Video: Paul Byron earns Performance Moment with GWG
Home Team in Caps
WASHINGTON 1, New Jersey 0
NY Rangers 2, BOSTON 1
PHILADELPHIA 2, Florida 1 (SO)
COLUMBUS 1, Minnesota 0
BUFFALO 6, Arizona 3
MONTREAL 2, Nashville 1
OTTAWA 2, Colorado 1
NY Islanders 5, DALLAS 4
LOS ANGELES 3, Toronto 2 (SO)
SAN JOSE 3, Vancouver 1
CAPITALS SET FRANCHISE RECORDS WITH (ANOTHER) SHUTOUT WIN
Jakub Vrana scored and Braden Holtby made 15 saves for his NHL-leading eighth shutout of the season as the Washington Capitals (43-13-7, 93 points) extended their home winning and point streaks to 14 and 16 games (15-0-1), respectively, to eclipse previous records set in 2009-10.
* Washington became the first team with a home winning streak of 14 or more games since 2011-12, when the Detroit Red Wings set the NHL record with 23 consecutive home victories, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
* The Capitals, who lead the NHL with 26 home wins this season (26-5-1, 53 points), have 10 shutouts at Verizon Center, including six during their 14-game winning streak. Prior to this season, Elias notes that their record for home shutouts in one season was seven, set in 1995-96.
* Holtby improved to 18-0-2 with a 1.71 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and five shutouts in his past 20 decisions. He's two shy of his NHL high for consecutive decisions with a point (20-0-2 in 2015-16). Elias notes that one other goaltender in NHL history has had multiple stretches of 20 straight decisions with at least a point within a single season: Pete Peeters in 1979-80 (27 games) and 1982-83 (31 games).
Video: Holtby earns Thursday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout
BLUE JACKETS, RANGERS KEEP PACE IN METROPOLITAN DIVISION
The Columbus Blue Jackets (40-16-6, 86 points) and New York Rangers (41-21-2, 84 points) won to keep pace with the League-leading Capitals in the crowded Metropolitan Division, where seed Nos. 2-4 are separated by two points:
* Brandon Saad scored early in the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves as the Blue Jackets blanked the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild to reach the 40-win mark for the fourth time. Bobrovsky had his 33rd win of 2016-17 to set an NHL career high and match the Blue Jackets record for most wins in a season by a goaltender, which had been set by Steve Mason in 2008-09.
* Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves while celebrating his 35th birthday to backstop the Rangers to their League-leading 22nd road win of the season (22-8-0, 44 points). It was Lundqvist's 403rd NHL win (734 GP) to tie Grant Fuhr for 10th on the all-time list and match the NHL record for most wins by a goaltender in his first 12 seasons (Martin Brodeur: 403 in 740 GP).
SOLID FIRST IMPRESSIONS GUIDE SENATORS, FLYERS
The Ottawa Senators (34-22-6, 74 points) and Philadelphia Flyers (30-26-7, 67 points) each secured wins via key performances from recent acquisitions:
* Alexandre Burrows scored both goals in his team debut to guide the Senators to victory, keeping pace with the Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division. Elias notes that Burrows became the fourth Senators player to score twice in his team debut, joining Doug Smail (Oct. 8, 1992 vs. MTL), Brian Glynn (Oct. 6, 1993 vs. QUE) and Dan Quinn (March 17, 1994 at SJS).
* Valtteri Filppula scored the game-tying goal in his Flyers debut and Jakub Voracek (0-1-1) scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout as the Flyers defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1. Filppula, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, snapped a 15-game drought with his first goal since Jan. 17 at the Anaheim Ducks.
Video: FLA@PHI: Filppula tips home goal in debut with Flyers
ISLANDERS, KINGS RALLY TO MOVE INTO FINAL WILD CARD SPOTS
The New York Islanders (30-22-10, 70 points) and Los Angeles Kings (31-27-6, 68 points) overcame multigoal deficits to move into the final wild card spots in their respective conferences:
* Ryan Strome had two goals and an assist to help the Islanders overcome a 3-1 deficit and move ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs (28-21-14, 70 points) for the last wild card from the Eastern Conference.
* The Kings overcame a 2-0 deficit in the third period and Anze Kopitar (1-0-1) scored the decisive goal in the shootout as the Kings improved to 3-1-2 in their past six games to leapfrog the idle St. Louis Blues (31-26-5, 67 points) for the final wild card from the Western Conference.
Video: Ryan Strome joins the show to discuss Thursday's win
Marcus Sorensen scored the game-winning goal, his first in the NHL, to help the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks (38-18-7, 83 points) extend their point streak to eight games (5-0-3). … Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel had one goal and two assists to extend his point streak to eight games (2-9-11). … Brent Burns (5-5-10 in 7 GP), Brayden Schenn (3-4-7 in 6 GP) and Jamie Benn (4-3-7 in 5 GP) also extended point streaks. … Brad Marchand scored for the fourth consecutive game (4-4-8). … Forwards Joshua Ho-Sang (NYI), J.T. Compher (COL) and Kevin Rooney (NJD) made their NHL debuts. … Hockey Hall of Fame play-by-play broadcaster Bob Miller will return to the Kings TV broadcast booth in April and then retire upon the conclusion of the regular season.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh, 7 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, NHL, ROOT, SUN, NHL.TV
Arizona @ Carolina, 7:30 p.m., FS-SE, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV
St. Louis @ Winnipeg, 8 p.m., TSN3, FS-MW, NHL.TV
NY Islanders @ Chicago, 8:30 p.m., WGN, MSG+, NHL.TV
Detroit @ Calgary, 9 p.m., SNW, FS-D, NHL.TV
Toronto @ Anaheim, 10 p.m., FS-W, TSN4, NHL.TV
KUCHEROV, LIGHTNING LOOK TO CONTINUE HOT STREAK
Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning (29-25-8, 66 points) take on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins (38-16-8, 84 points) at PPG Paints Arena. The Lightning are 7-1-2 in their past 10 games and are four points behind the Islanders (30-22-10, 70 points) for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference. Kucherov leads the Lightning with 27-34-61 this season (55 GP) and has 12 points (six goals, six assists in his past four games, becoming the first Lightning player with 12 points in a four-game span since Vincent Lecavalier from Nov. 10-19, 2007 (5-7-12). Meanwhile, defenseman Mark Streit will make his debut with the Penguins after being acquired in a trade with the Lightning on Wednesday. Streit had been acquired by the Lightning from the Flyers earlier in the day.
DID YOU KNOW?
On March 3, 1875, the first hockey game played under organized rules was held at Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal. The game, which was played on a rink with no boards, featured two nine-man teams made up mainly of university students in a game that was divided into two halves.