Home Team in CAPS
PHILADELPHIA 4, Pittsburgh 1
Washington 2, DETROIT 1
Montreal 4, FLORIDA 1
TORONTO 3, Ottawa 2 (SO)
St. Louis 2, CHICAGO 1
CAPITALS PUNCH TICKET TO POSTSEASON WITH WIN AGAINST RED WINGS AND HELP FROM MAPLE LEAFS
Braden Holtby made 35 saves to backstop the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. In addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs defeating the Ottawa Senators, the Capitals clinched a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs as a result. Washington reached the postseason for the 25th time in Capitals history and for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.
* The Capitals are 44-25-11 (99 points) and leapfrogged the idle New York Islanders to take sole possession of second in the Metropolitan Division standings.
* The Capitals have earned points in five consecutive games (4-0-1) and have earned points in seven of their past eight road games (6-1-1).
* Holtby stopped all but one of 36 shots he faced and is 40-19-10 with a 2.24 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. Holtby has earned points in six consecutive decisions (5-0-1).
* With a career-high 40 wins this season, Holtby ranks third among League-leaders and became the second goaltender in Capitals history to earn 40 victories in a season; Olie Kolzig had a 41 wins in 1999-2000. The victory was Holtby's 100th in the NHL and he became the fastest goaltender in Capitals history to reach the 100-win mark (176 GP).
* Holtby also made his Capitals-record 23rd consecutive start. Holtby passed Wayne Stephenson, who held the previous high when he started 22 straight games from Feb. 23-April 5, 1980.
* Mike Green (1-1—2) scored his 10th goal and had his 35th assist to post his 14th multi-point performance of the season. The marker also stood as Green's second game-winning goal.
* Washington has earned points in 16 straight games against Atlantic Division opponents (13-0-3).
ALLEN BACKSTOPS ST. LOUIS TO TOP OF CENTRAL DIVISION STANDINGS
Jake Allen made a season-high 38 saves to help the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues won their third straight game and are 49-23-7 (105 points). St. Louis leapfrogged the idle Nashville Predators to take sole possession of first in the Central Division standings.
* Allen stopped all but one of a season-high 39 shots against and is 21-6-4 with a 2.36 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Allen has won three straight decisions (3-0-0), has earned points in six consecutive decisions (4-0-2) and in 12 of his past 13 games (10-1-2).
* David Backes (1-0—1) scored his 26th goal on a power-play and extended his point streak to three games (1-2—3). The tally was also the team-leading 10th power-play goal of the season for Backes, which matched a career-high, and his 50th in the NHL, allowing him to tie Joe Mullen for 10th on the Blues' all-time power-play goals list.
* Olli Jokinen (1-0—1) scored his fourth goal of the season and his first as a member of the Blues. It stood as his first game-winning goal of the season.
PLEKANEC, PARENTEAU LEAD CANADIENS AGAINST PANTHERS
Tomas Plekanec (1-1—2) and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (1-1—2) each had a goal and an assist to power the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-1 win against the Florida Panthers. The Canadiens are 48-22-10 (106 points) and moved two points ahead of the idle Tampa Bay Lightning (48-24-8, 104 points) for the Atlantic Division lead. Montreal moved within a point of the idle New York Rangers (50-21-7, 107 points) and Anaheim Ducks (50-23-7, 107 points), who lead the League in standings points.
* Plekanec opened the scoring on a power play with his 24th goal and had his 33rd assist to record his 13th multi-point game of the season. The marker was also his sixth power-play goal and 200th NHL goal, allowing him to tie Bobby Rousseau for 22nd on the Canadiens' all-time goals list.
* Parenteau scored his eighth goal and had his 14th assist to record his fourth multi-point game of the season.
* Carey Price made 24 saves and is 42-16-6 with a League-leading 1.93 GAA and a League-leading .935 save percentage. With a career-high 42 wins this season, Price leads the League and tied the Canadiens' record for wins in a single season by a goaltender; Jacques Plante had 42 wins during the 1955-56 and 1961-62 seasons and Ken Dryden won 42 games in 1975-76.
* Brendan Gallagher (1-0—1) scored his 24th goal of the season, which stood as his sixth game-winner.
* Michel Therrien earned his 200th win as coach of the Canadiens in his 400th career regular-season game. Therrien is the fourth coach in Canadiens history to reach those milestones after Toe Blake (500 wins, 914 games), Dick Irvin (431 wins, 896 games) and Scotty Bowman (419 wins, 634 games).
PHILADELPHIA'S MASON STELLAR IN WIN AGAINST PITTSBURGH
Steve Mason made 46 saves to backstop the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers have earned points in six consecutive games (3-0-3).
* The Flyers swept their season series versus the Penguins (4-0-0) and have won eight consecutive games over their cross-state rivals dating to a 2-1 win on Nov. 13, 2013. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Flyers swept their season series versus the Penguins for the first time since 1983-84 (7-0-0) and for the third time in Flyers history; Philadelphia went 4-0-0 against Pittsburgh in 1980-81.
