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Around the League notebook for Sunday, March 15

by NHL Public Relations

EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE
(Click chart below to zoom)
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE
(Click chart below to zoom)
Playoff race chart
Playoff race chart
Related information: "If the playoffs started today ..."  |  Current playoffs standings

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

Detroit 5, PITTSBURGH 1

NY RANGERS 2, Florida 1

Carolina 3, COLUMBUS 2

St. Louis 3, DALLAS 0

OTTAWA 2, Philadelphia 1 (SO)

WASHINGTON 2, Boston 0

ANAHEIM 4, Nashville 2

RANGERS, DUCKS REACH TOP OF LEAGUE STANDINGS

The New York Rangers and the Anaheim Ducks each won Sunday to reach the top of the NHL standings. The Rangers improved to 44-17-7 (95 points) and the Ducks are now 44-20-7 (95 points).

* Cam Talbot stopped all but one of 39 shots he faced to lead the Rangers to a 2-1 victory against the Florida Panthers. The Rangers have won five straight games, have earned points in 17 of their last 18 (14-1-3) and in 20 of their last 22 games (17-2-3).

* Talbot made 38 saves, which matched a career-high from earlier this season, to improve to 17-6-4 with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. Talbot has won four consecutive decisions and is 5-0-1 in his past six games. Talbot has allowed one goal or fewer in four consecutive contests.

* The Rangers have allowed one goal of fewer in regulation in each of their past seven games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers have allowed one goal or fewer in regulation in seven straight games for the first time in franchise history.

* The Rangers have won five consecutive home games and have earned points in 10 straight games on home ice (8-0-2). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Rangers earned points in 10 or more consecutive home games was when the club posted a record of 8-0-3 in 11 home games from Feb. 16-April 4, 2008.

* Matt Hunwick (1-1—2) scored his first goal and added his ninth assist to post his third multi-point performance of the season. Hunwick’s first goal since March 17, 2012, when he was a member of the Colorado Avalanche, also stood as the game-winner, his first since Nov. 10, 2009, when he was a member of the Boston Bruins.

* Dominic Moore (0-2—2) recorded his third multi-assist game of the season.

* The Rangers swept their season series against the Panthers (3-0-0) and have won six straight games versus Florida dating to Nov. 10, 2013.

* Facing a 2-0 deficit at the outset of the third period, the Ducks rallied for four consecutive goals to defeat the Nashville Predators 4-2.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Ducks own the second-most wins through 71 games in franchise history, trailing only the 2013-14 club (46-18-7). In terms of standings points, Elias also says the Ducks own the third-best record through 71 games after the 2013-14 club (46-18-7, 99 points) and the 2006-07 club (42-17-12, 96 points).

* John Gibson made 25 saves to improve to 11-6-0 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. Gibson has won five of his last six decisions (5-1-0) and eight of his last 10 (8-2-0).

* Nate Thompson (1-0—1) scored his fourth goal of the season. It was his second game-winning goal of the season, which matched a career-high.

* Hampus Lindholm (0-2—2) and Patrick Maroon (0-2—2) each posted his third multi-assist performances of the season.

* Francois Beauchemin (0-1—1) had his 125th assist as a member of the Ducks and tied Oleg Tverdovsky for second on the franchise’s all-time assists list among defensemen.

* Anaheim swept their season series versus Nashville and improved to 8-1-0 in their last nine game against the Predators.

BLUES REACH TOP OF CENTRAL DIVISION WITH SHUTOUT WIN OVER STARS

After a scoreless two periods, the St. Louis Blues scored three goals to earn a 3-0 victory against the Dallas Stars. The Blues, who have won four of their last five games (4-1-0), improved to 44-20-5 (93 points). St. Louis moved into a tie with the Nashville Predators - in terms of standings points - for first in the Central Division standings. The Blues, however, hold two games in hand over the Predators.

* Jake Allen stopped all 28 shots he faced to record his fourth shutout of the season and the fifth of his career. Allen is 18-6-3 with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.

* Alexander Steen (1-1—2) netted his 20th goal on a power-play and added his team-leading 37th assist to post his 15th multiple-point performance of the season. It was his seventh power-play goal of the season. T.J. Oshie (1-1—2) scored his 19th goal of the season into an empty net and added his 29th assist to record his 13th multiple-point game of the season.

* Vladimir Tarasenko (1-0—1) opened the scoring in the third period with his team-leading 34th goal. It was also his team-leading sixth game-winning goal.

* Alex Pietrangelo (0-2—2) posted his sixth multi-assist performance of the season.

* Patrik Berglund skated in the 500th game of NHL career, all of which have been played as a member of the Blues. Berglund became the first European in franchise history to reach the milestone.

RED WINGS INCH CLOSER TO ATLANTIC DIVISION LEAD WITH WIN OVER PENGUINS

Petr Mrazek made a career-high 42 saves to backstop the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Detroit improved to 38-19-11 (87 points) and moved within four points of the idle Tampa Bay Lightning, who are second in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 42-21-7 (91 points). The Red Wings trail the idle Montreal Canadiens, who lead the Atlantic Division with a record of 43-19-7 (93 points), by six points.

* Pittsburgh’s 43 shots were the most Mrazek has faced in his career. Mrazek improved to 14-5-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. He has won four of his past five decisions (4-1-0) and nine of his past 11 (9-2-0).

* Marek Zidlicky (1-2—3) scored his seventh goal on a power-play and added two assists to post his first three-point performance of the season. It was the third power-play goal of the season for Zidlicky, who extended his point streak to a season-high three games (1-4—5). Since making his Detroit debut on March 4, Zidlicky has seven points in seven games for the Red Wings (3-4—7).

