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Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs take second in Atlantic

NHL news and notes

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL / NHL.com
MATTHEWS TIES ROOKIE RECORDS AS MAPLE LEAFS CLIMB STANDINGS

James van Riemsdyk (1-0-1) and Auston Matthews (2-1-3) scored 77 seconds apart in the final 2:26 of regulation, with Matthews' goal standing as the game-winner, to help the Toronto Maple Leafs move into second place in the Atlantic Division.

* At 38-24-15 (91 points), the Maple Leafs leapfrogged the Ottawa Senators (41-27-9, 91 points), who lost to the Winnipeg Jets in regulation, into second place in the Atlantic Division, where the No. 2-4 seeds are separated by five points.

* Matthews (38-28-66 in 77 GP), who had three or more points in a game for the fifth time in his career, matched a single-season Maple Leafs record for points by a rookie, equaling the mark set in 1982-83 by Peter Ihnacak (28-38-66 in 80 GP).

* Matthews, who is tied for third in the NHL in goals (38) and game-winning goals (eight), tied a single-season NHL record for goals by a U.S.-born rookie. The Elias Sports Bureau also notes that only two rookies in NHL history have scored more game-winning goals in a season: Steve Larmer (nine in 1982-83) and Marek Svatos (nine in 2005-06).

* Matthews has scored in four straight games and has at least one point in eight straight (7-4-11) to open a four-point lead over Winnipeg's Patrik Laine (34-28-62) in the rookie scoring race.

Video: TOR@DET: Matthews uses quick hands to bury PPG

 

SATURDAY'S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps
BOSTON 5, Florida 2
NASHVILLE 3, Minnesota 0
WINNIPEG 4, Ottawa 2
Toronto 5, DETROIT 4
Montreal 2, TAMPA BAY 1 (OT)
PHILADELPHIA 3, New Jersey 0
Dallas 3, CAROLINA 0
EDMONTON 3, Anaheim 2 (OT)

 

CANADIENS, OILERS MOVE CLOSER TO DIVISION TITLES

The Montreal Canadiens (45-24-9, 99 points) and Edmonton Oilers (44-25-9, 97 points), who clinched playoff berths earlier in the week, won in overtime to strengthen their bids for division titles.

* Alexander Radulov scored 51 seconds into OT, his first NHL overtime goal since Feb. 2, 2008 (w/ Nashville), to lift Montreal to its fourth straight win and an eight-point lead atop the Atlantic Division. Radulov, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, has 17-35-52 in 2016-17 to rank second in team scoring behind captain Max Pacioretty (35-31-66).

* Connor McDavid (1-2-3) and Leon Draisaitl (1-1-2) each assisted on the tying goal with 1:58 remaining in regulation before teaming up for the overtime winner as the Oilers rallied past the Anaheim Ducks (42-23-13, 97 points) to leapfrog them into first place in the Pacific Division. McDavid (6-13-19) and Draisaitl (5-13-18) pushed their point streaks to 10 games apiece as the Oilers (who have one home game remaining) matched a franchise record with their eighth consecutive home win. Elias says that the 10-game point streaks by McDavid and Draisaitl equal the longest such run by an Oilers player during the past 19 seasons (Sam Gagner : 3-8-11 in 10 GP from Jan. 20 - Feb. 6, 2013).

Video: Lehtonen, McDavid, and Matthews earn 3 Stars honors

 

WILD-CARD TEAMS INCH CLOSER TO PLAYOFF BERTHS

The Nashville Predators (40-27-11, 91 points) and Boston Bruins (42-30-6, 90 points) each won to strengthen their grip on the final wild-card spot in the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively:

* Filip Forsberg and Kevin Fiala scored 10 seconds apart late in the second period and Pekka Rinne (31 saves) had his third shutout of the season to help the Predators to their fifth win in seven games. The Predators and St. Louis Blues (42-28-7) each have 91 points; the Blues hold third place in the Central Division because they have more regulation/overtime wins (41-38). Nashville and St. Louis conclude their season series Sunday at Scottrade Center (NSH: 3-1-0; STL: 1-3-0), with the Predators needing one point to clinch the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

* Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Brad Marchand had his 39th goal of the season to lead the Bruins to their fourth consecutive victory. Marchand ranks second in the race for the Maurice Richard Trophy behind Sidney Crosby (43). Boston squares off with Tampa Bay (38-29-10, 86 points), the first team outside the playoff picture in the East, on Tuesday at TD Garden (BOS: 3-1-0; TBL: 1-2-1).

