Home Team in Caps
NY ISLANDERS 3, Toronto 2
Anaheim 2, CAROLINA 1
Edmonton 4, MONTREAL 3 (OT)
Pittsburgh 5, OTTAWA 4 (SO)
St. Louis 6, TAMPA BAY 3
NASHVILLE 3, Winnipeg 1
MINNESOTA 2, Florida 1
NY Rangers 6, COLORADO 3
LOS ANGELES 5, Calgary 3
PREDATORS MAINTAIN CUSHION ATOP NHL STANDINGS . . .
Shea Weber had one goal and two assists, including an assist on Filip Forsberg’s game-winning goal, to power the Nashville Predators to their fourth consecutive victory and a 6-1-0 mark in their past seven contests.
* The Predators became the first team to reach 80 points this season. They continue to hold a three-point edge on the Anaheim Ducks and a four-point advantage on the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues for first place in the NHL.
* Weber registered his second three-point game of the season (three assists Nov. 18 at the Toronto Maple Leafs) and 11th of his career. He ranks fourth on the Predators and shares sixth among NHL defensemen with 39 points in 55 games.
* Forsberg scored his 19th goal of the season to set a Predators record for most goals by a rookie, breaking the previous mark of 18 (Alexander Radulov, 2006-07). Forsberg has 13 multipoint games this season and leads all rookies in goals, assists (31), points (50) and plus/minus (plus-22) in 55 games.
* Pekka Rinne stopped 32 shots, including one with his head in the third period, to earn his 13th win in his last 15 games (13-1-1). He leads the NHL with 32 wins and a 1.99 goals-against average while his .930 save percentage ranks second behind the Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price (.933).
* Roman Josi had two assists; he has 10 goals and 30 assists in 55 games; his 40 points equals the career high he set last season of 40 points in 72 games.
* The Predators improved to 3-1-0 against the Winnipeg Jets this season and 9-3-0 in 12 all-time meetings against the Jets/Thrashers in Nashville.
. . . BELESKEY, TOP LINE HELP DUCKS AND BLUES KEEP PACE
Both the Ducks (35-14-7, 77 points) and Blues (36-15-4, 76 points) earned road wins Thursday to keep pace with the Predators (37-12-6, 80 points) in the race for first place in the NHL.
* Francois Beauchemin and Matt Beleskey scored less than three minutes apart in the second period as the Ducks rallied to end a two-game slide and improved to 7-1-1 in their past nine games against the Carolina Hurricanes dating to Nov. 30, 2008.
* Beleskey scored his eighth game-winning goal of the season to take sole possession of the League lead. He had six game-winners in 264 games before this season.
* Making his first start since Oct. 30 at St. Louis, John Gibson made 35 saves, including 14 in each of the first two periods, to improve to 3-2-0 in six games this season. Gibson is 6-2-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and two shutouts in nine regular-season NHL games.
* Corey Perry had his 300th NHL assist on Beauchemin's goal. Perry has four goals and four assists in his past seven games and ranks second on the Ducks with 39 points in 41 games.
* The line of Alexander Steen (1-2—3), David Backes (1-1—2) and T.J. Oshie (1-1—2) combined for three goals and four assists to lift the Blues to their sixth win in their past seven road games and a 14-2-1 mark in their past 17 games overall.
* Steen (19-29—48), Backes (19-21—40) and Oshie (15-22—37) have combined for 53 goals and 125 points this season, including 69 points in their past 18 games.
* Brian Elliott stopped 26 shots, including 12 in the second period, to snap a personal two-game losing streak and improve to 17-7-2 in 28 games.
* Dmitrij Jaskin scored his first career power-play goal. He has goals in back-to-back games for the first time and has eight goals and four assists in 28 games this season.
* Ken Hitchcock earned his 693rd career victory to take sole possession of fourth in NHL history behind Scotty Bowman (1,244), Al Arbour (782) and Joel Quenneville (739).
* St. Louis improved to 5-1-1 in their past seven visits to Tampa Bay, dating to Feb. 6, 2011, including three straight wins. They lead the Western Conference with 16 wins in 22 games against Eastern Conference teams this season (16-4-2).
WILD, KINGS CLOSE WILD-CARD GAP
The Minnesota Wild's Devan Dubnyk (26 saves) and the Los Angeles Kings' Tyler Toffoli (three goals, one assist) each powered their clubs to victories Thursday to help them close the gap in the Western Conference wild-card race. The Wild (27-20-7, 61 points) and Kings (24-18-12, 60 points) pulled within two and three points, respectively, of the Calgary Flames (30-22-3, 63 points), who lost in Los Angeles, for the final playoff position.
