The Boston Bruins enter Thursday on top of the NHL standings after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in overtime at United Center on Wednesday.
Charlie McAvoy scored his first goal of the season 1:19 into OT to give the Bruins (33-10-12) their fifth consecutive win and move then ahead of the Washington Capitals (36-13-5) in the race for the Presidents' Trophy, given to the team that finishes the regular season with the best overall record.
It was McAvoy's third regular-season overtime goal, tying him with Lionel Hitchman and Torey Krug for second place among defensemen in Bruins history behind Ray Bourque (five). He's the third Bruins defenseman to score a regular-season goal against the Blackhawks (Sprague Cleghorn on March 15, 1927 and Flash Hollett on Nov. 14, 1939).
Rangers score twice in six seconds, defeat Maple Leafs
The New York Rangers scored twice in six seconds late in the first period on their way to a 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden. The goals by Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider was the seventh time in Rangers history that they've scored twice in six seconds or less (regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs). The team record for fastest two goals is four seconds set by Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash on Oct. 19, 2014.
It was the fastest two goals ever scored by the Rangers against the Maple Leafs, passing the mark of eight seconds set by Ulf Nilsson and Dave Silk on Feb. 18, 1981. It's the first time Toronto has allowed two goals in six seconds or fewer since March 6, 1966, when Boston's John McKenzie and Tommy Williams scored goals six seconds apart.
Rookie Igor Shesterkin (27 saves) is 4-1-0 through his first five NHL games and is the second goalie in Rangers history to earn at least four wins in his first five games. Cam Talbot went 4-1-0 from Oct. 24-Nov. 16, 2013.
Matthews moves within one of second 40-goal season
Auston Matthews scored two of Toronto's three goals against New York, giving him 39 this season and moving him into second place in the NHL behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin (40). The center passed Boston's David Pastrnak (38) in the race for the Maurice Richard Trophy, presented annually to the top goal scorer in the NHL, and is one goal from tying his NHL career-high of 40 set as a rookie in 2016-17.
Penguins try to cool off Lightning
Two of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference highlight a 12-game schedule Thursday.
The Tampa Bay Lightning (33-15-5) will try for their fifth consecutive victory when they play the Pittsburgh Penguins (33-14-5) at Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, TVAS, SUN, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV). The Lightning have won seven in a row at home and go for their seventh home winning streak of at least eight games since entering the NHL in 1992.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is 14-0-2 in his past 16 games and can set a team record for longest personal point streak. He's also 7-0-1 in his past eight home games, including six consecutive wins.
Tampa Bay forwards Nikita Kucherov (14 points; seven goals, seven assists) and Steven Stamkos (13 points; seven goals, six assists) each has an eight-game point streak; one behind Toronto's William Nylander (nine) for the longest active run in the NHL. Stamkos scored the winning goal in each of the Lightning's past two games and can become the second player in their history to do so in three consecutive regular-season games (Brayden Point from Dec. 9-14, 2017).