PARISE NETS ANOTHER HAT TRICK AS WILD CONTINUE PLAYOFF PUSH
Zach Parise (3-1-4) scored three times in the first period against former teammate Niklas Backstrom to lead the Minnesota Wild to its fourth consecutive victory, 6-2 against the Calgary Flames
* At 36-28-11 (83 points), the Wild moved three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche (38-32-4, 80 points), who lost in regulation, for the final wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Minnesota, which has played one more game than Colorado, visits Pepsi Center on Saturday to close the head-to-head series between the two teams (MIN: 3-0-1, COL: 1-3-0).
* Mikko Koivu (0-3-3) had an assist on all of Parise's goals for his 29th career three-point game (fourth this season). Jared Spurgeon (2-0-2) and Charlie Coyle (0-2-2) had multiple points.
* Devan Dubnyk (31 SV), who leads the NHL with nine victories since Feb. 28 (9-1-1), became the third goaltender in Wild history to record 30 wins in a season. The others: Niklas Backstrom (2007-08: 33 and 2008-09: 37) and Manny Fernandez (2005-06: 30).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
A closer look at Zach Parise's performance, courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau:
* Parise had his fifth career hat trick and third this season (also Oct. 8 at COL and Jan. 5 at CBJ), tops among players in 2015-16. He became the second player in franchise history to pick up three hat tricks in one season, joining Marian Gaborik (2002-03: 3x).
* Parise is the first player in Wild history to score three goals in any one period, accomplishing the feat in a span of 11:12, highlighted by two goals 46 seconds apart. His three goals were the fastest three goals by a Wild player in franchise history, besting the previous mark of 12:05 set by Gaborik on Dec. 20, 2007 vs. NYR.
* Parise (22-25-47 in 64 GP) eclipsed 20 goals for the third consecutive season and eighth time in his career. His final goal stood as his 55th career game-winning goal (sixth this season).
Home Team in Caps
Florida 4, BOSTON 1
New Jersey 3, PITTSBURGH 0
Carolina 3, COLUMBUS 2
TORONTO 6, Anaheim 5 (OT)
DETROIT 4, Montreal 3
NASHVILLE 3, Vancouver 2 (SO)
MINNESOTA 6, Calgary 2
WINNIPEG 4, Los Angeles 1
Philadelphia 4, COLORADO 2
ARIZONA 3, Dallas 1
Edmonton 6, SAN JOSE 3
EASTERN CONFERENCE RACE TIGHTENS
The Philadelphia Flyers, who continue to occupy the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, and Detroit Red Wings, the first team outside the playoff picture, earned wins to keep pace in the crowded East, where teams Nos. 4-9 are separated by four points.
* The Flyers scored three unanswered goals in the third period, including the tying and go-ahead goals 19 seconds apart by Radko Gudas (14:17) and Claude Giroux (14:36), to defeat the Avalanche 4-2 and improve to 10-2-2 in their past 14 games. Philadelphia improved to 6-1-3 in its past 10 road games and picked up its first win at Pepsi Center since Dec. 27, 2002, snapping an 0-4-3 skid.
* The Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3, powered by Riley Sheahan (2-0-2), Brendan Smith (0-2-2) and Mike Green (0-2-2), as they survived a late Canadiens rally to win for the third time in their past four games. Sheahan, who has 11-9-20 this season (73 GP), had his first career multigoal game (196 GP).
Video: MTL@DET: Sheahan tallies twice to lead Wings to win
DUCKS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
The Anaheim Ducks (40-23-10, 90 points) earned one point in their 6-5 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and clinched their fourth consecutive playoff berth and 12th in franchise history.
MAPLE LEAFS WIN IN OVERTIME
The Maple Leafs tied the game late in the third period after their 4-1 lead was erased, before Nazem Kadri (2-2-4) scored the winner 41 seconds into overtime to lift Toronto to its third consecutive victory. Kadri had his second career four-point performance (also March 30, 2013 at OTT: 3-1-4) and scored his first game-winning goal since Dec. 23, 2014 at DAL.
