CLUBS EMERGE OVER DIVISION RIVALS, IMPROVE PLAYOFF POSITIONING
The Columbus Blue Jackets (39-16-5, 83 points), Chicago Blackhawks (39-18-5, 83 points) and Ottawa Senators (33-21-6, 72 points) each earned wins against division rivals to improve their Stanley Cup Playoff positioning:
* Cam Atkinson and Alexander Wennberg each scored twice as the Blue Jackets defeated the New York Rangers 5-2 and improved to 4-1-0 in their past five games. Atkinson leads the Blue Jackets with 29-24-53 this season and passed his NHL career high of 27 goals from 2015-16. Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves for his 32nd win of 2016-17 (32-13-3 in 48 GP) to move back into a share of the NHL lead and match his single-season NHL career high from 2013-14 (32-20-5 in 58 GP). The Blue Jackets leapfrogged the Rangers (40-20-2, 82 points) to move into third place in the Metropolitan Division.
* Artem Anisimov scored the go-ahead goal with 5:20 remaining in the third period to power the Blackhawks to 4-2 win against the St. Louis Blues. They're 9-1-0 in their past 10 games, including four consecutive wins. Anisimov scored his 22nd goal of 2016-17 (58 GP) to match his single-season NHL career high from 2013-14 (81 GP w/ CBJ). The Blackhawks climbed within a point of the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild (39-14-6, 84 points) for first place in the Central Division.
* Craig Anderson made 37 saves to backstop the Senators to a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers. Zack Smith opened the scoring with his eighth shorthanded goal since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, the most by any NHL player during that span. The Senators maintain a two-point edge on the Boston Bruins (32-24-6, 70 points) for second place in the Atlantic Division and climbed within two points of the Montreal Canadiens (33-21-8, 74 points) for first.
Video: Atkinson, Wennberg lead Blue Jackets past Rangers
Home Team in Caps
Boston 6, DALLAS 3
Calgary 3, CAROLINA 1
NASHVILLE 5, Edmonton 4
Columbus 5, NY RANGERS 2
CHICAGO 4, St. Louis 2
Ottawa 2, FLORIDA 1
ARIZONA 3, Buffalo 2
FORSBERG SCORES FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE GAME
Filip Forsberg scored for the fourth consecutive game to help the Nashville Predators extend their point streak to five games (4-0-1), including three consecutive wins.
* Forsberg, who has scored eight times during the four-game run, including a pair of hat tricks, became the first Predators player to score eight goals in a span of four consecutive team games and the first on any team to do so since the San Jose Sharks' Patrick Marleau from Jan. 20-26, 2013 (8-3-11), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
* At 31-22-9 (71 points), the Predators increased their lead to four points on the Blues (31-25-5, 67 points) for third place in the Central Division.
Video: Preds ride hot power play to 5-4 win over Oilers
BRUINS CONTINUE SUCCESS UNDER BRUCE CASSIDY
Patrice Bergeron (2-1-3), Brad Marchand (1-2-3) and Torey Krug (0-3-3) combined for 3-6-9 to help the Bruins improve to 6-1-0 under coach Bruce Cassidy.
* At 32-24-6 (70 points), the Bruins leapfrogged the idle Toronto Maple Leafs (28-20-13, 69 points) and moved into third place in the Atlantic Division.
* Marchand, who has registered 17-16-33 in 23 games since Jan. 1 and leads the NHL in goals during that span, ranks fifth in the League with 64 points (27-37-64 in 62 GP).
Johnny Gaudreau (2-1-3) factored on all three goals as the Calgary Flames extended their point streak to six games (5-0-1), including four consecutive wins. … The Arizona Coyotes overcame a 2-0 deficit and Radim Vrbata (1-1-2) scored the go-ahead goal with 18.9 seconds remaining in regulation en route to a 3-2 win. Vrbata extended his NHL career-high point streak to nine games (4-7-11) and reached the 600 points in the NHL (274-326-600). … Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (0-1-1) reached the 500-point milestone (89-411-500). … Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (1-1-2) became the first player with 70 points this season (21-50-71). … Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (5-8-13 in 6 GP), Blackhawks forward Richard Panik (4-5-9 in 6 GP), Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel (1-6-7 in 6 GP) and Predators defenseman Roman Josi (2-6-8 in 5 GP) each extended point streaks. … The Tampa Bay Lightning traded goaltender Ben Bishop and a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft to the Los Angeles Kings for goaltender Peter Budaj, defenseman Erik Cernak, a seventh-round pick in 2017 and a conditional pick in the 2017 draft. … The Wild acquired center Martin Hanzal, center Ryan White and a fourth-round pick in 2017 from the Coyotes for a first-round pick in 2017, a second-round pick in 2018, a conditional pick in 2019 and forward Grayson Downing. … Veteran play-by-play commentator Dave Strader returned to NHL on NBC to call the NHL Game of the Week between the Bruins and Stars. … Former Bruins and Stars forward Rich Peverley was honored in a pre-game ceremony at American Airlines Center. … The Predators hosted their second Hockey Fights Cancer night of the season at Bridgestone Arena. … The Coyotes honored hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree in a pre-game ceremony as part of their Hockey Is For Everyone night. … Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety today for interference against Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Montreal @ New Jersey, 7 p.m., MSG+, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV
Ottawa @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., SUN, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV
Los Angeles @ Minnesota, 8 p.m., TVA Sports, NBCSN, NHL.TV
KINGS, WILD CLASH IN MINNESOTA
The Kings (30-27-4, 64 points) pay a visit to the Western Conference-leading Wild (39-14-6, 84 points) at Xcel Energy Center on NBCSN. The Kings are three points behind the Blues (31-25-5, 67 points) for the final wild card in the Western Conference, while the Wild aim to reach the 40-win mark in their 60th game, 11 games fewer than any other season in the franchise's 17-year history (71 GP in 2006-07: 40-24-7, 87 points).