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News & Notes

Wild close in on Capitals for NHL lead

News and notes

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL / NHL.com

WILD MOVE WITHIN A POINT OF LEAGUE-LEADING CAPITALS
Jason Zucker (2-1-3) factored on three of five goals when the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild improved to 6-1-1 in their past eight games with a 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators.

* At 39-13-6 (84 points), the Wild moved within a point of the Washington Capitals (39-11-7, 85 points) for the top record in the League.

* Devan Dubnyk (37 saves) improved to 32-10-3 this season (1.97 goals-against average, .934 SV%, 5 SO) and reclaimed sole possession of the League lead in wins.

SATURDAY'S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps

BUFFALO 3, St. Louis 2
DETROIT 3, Washington 2 (SO)
Winnipeg 3, MONTREAL 1
Edmonton 3, CHICAGO 1
NEW JERSEY 3, NY Islanders 2
Ottawa 6, TORONTO 3
San Jose 4, ARIZONA 1
DALLAS 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)
MINNESOTA 5, Nashville 2
Florida 3, LOS ANGELES 2
VANCOUVER 2, Calgary 1 (OT)
 
SHARKS, OILERS PAD LEAD ATOP PACIFIC DIVISION
The San Jose Sharks (35-18-6, 76 points) and Edmonton Oilers (32-19-8, 72 points) -- who are first and second in the Pacific Division, respectively -- each secured victories:

* Brent Burns (2-0-2) scored for the third consecutive game (5-1-6) to power the Sharks to a 4-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes. Burns paces all defensemen with 63 points (27 goals, 36 assists) and matched his Sharks record for goals in a season by a defenseman from 2015-16. Burns shares the League lead among all skaters with 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) on the road this season; Elias notes that he became the first defenseman to score at least 18 road goals in a season since Paul Coffey scored 22 in 1984-85 and 1985-86, single-season NHL records for defensemen.

* Cam Talbot made 38 saves to help Edmonton end the Chicago Blackhawks' winning streak at five games and improve to 4-1-0 in their past five, including three consecutive wins. Talbot, who reached the 30-win mark for the first time in his NHL career, improved to 30-16-7 (2.35 GAA, .921 SV%, 5 SO). With the win, the Oilers moved two points ahead of the idle Anaheim Ducks (30-19-10, 70 points).
 
SENATORS, PANTHERS CLIMB ATLANTIC DIVISION
The Ottawa Senators (31-19-6, 68 points) and Florida Panthers (27-20-10, 64 points) each earned wins to climb the Atlantic Division:

* Mark Stone (1-4-5) established NHL career highs for points and assists in a game to become the first Senators player to earn five points since Alex Kovalev on Jan. 3, 2010 against the Philadelphia Flyers (4-1-5) and power Ottawa to its fourth win in its past five games. The Senators climbed within two points of the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens (31-20-8, 70 points). Ottawa holds three games in hand.

* Florida surrendered a 2-0 lead, but Aleksander Barkov (1-1-2) scored the go-ahead goal 15 seconds into the third period and the Panthers improved to 4-0-0 on their five-game road trip. The Panthers, 7-1-0 in their past eight games, moved into third place in the Atlantic Division.
 
CLUBS INCH CLOSER TO WILD CARD SPOTS
The Buffalo Sabres (26-23-10, 62 points), New Jersey Devils (25-23-10, 60 points), Winnipeg Jets (27-29-5, 59 points) and Vancouver Canucks (26-27-6, 58 points) each won to inch closer to the final wild card spots in their respective conferences. In the Eastern Conference, five teams outside of a postseason berth are within four points of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while in the Western Conference, three teams chasing down the final wild card are within four points:
 
* Nicholas Baptiste (1-1-2) had the first multi-point game of his NHL career to help Buffalo end the St. Louis Blues' winning streak at six games and improve to 4-1-0 in their past five games. The Sabres moved within two points of the idle Boston Bruins (29-23-6, 64 points) for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

* Cory Schneider made 40 saves and the Devils held off a third-period New York Islanders rally to improve to 5-2-1 in their past eight games. New Jersey climbed within four points of Boston.
 