* Mason faced a season-high 47 shots and matched a season-high with a 46-save effort to earn his third victory in his past four decisions (3-0-1). Mason is 6-3-1 in 10 career decisions versus Pittsburgh and 17-17-11 this season with a 2.19 GAA and a .929 save percentage.
* With a .929 save percentage, Mason ranks tied for second among League-leaders and is on pace to record the highest save percentage in Flyers history since the NHL began officially tracking the statistic during the 1982-83 season. The current high belongs to Roman Cechmanek, who posted a .925 save percentage through 58 games for the Flyers during the 2002-03 season.
* Brayden Schenn (1-2—3) scored his 17th goal on a power play and had two assists to record his second three-point game of the season and extended his point streak to three games (3-3—6). The marker was Schenn's seventh power-play goal of the season and his fifth game-winner.
* Jakub Voracek (1-1—2) scored his 22nd goal on a power play and had his 57th assist to record his 21st multi-point game of the season. The marker was his 11th power-play goal of the season for Voracek, who leads the Flyers in assists and points (22-57—79).
* Mark Streit (0-2—2) recorded two assists.
BERNIER BACKSTOPS TORONTO TO SHOOTOUT WIN AGAINST OTTAWA ...
Jonathan Bernier made 43 saves through 65 minutes and denied six of seven shooters in the shootout to backstop the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators.
* Bernier is 21-28-6 with a 2.89 GAA and a .912 save percentage. Bernier is 3-3 in shootouts this season, where he has stopped 15 of 24 shooters for a .625 shootout save percentage.
* Peter Holland (0-1—1) netted the shootout-winner in the seventh round. Holland's first shootout conversion of the season consequently stood as his first game-deciding goal of the season.
* James van Riemsdyk (1-0—1) scored his team-leading 27th goal of the season and extended his point streak to three games (3-0—3).
* Eric Brewer (0-2—2) recorded two assists.
... WHILE SENATORS NARROW GAP IN PLAYOFF RACE DESPITE LOSS
Despite suffering a shootout loss to the Maple Leafs, Ottawa (40-26-13, 93 points) moved within two points of the Detroit Red Wings (41-25-13, 95 points), the Pittsburgh Penguins (42-26-11, 95 points) and the idle Boston Bruins (41-25-13, 95 points). Detroit and Pittsburgh occupy the wild cards in the Eastern Conference and Boston ranks third in the Atlantic Division standings.
Philadelphia forward Sean Couturier (0-1—1) extended his point streak to three games (1-3—4). ... Pittsburgh defenseman Ian Cole (0-1—1) extended his career-high point streak to four games (0-5—5). ... Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov (0-1—1) extended his point streak to five player games (1-4—5). Markov also skated in his 844th game and tied Ralph Backstrom for 17th on the Canadiens' all-time games played list. ... Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry (0-1—1) extended his career-high point streak to five games (3-2—5). ... Montreal forward Devante Smith-Pelly (1-0—1) scored his first goal as a member of the Canadiens. ... Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad (1-0—1) scored his 12th goal of the season on a power play and extended the Panthers' records for goals and points (12-25—37) by a rookie defenseman. ... Toronto forward David Booth skated in his 500th game. ... Ottawa forward Mark Stone (1-1—2) recorded his ninth multi-point game of the season and extended his point streak to six games (4-4—8) while skating in his 100th game. ... Ottawa forward Kyle Turris (0-2—2) recorded two assists and extended his point streak to three games (1-4—5). ... Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson (1-0—1) scored his 21st goal of the season on a power-play. The tally was also his career-high sixth power-play goal of the season. Karlsson leads NHL defensemen in points this season (21-44—65). ... Ottawa forward Clarke MacArthur (0-1—1) extended his point streak to four games (2-3—5), which matched a season-high. The helper was also MacArthur's 300th point (132-168—300). ... Ottawa goaltender Andrew Hammond fell to 17-1-2 in his first 20 career decisions. ... St. Louis forward Jaden Schwartz (0-1—1) extended his point streak to three games (4-2—6). ... St. Louis defenseman Barret Jackman skated in his 800th NHL game. Only Bernie Federko (927) has skated in more games in Blues history. ... Chicago forward Marian Hossa (0-1—1) extended his point streak to five games (1-5—6), which matched a season-high. ... Commissioner Gary Bettman announced North Saanich, B.C., as the winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2015. The community will host a 2015-16 pre-season game between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks and will receive $100,000 to build a dedicated home-team locker room in their arena. ... Referee Paul Devorski skated in his final game when the Pittsburgh Penguins visited the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. He finishes his 26-year career with 1,594 regular-season games and 197 playoff games to his credit. Members of the Penguins and the Flyers congratulated Devorski after the game.