Video: FLA@BOS: Bergeron pots a rebound at the doorstep

 

BLACKHAWKS CLINCH FIRST PLACE IN CENTRAL, BEST RECORD IN WEST

By virtue of the Minnesota Wild's loss at Nashville, the Chicago Blackhawks (50-21-7, 107 points) clinched the 16th division title in franchise history as well as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the second time (also 2012-13). Chicago sits in second place in the NHL, three points behind the Washington Capitals (51-18-8, 110 points) in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

 

LOOSE PUCKS

Cam Talbot had his 40th win to equal the single-season Oilers record set by Grant Fuhr in 1987-88. … The Ducks earned at least a point for the 10th straight game (7-0-3). … Jason Spezza (GWG) and Kari Lehtonen (SO) combined to help the Dallas Stars halt the Carolina Hurricanes' franchise-record point streak at 13 games (9-0-4). … Blake Wheeler (1-0-1) extended his point streak to five games (3-4-7) as Winnipeg picked up its fifth straight home win. … Anthony Stolarz made 26 saves in relief of Michal Neuvirth (6 saves) as the Philadelphia Flyers (37-32-8, 82 points) defeated the New Jersey Devils. … Todd McLellan (EDM) coached his 700th NHL regular-season game. … Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov , Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane were named the NHL's Three Stars for the month of March, while Maple Leafs forward William Nylander was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month. … Commissioner Gary Bettman announced O'Leary, Prince Edward Island as the winner of Kraft Hockeyville for 2017. The community will host 2017-18 preseason game between the Senators and Devils on Monday, Sept. 25.

 

SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY'S ACTION

All Times Eastern
Boston @ Chicago, 12:30 p.m., NBC, TVA Sports
NY Islanders @ Buffalo, 3 p.m., SN, MSG-B, MSG+
Nashville @ St. Louis, 4 p.m., FS-MW, FS-TN
Carolina @ Pittsburgh, 5 p.m., NHLN, ROOT, FS-CR
Colorado @ Minnesota, 6 p.m., FS-N, ALT
Dallas @ Tampa Bay, 6 p.m., SUN, FS-SW+
Washington @ Columbus, 6 p.m., FS-O, CSN-DC+
San Jose @ Vancouver, 7 p.m., SN, CSN-CA+
Philadelphia @ NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
Anaheim @ Calgary, 9:30 p.m., SN1, PRIME
Arizona @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., FS-W, FS-A PLUS

 

STAR SUNDAY FEATURES CLUBS IN THICK OF EASTERN CONFERENCE RACE

The NHL on NBC opens another Star Sunday doubleheader at 12:30 ET on NBC, when Brad Marchand and the Bruins (42-30-6, 90 points) visit Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks (50-21-7, 107 points), who are locked into the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Marchand scored his 39th goal of the season Saturday to help Boston open a four-point lead in the race for the final wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The focus shifts to NBCSN at 7:30 ET when Claude Giroux and the Flyers (37-32-8, 82 points) look to keep their playoff hopes alive against Rick Nash and the New York Rangers (46-26-6, 98 points), who hold the first Eastern Conference wild card.

 

PLAYOFF-BOUND SHARKS VISIT CANUCKS ON HOMETOWN HOCKEY

The San Jose Sharks (43-28-7, 93 points) look to gain ground in the Pacific Division, where the top four teams are separated by five points, when they visit the Vancouver Canucks (30-38-9, 69 points) on Rogers Hometown Hockey, which will showcase the city of Guelph, Ontario. The tour, which concludes next weekend in Hamilton, Ontario, has aired live from a different community rink in various towns across Canada all season long. Local NHL player profiles, grassroots stories and local entertainment features are included in each telecast.

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