OILERS, COYOTES SPOIL SHARKS' CHANCE TO CLINCH
The Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes earned victories to spoil the San Jose Sharks' latest opportunity to wrap up a playoff berth:
* Patrick Maroon (1-2-3) matched a career high with three points (also Feb. 5 vs. ARI: 1-2-3 w/ ANA) to help the Oilers defeat the Sharks 6-3, climbing out of an early 2-0 hole. Maroon has 5-5-10 in 14 games vs. SJS, including 1-4-5 in five games this season.
* Martin Hanzal (2-0-2) scored the go-ahead and insurance goals to lead the Coyotes to a 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars, their fifth win in their past seven outings. Hanzal had his second straight multipoint game (also Tuesday vs. EDM: 1-1-2) and in the process eclipsed 100 career goals.
AROUND THE RINKS
* James Neal (11:56) and Filip Forsberg (13:08) scored 72 seconds apart to tie the game and Craig Smith had the clinching shootout goal to help the Nashville Predators (38-23-13, 89 points) defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. The win extended their home point streak to nine games (6-0-3) and moved the Predators within two points of tying the idle Chicago Blackhawks (42-25-7, 91 points) for third place in the Central Division. Forsberg shares ninth in the League with 31 goals in 2015-16, tied for the second-most goals in a season in franchise history behind Jason Arnott (33 in 2008-09).
Video: VAN@NSH: Neal's goal gets Predators within one
* The Florida Panthers scored four unanswered goals, powered by Jussi Jokinen (1-1-2) and Vincent Trocheck (1-1-2), to defeat the Boston Bruins 4-1 and climb back into first place in the Atlantic Division. Jokinen had at least one point for the 14th time in his past 15 games (5-13-18).
* Scott Wedgewood made 39 saves, including 15 in the third period, to post his first NHL shutout (2 GP), helping the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 win that halted the Pittsburgh Penguins' winning streak at six games and ended Sidney Crosby's point streak at 12 games (6-14-20). Via Elias, Wedgewood is the second goaltender in Devils history to post a shutout within his first two career games. The other: Sam St. Laurent, who registered a clean sheet in his second career game on March 27, 1986 vs. STL.
* Victor Rask (0:52), Chris Terry (2:19) and Elias Lindholm (2:30) each scored in a span of 98 seconds in the third period to help the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets, snapping a five-game skid (0-2-3).
* The Winnipeg Jets scored four unanswered goals, including the winner 15 seconds into the third period by Dustin Byfuglien, to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 and pick up their second straight win.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha, the 20th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, scored his first career goal (5 GP). The goal came in his debut at Joe Louis Arena and in front of his grandfather, four-time Stanley Cup champion Andre Pronovost.
* Maple Leafs forward Connor Brown (1-1-2), a sixth-round selection (No. 156) in 2012, had his first career goal and multipoint game (4 GP).
* Ducks forward Shawn Horcoff (0-2-2) played in his 1,000 NHL game. Penguins forwards Patric Hornqvist and Eric Fehr each played in their 500th NHL game. Devils forward Blake Pietila, a fifth-round selection (No. 129) in 2011, made his NHL debut.
Ducks forwards Jamie McGinn (18:54) and Andrew Cogliano (19:03) scored nine seconds apart in the second period, one second shy of the franchise record for fastest two goals set Nov. 30, 2005 vs. PHX (0:08 -- Teemu Selanne and Chris Kunitz) . . . McGinn (2-0-2) established a career-high with his 21st goal of the season (75 GP) . . . Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak scored twice in his return from a 21-game absence . . . Devils forward Kyle Palmieri (2-0-2) and Oilers forward Taylor Hall (2-0-2) had multigoal games . . . Oilers forward Connor McDavid had an assist to move into a share of fourth place in rookie scoring (14-29-43 in 40 GP). He shares second in the NHL with 9-22-31 in 27 games since returning from injury on Feb. 2 . . . Wild forward Erik Haula had an assist to extend his career-high point streak to seven games (3-4-7) . . . Jets forward Drew Stafford reached 20 goals for the fourth time . . . Ducks forward Brandon Pirri (1-2-3) matched a career high with three points (also Dec. 17, 2015 at NJD: 1-2-3) . . . Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne made 23 saves and denied three shootout attempts to improve to 11-1-2 in his past 14 games . . . The Department of Player Safety suspended Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll for four games for interference against Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare . . . Boston icons congratulated Claude Julien, who recently became the winningest coach in Bruins franchise history.