QUICK GOALS HELP WILD, CANADIENS CLIMB NHL STANDINGS
The Minnesota Wild (27-9-5, 59 points) raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening 12:45 of their game against the Dallas Stars, and the Montreal Canadiens (27-11-6, 60 points) erased a 3-2 third-period deficit with three goals in 62 seconds against the New York Rangers, to win their respective games and narrow the gap on the NHL-leading Columbus Blue Jackets (29-9-4, 62 points).
* The Wild saw their 4-0 lead erased, but Jason Zucker scored the game-winning goal 2:02 after Dallas tied the game to help Minnesota extend its road point streak to 11 games (9-0-2), one shy of its record. Elias says that the Wild surrendered a four-goal lead and won for the first time in their history. In doing so, Minnesota moved into a tie with Chicago (27-13-5, 59 points), in terms of points, for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. The Wild, however, hold four games in hand.
* The Canadiens overcame three separate one-goal deficits to defeat the Rangers and maintain their nine-point lead atop the Atlantic Division. Max Pacioretty (1-1-2) reached the 20-goal mark for the fourth consecutive season and fifth time in his NHL career, while Alex Galchenyuk scored in his return to the lineup following an 18-game absence.
Home Team in Caps
BOSTON 6, Philadelphia 3
Nashville 3, COLORADO 2
MONTREAL 5, NY Rangers 4
Toronto 4, OTTAWA 2
DETROIT 6, Pittsburgh 3
FLORIDA 4, Columbus 3
CAROLINA 7, NY Islanders 4
Anaheim 3, ARIZONA 0
Minnesota 5, DALLAS 4
LOS ANGELES 3, Winnipeg 2 (OT)
EDMONTON 2, Calgary 1 (SO)
St. Louis 4, SAN JOSE 0
OFFENSIVE OUTBURSTS POWER CLUBS TO VICTORY
The Boston Bruins (23-18-5, 51 points), Carolina Hurricanes (21-15-7, 49 points) and Detroit Red Wings (18-19-6, 42 points) each scored at least six goals to secure victories:
* Playing in his 500th NHL game, Brad Marchand (2-3-5) matched an NHL career high with five points to help the Bruins improve to 3-1-1 in their past five games. Marchand scored his 21st shorthanded goal, the most in the League since he began his NHL career in 2009-10. Elias notes that Marchand also moved into sole possession of third place on the Bruins' all-time shorthanded goals list, behind Rick Middleton (25) and Derek Sanderson (24).
* Seven different players scored for the Hurricanes, all at even strength, to propel them to a 14-1-1 record in their past 16 home games, including four straight wins. Brock McGinn (1-3-4) scored for a third straight game and also set an NHL career high with four points, while Elias Lindholm, Lee Stempniak and Jordan Staal each had a goal and two assists to help Carolina move within a point of a playoff spot.
* The Red Wings fell behind 2-0 and 3-2, but six different skaters scored to help them end a three-game slide (0-2-1). Andreas Athanasiou went coast-to-coast to score a highlight-reel game-winning goal, his fourth in his past five games (4-3-7). Thomas Vanek added a goal and two points to extend his point streak to five games (4-4-8).
McELHINNEY, McLEOD LEAD NEW CLUBS TO WINS
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis McElhinney and Nashville Predators forward Cody McLeod each contributed to victories in their team debuts:
* McElhinney made 35 saves in his first start with the Maple Leafs (20-13-8, 48 points) when they extended their road point streak to 10 games (8-0-2) and leapfrogged the opposing Ottawa Senators (22-15-4, 48 points) into third place in the Atlantic Division. Per Elias, Toronto established a record for its longest single-season road point streak.
* One day after being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche, McLeod scored the first of three unanswered goals to help the Predators overcome a 2-0 deficit and pick up their third straight win. His goal came moments after the Avalanche honored him with a tribute video.
CARTER SCORES (ANOTHER) WINNER, KINGS CONTINUE OT SUCCESS
Anze Kopitar had an assist on all three goals and Jeff Carter scored his League-leading eighth game-winning goal and third in overtime (also tied for tops in the NHL) to help the Los Angeles Kings improve to 9-1 in overtime this season.
* Carter, who ranks second in the League with 23 goals, has accumulated 34 game-winning goals since 2011-12 when he joined the Kings, tied for third in the League in that span behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (42) and Montreal's Max Pacioretty (38).
* The Kings lead all teams with a 21-4 record in overtime since the debut of the 3-on-3 format last season.
Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr scored the 134th game-winning goal of his NHL career to extend his NHL record . . . Jonathan Bernier (26 saves) and Carter Hutton (23 saves) earned their first shutouts with the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues, respectively . . . Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot (24 saves) established an NHL career-high with his 22nd win of the season . . . Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla skated in his 1,515th game to move past Steve Yzerman (1,514) into 15th place on the NHL's all-time list . . . Bruins forward David Krejci (1-0-1) earned his 500th NHL point (144-356-500) . . . Calgary Flames forward Matt Stajan skated in his 900th NHL game . . . Canadiens coach Michel Therrien coached his 800th career NHL game . . . J.T. Miller (5-5-10 in 7 GP), Eric Staal (4-5-9 in 5 GP), Tyler Bozak (3-5-8 in 5 GP), Nazem Kadri (5-2-7 in 5 GP), Brayden Schenn (4-1-5 in 5 GP) and Blake Wheeler (2-3-5 in 5 GP) each extended point streaks . . . Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine visited a young fan after receiving a party invitation on social media . . . The Kings honored former forward Jari Kurri in a pregame ceremony at Staples Center . . . The Oilers and Flames honored Canadian women's hockey icon Hayley Wickenheiser in a pregame ceremony at Rogers Place.
SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Philadelphia @ Washington, 1 p.m., TVA Sports, NBC, CSN-DC, CSN-PH
New Jersey @ Vancouver, 7 p.m., SN, MSG+
Minnesota @ Chicago, 7 p.m., NBCSN
St. Louis @ Anaheim, 9 p.m., NHLN, PRIME, FS-MW
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HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR STOPS IN VANCOUVER
The Vancouver Canucks host the New Jersey Devils on Rogers Hometown Hockey, which will showcase the city of Vancouver. Captain Henrik Sedin sits three points shy of becoming the first player in Canucks history to reach the 1,000-point milestone (231-766-997), while Devils goaltender Cory Schneider is 3-1-2 (2.14 GAA, .925 SV%) in six appearances against his former team. 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 Vancouver.
* Click here for the full schedule of stops for the 2016-17 season.
WILD, BLACKHAWKS BATTLE FOR FIRST PLACE IN WESTERN CONFERENCE
Sole possession of first place in the Western Conference is on the line when the Wild (27-9-5, 59 points) visit their Central Division rival Blackhawks (27-13-5, 59 points) on NBCSN. Minnesota sits one game shy of matching the longest road point streak in its history (12-0-0 from Feb. 18 - April 9, 2015), while Chicago shares the League lead with 38 home points this season and is tied for second in home wins (17).