* Patrik Laine (28-22-50) became the third rookie in Jets/Thrashers history to reach 50 points in a season, joining Dany Heatley (26-41-67) and Ilya Kovalchuk (29-22-51) in 2001-02. The Jets moved within three points of the Calgary Flames (29-26-4, 62 points) for the final wild card in the Western Conference.
 
* The Canucks surrendered a game-tying goal with 5.6 seconds remaining in the third period, but Christopher Tanev scored 34 seconds into overtime to guide them to victory. Vancouver climbed within four points of Calgary.

DID YOU KNOW?
Forward Antoine Roussel (3-0-3) scored the first hat trick of his NHL career to help the Dallas Stars end a three-game slide (0-3-0). Elias notes that Roussel (Roubaix, France) became the second French-born player in NHL history to earn a hat trick; he joined Paul MacLean (Grostenquin, France), who had eight such performances.

LOOSE PUCKS
Roberto Luongo (33 saves) appeared in the 963rd game of his NHL career to tie Ed Belfour for fourth on the all-time list among goalies . . . Ryan Miller (35 saves) earned the 356th win of his NHL career to pass Rogie Vachon (355) for sole possession of 19th on the all-time list among goaltenders . . . Sharks forward Joe Thornton (0-1-1) extended his point streak to five games (2-4-6) and moved within two assists of 1,000 . . . Nicklas Backstrom (4-8-12 in 8 GP), Vincent Trocheck (2-5-7 in 5 GP), Jaromir Jagr (2-3-5 in 5 GP) and Radim Vrbata (0-5-5 in 5 GP) also extended point streaks . . . Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (262-338-600) and Wild captain Mikko Koivu (178-422-600) each reached the 600-point milestone . . . Brent Seabrook (900) and Brian Boyle (600) each skated in milestone games . . . The Canadiens honored referee Eric Furlatt, a native of Trois-Rivieres, Que., for recently working his 1,000th NHL game . . . The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Wendel Clark, Charlie Conacher, Red Kelly and Frank Mahovlich as the latest Legends Row inductees . . . The Coyotes honored members of their 1996-97 team in a pregame ceremony at Gila River Arena . . . Stars play-by-play announcer Dave Strader made his return to the broadcast booth . . . The Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings each hosted events in support of Hockey Is For Everyone month . . . The Canucks unveiled a statue honoring former coach Pat Quinn outside of Rogers Arena.

SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern

Washington @ NY Rangers, 12:30 p.m., NBC
Detroit @ Pittsburgh, 3 p.m., NBC
Winnipeg @ Ottawa, 5 p.m., TVA Sports, TSN5, TSN3
New Jersey @ NY Islanders, 6 p.m., MSG+, MSG
Chicago @ Buffalo, 6 p.m., NBCSN
Nashville @ Columbus, 6 p.m., FS-O, FS-TN
Toronto @ Carolina, 7 p.m., SN360, SN1, FS-CR
Tampa Bay @ Colorado, 8 p.m., ALT, SUN
Boston @ San Jose, 8:30 p.m., NBCSN
Los Angeles @ Anaheim, 9 p.m., PRIME, FS-SW
Philadelphia @ Vancouver, 10 p.m., SN360, CSN-PH
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NBC SPORTS CELEBRATES HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA
NBC Sports celebrates Hockey Day in America with a four-game slate on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features that explore hockey's impact and influence across the United States. NBC will air the Capitals-New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden and the Red Wings-Pittsburgh Penguins game at PPG Paints Arena, while NBCSN will broadcast the Blackhawks-Sabres game at KeyBank Center and the Bruins-Sharks game at SAP Center. Sunday also marks the opening of Hockey Week Across America presented by USA Hockey.

HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR STOPS IN CRANBROOK
The Maple Leafs (26-20-11, 63 points) visit the Carolina Hurricanes (24-22-8, 56 points) on Rogers Hometown Hockey, which will showcase the city of Cranbrook, B.C. Throughout the 2016-17 season, Sunday games will be broadcast from a different community rink in various towns across Canada. Included in each telecast will be local NHL player profiles, grassroots stories and local entertainment features.
 
* Click here for more details about the festivities in Cranbrook.
 
* Click here for the full schedule of stops for the 2016-17 season.

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