Cale Makar assisted on all three goals by the Colorado Avalanche in their 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers at Pepsi Center on Wednesday to become the second rookie this season to reach 50 points.
Makar (50 points; 12 goals, 38 assists) joined Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (53 points; eight goals, 45 assists). This is the first season in NHL history when defensemen are the first two rookies to get 50.
It's the second season with multiple rookie defensemen who've had least 50 points. The other was 1977-78, when Barry Beck (Colorado Rockies), Reed Larson (Detroit Red Wings) and Stefan Persson (New York Islanders) did it. Seventeen rookie defensemen in the NHL have had at least 50 points in one season.
If Hughes and Makar remain the top two point-getters among rookies, it would mark the first time in the modern era (since 1943-44) that defensemen have finished as the two highest-scoring rookies. The last time it happened was 88 years ago, one of two instances before the modern era. Moylan McDonnell and Billy Stuart shared the rookie scoring lead with three points apiece in 1920-21 (along with forward Rod Smylie), while Doug Young, Earl Seibert and Alex Levinsky occupied the top three spots in 1931-32.
Zibanejad stays hot for Rangers
Mika Zibanejad scored the first goal for the Rangers in the loss to Colorado, extending his goal-scoring streak to six games.
The center joined Darren Turcotte (1992-93) as the second player in Rangers history with multiple goal streaks of at least six games in one season. He's the fifth player in the past 20 years with multiple such streaks in a single season. The others: Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning (two in 2009-10), Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (two in 2005-06), Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars (two in 2001-02) and Tony Amonte of the Chicago Blackhawks (two in 1999-2000).
Zibanejad has scored 41 goals in 57 games; his 0.72 goals per game average is the best among all players who've played at least 40 games. He leads all players in scoring since March 1 with 13 points (11 goals, two assists).
Kubalik, Kane power Blackhawks past Sharks
Dominik Kubalik scored his 30th goal, most among NHL rookies, in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks at United Center. The forward is the fifth rookie in team history to reach the mark. Steve Larmer holds the Blackhawks record with 43 in 1982-83.
Kubalik joined Artemi Panarin (now with the Rangers) as the second active NHL player to score at least 30 goals as a rookie with the Blackhawks.
Patrick Kane scored twice for Chicago, giving him a team-leading 84 points (33 goals, 51 assists). He's on pace to lead the Blackhawks in scoring for the fifth consecutive season and eighth time in his NHL career, which would tie Stan Mikita for the most such instances in team history. The only three players to lead an Original Six team in points in more than eight seasons are Gordie Howe (17 with the Detroit Red Wings), Mats Sundin (12 with the Toronto Maple Leafs) and Steve Yzerman (11 with the Red Wings).
Jets boost playoff hopes with fourth straight win
The Winnipeg Jets (37-28-6) took over the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 at Rogers Place for their fourth straight win.
Kyle Connor scored twice for the Jets; his first goal was the 200th regular season point of his NHL career. Connor reached the milestone in 249 games, the second-fastest in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history (Ilya Kovalchuk, 222 games).
Kings winning streak reaches seven
The Los Angeles Kings made it seven straight wins by defeating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 at Staples Center, Rookie Gabriel Vilardi had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to three games.
The winning streak is the longest for the Kings since they won eight in a row from Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2017. The streak includes victories against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights, Maple Leafs, and Avalanche. All four teams are in the top three in their divisions.