* Dubnyk backstopped the Wild to their fourth straight win at Xcel Energy Center and helped them extend their point streak to nine games (7-0-2), their longest stretch since a Wild-record 9-0-1 run from March 8-27, 2007.
* The Wild also improved to 6-0-2 all-time at home against the Panthers; they also have earned points in every home game against the Capitals (7-0-0).
* Dubnyk is 9-1-1 with a 1.48 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and four shutouts in 12 consecutive starts since joining Minnesota. Overall Dubnyk is 18-6-3 in 31 games this season and is three wins shy of surpassing his career high set in 2011-12 (20 in 47 games).
* Jason Pominville scored for the third straight game and Zach Parise contributed his Wild-leading 22nd goal. Pominville (12-29—41 in 54 games) and Parise (22-19—41 in 47 games) share the Wild points lead.
* Mikko Koivu had two assists for his 113th career multipoint game, moving within one of tying Marian Gaborik for the most in Wild history. He has one goal and six assists in his past five games.
* The Wild were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and have not surrendered a power-play goal since Jan. 20 at the Detroit Red Wings (22-for-22 in eight games). Minnesota leads the NHL with a 90.0-percent penalty-kill percentage on home ice this season and ranks fourth in the League with at 85.4 percent.
* Toffoli had his first career hat trick and matched a career high with four points to power the Kings to their third consecutive victory and first home win against the Flames since March 11, 2013 (0-2-2 since).
* Toffoli is the first Kings player to record a hat trick in the regular season since Dwight King did it Oct. 24, 2013 against the Arizona Coyotes. Per Elias, Toffoli (22 years, 296 days) is the first Kings player with a hat trick before his 23rd birthday since Anze Kopitar (22 years, 59 days) on Oct. 22, 2009.
* Toffoli has scored in three straight games to take the Kings lead with 18 goals. He ranks third on the Kings with 35 points in 48 games.
* Jeff Carter equaled a career-high with three assists to eclipse 500 career NHL points (270-231—501 in 690 games). His fourth three-point game of the season boosted him into the Kings scoring lead with 41 points.
* King had one goal and one assist for the second straight game after totaling three goals and one assist in his previous 14 games.
* The Kings improved to 17-6-6 (40 points) at Staples Center this season, including a 6-2-5 mark in their past 13 home games. Their 40 points through 29 home games are the most in franchise history (previously 39 in 1974-75, 2005-06 and 2010-11).
LEE, HALAK HELP ISLANDERS MAINTAIN LEAD ATOP METROPOLITAN . . .
Anders Lee had two goals and helped the Islanders open a 2-0 first-period lead. He also scored the game-winning goal to power the club to its third straight win.
* The victory allowed the Islanders (36-18-1, 73 points) to maintain their one point lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins (32-15-8, 72 points), who also won Thursday, for first place in the Metropolitan Division. They also pulled within one point of the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Eastern Conference.
* The Islanders' 36 wins this season ties a franchise record for most wins in a season's first 55 games (36-13-6 in 1981-82).
* Lee ranks second on the Islanders and trails the Nashville Predators' Filip Forsberg (19 goals) among rookies with 18 goals this season. He leads all rookies with six game-winning goals, which also is tied for fifth in the NHL, two behind League-leader Matt Beleskey of the Anaheim Ducks.
* Jaroslav Halak stopped 32 shots for his fourth consecutive win and 30th victory this season. Per Elias, Halak is the fastest in franchise history to record 30 wins in a season (41 games), breaking the previous mark of 42 games set by Billy Smith in 1981-82.
* Elias also says Halak is just the seventh goaltender in the NHL's expansion era, and the second this season after Nashville's Pekka Rinne (39 games), to record 30 wins in his first 41 games in a season. This marks the first time two goaltenders have recorded 30 wins in 41 games or fewer in that span.
* Travis Hamonic extended his point streak to four games (0-5—5). Colin McDonald (2-2—4) and Casey Cizikas (2-1—3) each found the score sheet for the third straight game.
. . . PENGUINS, RANGERS SURVIVE LATE RALLIES TO KEEP PACE
Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers had multigoal leads erased in the third period before eventually earning victories to keep pace in the Metropolitan Division.
* Ahead 3-0 after 40 minutes, the Penguins surrendered four goals in the third period, including Mark Stone and Kyle Turris' goals 13 seconds apart, to force overtime. But David Perron scored in the shootout to help the Penguins improve to 6-1-1 in their past eight visits to Ottawa, dating to Jan. 27, 2013.
* Kris Letang had one goal and one assist for his 12th multipoint game of the season. He has 44 points in 49 games to share the League scoring lead among defensemen with the Calgary Flames' Mark Giordano. Letang had a career-high 50 points in 82 games in 2010-11.
