Home Team in Caps
NY Islanders 3, PITTSBURGH 1
COLUMBUS 4, Buffalo 2
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF RACE
(Click chart below to zoom)
HALAK BACKSTOPS ISLANDERS OVER PENGUINS...
Jaroslav Halak stopped all but one of 38 shots he faced to backstop the New York Islanders to a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders, who have earned points in four of their last five games (3-1-1), improved to 47-28-6 (100 points) this season. The Islanders rank third in the Metropolitan Division standings and moved within a point of the idle Washington Capitals (45-25-11, 101 points), who rank second.
* Halak made 37 saves to improve to 38-17-3 this season with a 2.41 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. Halak has recorded points in four of his last five decisions (3-1-1) and his career-high 38 victories extended his franchise record for wins by a goaltender in a single season.
* John Tavares (1-0—1) scored his team-leading 37th goal of the season and extended his point streak to five games (3-7—10), which matched a season-high. The marker also stood as the team-leading eighth game-winning goal of the season for Tavares, who is tied for the League-lead in points with 84 (37-47—84).
* The Islanders improved to 21-6-2 against Metropolitan Division opponents this season, which includes a road record of 10-3-2 and a home record of 11-3-0.
... AND SEAL OPENING-ROUND DATE WITH CAPITALS AS A RESULT
By defeating the Penguins, the Islanders (47-28-6, 100 points) sealed a First Round playoff series against the Capitals (45-25-11, 101 points).
* Though the matchup is set, home ice will not be determined until Saturday when the Islanders host the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Capitals host the New York Rangers. Washington currently holds a one-point lead for second place in the Metropolitan Division standings, but the teams are tied in ROW (40) and the Capitals won the season series 2-0-2 (NYI: 2-1-1).
* This marks the seventh time the Islanders and Capitals will meet in the playoffs and the Islanders hold a 5-1 edge in their all-time series. They last met in the 1993 Patrick Division Semifinals, where the Islanders skated to a 4-2 series victory.
SURGING BLUE JACKETS MATCH FRANCHISE-RECORD POINT STREAK WITH WIN OVER SABRES
The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 4-2 and extended their point streak to 12 consecutive games (11-0-1). The point streak matched a franchise record from Feb. 26-March 22, 2013 (8-0-4).
* Columbus has also won a season-high six consecutive games on home ice, which matched a franchise record from Dec. 26, 2007-Jan. 15, 2008.
* Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves to improve to 30-17-3 this season with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Bobrovsky reached the 30-win mark for the second time in his career and for the second consecutive season.
* Bobrovsky has earned points in 11 straight decisions (10-0-1). The point streak matched his career-high from Feb. 26-March 22, 2013 (8-0-3), which also stands as the franchise record.
* Matt Calvert (1-1—2) scored his 13th goal and added his 10th assist to post his fifth multipoint performance of the season. Calvert has scored three times in his last four games (3-1—4).
* Nick Foligno (1-0—1) opened the scoring just 14 seconds into the contest with his team-leading 31st goal of the season and extended his point streak to six games (5-3—8). Cam Atkinson (1-0—1) scored his 21st goal of the season, which matched his career-high from 2013-14. The tally also stood as his team-leading seventh game-winning goal of the season.
* Jack Johnson (0-2—2) and David Savard (0-2—2) each registered two assists.
* Todd Richards earned his 126th career win as coach for the Blue Jackets (126-105-21) and passed Ken Hitchcock (125-123-36) for the most victories by a coach in franchise history.
Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi (1-0—1) scored his first goal since Jan. 19, 2013. The marker was the 100th point of his NHL career (8-92—100) ... Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby (0-1—1) registered his team-leading 56th assist of the season. Crosby is tied for the League-lead with 84 points this season (28-54—84) ... Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky (0-1—1) extended his career-high point streak to seven games (3-7—10) ... Buffalo forward Brian Gionta (1-1—2) recorded his ninth multipoint game of the season. Gionta has recorded 13 points (6-7—13) in his last nine games, which includes six of his nine multipoint performances on the season ... Buffalo forward Marcus Foligno (0-1—1) recorded an assist in his final game of the season against his brother Nick Foligno ... Buffalo goaltender Anders Lindback made 36 saves... Boston University freshman forward Jack Eichel was named Friday as winner of the Hobey Baker Award, presented to the top player in U.S. college hockey. Eichel, a native of North Chelmsford, Mass., is the first freshman to win the award since Paul Kariya of Maine in 1993 and is the third player in BU history to win it, joining forward Chris Drury (1998) and defenseman Matt Gilroy (2009) ... Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment).