CAPITALS CLINCH TOP RECORD IN THE NHL
Braden Holtby made 21 saves to help the Washington Capitals defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 and clinch their second Presidents' Trophy in franchise history and the No. 1 seed in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* At 54-16-5 (113 points), the Capitals equaled their franchise record for most wins in a season from 2009-10 (54-15-13, 121 points) when they won their first Presidents' Trophy.
* Holtby improved to 46-9-4 in 61 appearances in 2015-16 (2.19 goals-against average, .923 save percentage, three shutouts) to become the fifth goaltender in NHL history to record 46 wins in a single season:
Most Wins in a Single Season, NHL History
48 - Martin Brodeur (78 GP) in 2006-07 w/ NJD
47 - Bernie Parent (73 GP) in 1973-74 w/ PHI
47 - Roberto Luongo (76 GP) in 2006-07 w/ VAN
46 - Braden Holtby (61 GP) in 2015-16 w/ WSH
46 - Evgeni Nabokov (77 GP) in 2007-08 w/ SJS
SHARKS PUNCH TICKET TO STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Joe Thornton scored the go-ahead goal at 4:28 of the third period to help the San Jose Sharks defeat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 and clinch a playoff berth, their 11th postseason appearance in the past 12 seasons.
* At 42-28-6 (90 points), the Sharks remained four points back of the Anaheim Ducks (42-23-10, 94 points) for second place in the Pacific Division.
* Thornton has at least one point in 40 of his past 47 games dating to Dec. 15 (14-43-57).
Home Team in Caps
PHILADELPHIA 3, Winnipeg 2 (OT)
WASHINGTON 4, Columbus 1
DETROIT 3, Buffalo 2
TAMPA BAY 3, Toronto 0
Colorado 4, NASHVILLE 3
Anaheim 2, EDMONTON 1
Calgary 5, ARIZONA 2
SAN JOSE 5, Los Angeles 2
CLUBS EARN KEY VICTORIES IN EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF PUSH
Three other teams in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff race secured key wins Monday:
* Ben Bishop made 34 saves to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, their fourth victory in their past five games (4-1-0). Bishop, who picked up his fourth straight win, had the 18th shutout of his NHL career and sixth of 2015-16 to eclipse in his single-season career high of five from 2013-14. At 44-27-5 (93 points), the Lightning tied the idle Florida Panthers (42-24-9, 93 points) in terms of points for first place in the Atlantic Division. Florida, however, holds a game in hand.
Video: TOR@TBL: Bishop stones Boyes, Nylander in the 1st
* Claude Giroux scored with 13.6 seconds remaining in overtime to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets and an 8-2-2 record in their past 12 games. Giroux scored his second overtime goal of the season (also Oct. 21 at BOS) and the seventh of his NHL career (all w/ PHI) to pass Simon Gagne (6) for the most in franchise history. At 37-25-13 (87 points), the Flyers climbed within two points of the idle New York Islanders (40-25-9, 89 points) for the first wild card spot into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
* The Detroit Red Wings scored three consecutive goals by Dylan Larkin, Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening and held off a late rally for a 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres to pick up their fourth win in their past six games (4-2-0). Larkin ranks tied for third among all rookies with 22 goals this season. At 38-27-11 (87 points), the Red Wings remained tied with the Flyers in terms of points for the final wild card in the East. Philadelphia, however, holds a game in hand.
AROUND THE RINKS
* John Gibson made 27 saves to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers and a 4-1-1 record in their past six games. The Ducks have earned points in nine consecutive games vs. EDM dating to Dec. 10, 2014 (8-0-1), including five straight road wins. At 42-23-10 (94 points), the Ducks climbed within a point of the Kings (45-26-5, 95 points) for first place in the Pacific Division.
* Shawn Matthias scored the game-winning goal at 12:13 of the third period to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 win against the Nashville Predators. It was their fourth win in their past six games (4-2-0) and snapped Nashville's home point streak at 10 games (7-0-3). At 39-33-4 (82 points), the Avalanche climbed within three points of the idle Minnesota Wild (37-28-11, 85 points) for the final wild card in the Western Conference.
Video: COL@NSH: Matthias uses slick move to beat Hutton
* Sam Bennett (2-0-2) scored twice and Sean Monahan (1-2-3) notched the game-winning goal late in the second period to help the Calgary Flames avoid a season series sweep at the hands of the Arizona Coyotes with a 5-2 victory. Bennett had his third multigoal game of the season (also Jan. 21 at CBJ: 2-0-2 and Jan. 13 vs. FLA: 4-0-4). Monahan had two assists to record his sixth three-point game of the season.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Drew Doughty of the Kings skated in the 600th game of his NHL career (all w/ LAK), becoming the fifth defenseman in franchise history to reach the milestone.
* Avalanche forward Blake Comeau (1-1-2) scored the 100th goal of his NHL career.
The Capitals, who lost 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues on March 26, improved to 15-0-1 in games following a regulation loss this season. … Roman Josi of the Predators (13-44-57) scored to break the single-season franchise record for points by a defenseman, established by Shea Weber in 2013-14 (23-33-56). … Coyotes forward Anthony Duclair (2-0-2) scored two power-play goals for his third multigoal game of the season (also Dec. 12 vs. CAR: 2-1-3 and Oct. 14 at ANA: 3-0-3). He shares first among all rookies with eight power-play goals in 2015-16 (w/ Jack Eichel). … Sharks defenseman Justin Braun (2-0-2) had the first multigoal game of his NHL career. … Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (0-2-2) had his 42nd and 43rd assists of 2015-16, matching his single-season career high from 2014-15. … Kings forward Vincent Lecavalier (2-0-2) had his first multigoal game of the season. … Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (0-2-2) extended his point streak to six games (5-4-9). … Flyers forward Sean Couturier (1-4-5), Jets forward Blake Wheeler (2-4-6), Lightning forward Ondrej Palat (3-6-9) and Predators forward Filip Forsberg (3-3-6) extended their point streaks to five games. … Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom, Jets forward Blake Wheeler and Predators forward Craig Smith all reached the 20-goal milestone. … ICYMI: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made a highlight-reel stick save on Logan Couture in the dying seconds of the second period. … Wild left wing Zach Parise, Blues goaltender Brian Elliott and Penguins right wing Phil Kessel have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending March 27. … The Red Wings welcomed Gordie Howe to Joe Louis Arena ahead of his 88th birthday on March 31. During a first-period stoppage in play, Howe received a standing ovation and a rendition of "Happy Birthday" from fans in attendance.