* Sidney Crosby had his second two-goal game in his last four games; he ranks fourth in the NHL with 58 points in 51 games. Evgeni Malkin also scored, giving him 261 for his career and moving past Kevin Stevens for sole possession of sixth on the Penguins' all-time list. He leads the Penguins and is tied for 13th in the NHL with 21 goals this season.
* The Penguins lead the NHL with 14 wins in 19 games against Atlantic Division teams this season (14-2-3).
* After surrendering a 3-1 lead midway through the third period, the Rangers scored three unanswered goals, including Carl Hagelin's game-winner, to earn their second straight victory and improve to 2-0-2 in their past four games with the Avalanche. Hagelin had his 11th career game-winning goal and third this season.
* At 32-16-5 (69 points), the Rangers leapfrogged the idle Washington Capitals (29-16-10, 68 points) into third place in the Metropolitan Division.
* Rick Nash gave the Rangers a two-goal advantage late in the third period with his 34th goal to pull ahead of Alex Ovechkin (33 goals) for the NHL goal-scoring lead. Nash leads the Rangers and is tied for sixth in the League with 54 points in 53 games.
* Kevin Hayes had one goal and two assists for his first career multipoint game to extend his point streak to four games (2-4—6). He also finished with a career-high plus-4 rating, the highest plus/minus rating by a Rangers rookie since Hagelin was a plus-4 on March 13, 2012 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
* Dan Boyle, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan McDonagh each had one goal and one assist for the Rangers. Zuccarello stretched his career-high point streak to seven games (4-5—9).
OILERS RALLY TO EXTEND STREAK IN MONTREAL
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins helped the Oilers erase a 2-0 deficit in the second period and again tied the game with 24.9 seconds left in regulation before Anton Lander scored the overtime winner to lift Edmonton to its fourth straight win in Montreal. The Oilers also improved to 5-0-3 in their last eight visits to Bell Centre, dating to Nov. 4, 2003.
* Per Elias, the Oilers scored a tying goal in the final 30 seconds of regulation and won in overtime for the first time since Jan. 24, 2013, a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings. In that game, Nail Yakupov scored his second career NHL goal with 4.7 seconds left in the third period and then Sam Gagner scored the winner at 3:01 of the extra frame.
* Nugent-Hopkins ended an eight-game goal drought with his first multigoal game since March 1, 2014 at San Jose. He ranks second on the Oilers in goals (14), assists (20) and points (34).
* Lander had his first career overtime goal and second game-winner. He has three goals and three assists in his past eight games, including goals in back-to-back games, after he had two goals and 10 assists in his first 105 NHL games.
* Oscar Klefbom had the primary assist on the tying and winning goals for his first career multipoint game.
Mark Stone and Kyle Turris scored in the final 4:09 of regulation to help the Ottawa Senators force overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Per Elias, the Senators earned at least one point after facing a multi-goal deficit in the final five minutes of regulation for the first time since Dec. 4, 2007 when Daniel Alfredsson had two goals and one assist in a 4-3 shootout loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning. … Turris (1-1—2), Bobby Ryan (0-2—2) and Erik Karlsson (0-2—2) each had multipoint games for the Senators. … Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov had his four-game goal streak halted but stretched his point streak to a career-high five games (4-2—6). … Teammate Tyler Johnson reached the 20-goal mark for the second straight season (24 in 82 games in 2013-14). … Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues each scored their 29th goal to tie the Dallas Stars' Tyler Seguin for third in the NHL. … Richard Panik had one goal and one assist, factoring on both Toronto Maple Leafs goals for his fourth career multipoint game and second this season. … Florida Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad (Minneapolis, Minn.) scored his 19th goal of the season while playing in his home state. … Colorado Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla scored his 577th NHL goal, tying Mark Recchi for 19th on the all-time list. He has 577-627—1,204 in 1,365 career games, one point shy of tying Vincent Damphousse (432-773—1,205 in 1,378 games) for 45th in NHL history. … New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had his 499th NHL victory, tying Terry Murray for 21st in NHL history. … Canadiens forwards Christian Thomas (1-0—1; 15 games) and Jacob De La Rose (0-1—1; five games) had their first NHL points on Montreal's first goal. … Defenseman Tyler Myers (one shot in 21:23) and forward Drew Stafford (two shots in 14:25) debuted for the Winnipeg Jets after being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. … Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly (400) and Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore (100) each played in milestone games. … The NHL Department of Player Safety suspended Stars forward Antoine Roussel for two games for cross-checking Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. … ICYMI: Former Los Angeles Kings coach Barry Melrose was honored by the club before their game against the Calgary Flames . . . The NHL unveiled an architectural rendering of the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, the outdoor game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings at Levi's Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 21. The design elements for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series pay tribute to the wide-ranging topography unique to Northern California.