Ehlers scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 19 saves for Winnipeg, who had lost their previous two and five of six.

The Jets won three of four games against the Blues this season, but they haven’t played since a 1-0 St Louis win in December.

Alex Galchenyuk and Brad Richardson scored for Arizona, who were striving for their first 40-win season since 2011/12.

Calvin Pickard made 28 saves in his first start since February 18 for the Coyotes. His selection ended goalie Darcy Kuemper‘s streak of 22 consecutive starts. 

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Up Next:

Blues v Jets – Wednesday, April 10 (8pmNHL Network)

Coyotes – Season Ended 

 

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Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames

3-1

Leon Draisaitl scored his 50th goal of the season in the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

Draisaitl became the first Oilers player to reach 50 goals since Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri in 1986/87. He finished second in the NHL in goals, one behind Alex Ovechkin

Connor McDavid injured his leg 3:32 into the second period. The Edmonton captain was skating down the right side but was taken down by Calgary’s Mark Giordano and collided with the goal post.

His 116 points (41g, 75a) are the most by an Oilers player since Mark Messier had 129 (45g, 84a) in 1989/90.

Alex Chiasson and Darnell Nurse also scored for the visitors, who failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season and the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. 

Mark Jankowski scored, and Mike Smith made 22 saves for the Flames, who clinched the Western Conference on March 31 and will face the Colorado Avalanche in the first round.

Calgary will have home-ice advantage for as long as they remain in the first three rounds of the playoffs.

Their 107 points are the most since the club had 117 in 1988/89, when they went on to win the Stanley Cup. 

Johnny Gaudreau‘s 99 points are the most in a single season by a Flames player since Theo Fleury had 100 (34g, 66a) in 1992/93.

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Up Next:

Oilers – Season Ended 

Avalanche v Flames – Thursday, April 11 (10pmNBCSN)

 

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Vegas Golden Knights v Los Angeles Kings

2-5

Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice to lift the L.A. Kings to a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist, Matt Roy and Jeff Carter also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the hosts, who went 6-3-1 after being eliminated from playoff contention.

It was the second multi-goal game for Kovalchuk, who finished with 16 goals in his return to the NHL after playing for SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League for five seasons.

Dustin Brown had two assists, reaching the 50-point mark for the seventh time in 15 NHL seasons, he finished with 51pts (22g, 29a). Kyle Clifford also had an impressive season with 21 points (11g, 10a), setting an NHL career-high in both categories.

Blake Lizotte won 50% of his face-offs and blocked a shot in his NHL debut for L.A.

Brandon Pirri and Valentin Zykov scored for Vegas, and Jimmy Schuldt assisted Zykov‘s goal for his first point in his NHL debut. He and Lizotte played together at St. Cloud State.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for the Golden Knights, who will play the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round.

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Up Next:

Knights v Sharks – Wednesday, April 10 (10:30pmNBCSN)

Kings – Season Ended 

 

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Colorado Avalanche v San Jose Sharks

2-5

The Colorado Avalanche saw their 10-game point streak end with a 5-2 loss at the San Jose Sharks.

Tyson Jost and Nathan MacKinnon scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves for Colorado, who went 8-0-2 in their previous 10, and finished in the second wild card spot after the Dallas Stars defeated Minnesota Wild 3-0. They will play the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference First Round. 

MacKinnon finished the season with 99 points (41g, 58a), the most by an Avs players since Joe Sakic had 100 in 2006/07.

Evander Kane, Gustav Nyquist and Brent Burns each had a goal and an assist, Kevin Labanc and Micheal Haley also scored, and Martin Jones made 28 saves for San Jose, who will have home ice against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round after finishing second in the Pacific Division. 

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Up Next:

Avalanche v Flames – Thursday, April 11 (10pmNBCSN)

Knights v Sharks – Wednesday, April 10 (10:30pmNBCSN)

 

 

KEY

Hockey Key

 

ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN

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