* Teemu Pulkkinen (2-0—2) posted the first multiple-goal game of his career. Pulkkinen’s first goal was also the second game-winner of his career; they've come during his past four games.

* Henrik Zetterberg (1-1—2) scored his 16th goal and added his team-leading 43rd assist to record his 15th multiple-point game of the season. Zetterberg paces the club with 59 points (16-43—59).

* Riley Sheahan (1-1—2) opened the scoring early in the first period with his 12th goal and added his 21st assist to record his sixth multiple-point game of the season.

BACKSTROM REACHES FIRST ON WASHINGTON’S ALL-TIME ASSISTS LIST IN SHUTOUT WIN OVER BRUINS...

Nicklas Backstrom (0-2—2) assisted on both goals scored by the Washington Capitals in their 2-0 victory against the Boston Bruins. The Capitals improved to 37-23-10 (84 points) and moved two points ahead of the Bruins, who occupy the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 36-23-10 (82 points). Washington occupies the first wild-card spot.

* Backstrom’s performance was his 16th multi-assist game of the season and brought his League-leading assist total to 53. With 71 points (18-53—71), Backstrom is tied for second among League-leaders. Backstrom also reached 420 career assists with the performance and passed Michal Pivonka and teammate Alex Ovechkin for sole possession of first on the franchise’s all-time assists list.

* Braden Holtby stopped all 32 shots he faced to record his eighth shutout of the season. Holtby improved to 33-18-9 with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. With eight shutouts, Holtby ranks second among League goaltenders and is one shy of the franchise record for shutouts in a season set by Jim Carey, who had nine during the 1995-96 season. Holtby is 6-2-0 in eight career decisions against Boston.

* John Carlson (1-0—1) opened the scoring on a power-play with his 11th goal of the season. It was his third power-play goal and second game-winning goal of the season for Carlson. With 44 career goals, Carlson also passed Ken Klee for sole possession of ninth on the franchise’s all-time goals list among defensemen.

... WHILE SURGING SENATORS CONTINUE TO ROLL IN WIN OVER FLYERS

First-year goalie Andrew Hammond continued a sizzling start to his NHL career by making 27 saves through 65 minutes and stopping all three shooters in the shootout to backstop the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Senators, who have won three straight games and have earned points in 12 of their last 13 (11-1-1), improved to 33-24-11 (77 points). They moved within five points of the Bruins, who occupy the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

* In the 11th start of his career, Hammond improved to 10-0-1 with a 1.39 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hammond is just the fifth goaltender in NHL history to earn a point in each of his first 11 career starts; he joined Patrick Lalime (10-0-1 with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 1996-97 season), Bob Froese (10-0-1 with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1982-83 season), Ross Brooks (8-0-3 with the Boston Bruins during the 1972-73 season) and Bill Durnan (9-0-2 with the Montreal Canadiens during the 1943-44 season).

* Hammond has allowed two goals or fewer in his first 11 career starts. Elias says Hammond is one such start shy of Frank Brimsek’s NHL record. Brimsek allowed two goals or fewer in his first 12 career starts with the Boston Bruins from Nov. 3-Dec. 27, 1938.

* Bobby Ryan netted the game-deciding goal by scoring in the third round of the shootout. Ryan has converted on four of nine shootout attempts this season, with three game-deciding goals.

* Nicknamed “The Hamburglar”, Hammond celebrated his first career shootout win by picking up a hamburger that found its way to the ice and tossing it to a fan as he exited.


MALONE’S GAME-WINNER POWERS CAROLINA OVER COLUMBUS

Brad Malone (1-0—1) scored the game-winner at 14:00 of the second period to propel the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Carolina has won three consecutive games in Columbus.

* The goal was Malone’s seventh of the season and his second game-winning goal.

* Justin Faulk (1-0—1) netted his 14th goal of the season on a power-play. Faulk is the third Hurricanes defenseman to score 14 goals in a season since the franchise relocated to Raleigh; defensemen Joe Corvo and Anton Babchuk scored 14 and 16 goals, respectively, during the 2008-09 season. The tally was also the seventh power-play goal of the season for Faulk, which tied him for the team-lead.

* Anton Khudobin made 22 saves to improve to 8-13-3 with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.

LOOSE PUCKS

Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby (0-1—1) extended his point streak to three games (2-3—5) and brought his team-leading point total to 71 (23-48—71). He is tied for second among League-leaders in the category. ... Philadelphia forward Jakub Voracek (1-0—1) brought his point total to 69 (21-48—69). He ranks fifth in point. … Rangers forward J.T. Miller skated in the 100th game of his NHL career. ... Florida goaltender Dan Ellis made a season-high 32 saves on a season-high 34 shots against. ... Brothers Kevin Hayes of the Rangers and Jimmy Hayes of the Panthers played against each other for the third time in their NHL careers... Columbus forward Scott Hartnell (1-0—1) has found the back of the net in a season-high four straight games (5-0—5). ... Columbus forward Nick Foligno (1-0—1) extended his point streak to three games (1-3—4). ... Columbus forward Marko Dano (0-1—1) extended his point streak to a career-high three games (1-3—4). ... Boston saw their 11-game streak in which they opened the scoring come to an end. ... Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara skated in his 652nd career game as a member of the Bruins and tied Ken Hodge (England) for the most games played by a non-North American-born player in franchise history. ... Nashville forward Filip Forsberg (0-1—1) leads all rookies in points this season with 54 (21-33—54). ... The New York Rangers honored defenseman Dan Boyle in a pregame ceremony for skating in the 1,000th of his NHL career on March 4 against the Detroit Red Wings.

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