CAPITALS, BLACKHAWKS KEEP RECORD-SETTING STREAKS ALIVE
The Washington Capitals (44-13-7, 95 points) and Chicago Blackhawks (42-18-5, 89 points) each earned wins to extend and establish record-setting streaks, respectively:
* The Capitals trailed for 81 seconds before tying the game, setting the stage for Nicklas Backstrom to score in overtime to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers and extend Washington's record home winning and point streaks to 15 and 17 games (16-0-1), respectively. Backstrom reached the 20-goal mark for the second straight season and for the fourth time in his 10-year NHL career.
* Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby (30 saves) improved to 19-0-2 in his past 21 decisions since Dec. 29 to move within one of matching the longest such run of his NHL career and within two of equaling the Capitals record. After tying an NHL record with 48 victories last season, Holtby shares the League lead with 34 wins in 2016-17.
* Brian Campbell scored the go-ahead goal with 1:05 remaining in the third period to help the Blackhawks establish a team record with their eighth consecutive road win, breaking the previous mark set in 1964-65. With the victory, Chicago leapfrogged the idle Minnesota Wild (41-15-6, 88 points) into first place in the Central Division and Western Conference, aided by a 12-1-0 run since Feb. 2 that includes an active seven-game winning streak.
* Patrick Kane (29-41-70) scored twice, giving him 10 points (nine goals, one assist) in his past five games, to move into second in League scoring behind Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (22-52-74). The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner has multiple points in eight of 13 games since the start of February to lead all players with 21 points (14 goals, seven assists)in that span.
Home Team in Caps
WINNIPEG 6, Colorado 1
BOSTON 3, New Jersey 2
Montreal 4, NY RANGERS 1
Tampa Bay 2, BUFFALO 1 (SO)
Dallas 2, FLORIDA 1
OTTAWA 3, Columbus 2
WASHINGTON 2, Philadelphia 1 (OT)
Chicago 5, NASHVILLE 3
Vancouver 4, LOS ANGELES 3
EDMONTON 4, Detroit 3
McDAVID, LAINE INCREASE SCORING LEADS IN VICTORIES
Forwards Connor McDavid and Patrik Laine had a goal and assists each to increase their leads in the overall and rookie scoring races, respectively, and help their teams pick up victories:
* McDavid extended his point streak to five games (2-5-7) and the Oilers (35-22-8, 78 points) opened an eight-game homestand with a victory and moved into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division. He has points in 10 of 12 games since Feb. 2 (5-10-15) to open a four-point lead in the race for the Art Ross Trophy (22-52-74 in 65 GP).
* Laine opened the scoring with his 32nd goal to help the Winnipeg Jets (30-30-6, 66 points) to within two points of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Laine moved into sole possession of second in the League in goals (behind Sidney Crosby: 34) and also took the lead for goals by a rookie; he also is the top point-getter among rookies, with 58 points (32 goals, 26 assists) in 58 games.
TOP CLUBS KEEP PACE IN ATLANTIC
The top three teams in the Atlantic Division - the Montreal Canadiens (37-21-8, 82 points), Ottawa Senators (35-22-6, 76 points) and Boston Bruins (34-25-6, 74 points) - earned wins to keep pace in the playoff push:
* The Canadiens built a 3-0 lead and Carey Price made 26 saves to help Montreal to its fifth consecutive victory and improve to 14-4-0 in their past 18 regular-season games against the New York Rangers since Nov. 19, 2011. Price improved to 15-5-1 in 22 regular-season games against the Rangers, including eight straight wins.
* Newcomer Viktor Stalberg scored the first of three straight Senators goals to help them to their eighth win in their past 12 games. Stalberg, who was acquired by Ottawa on Tuesday, scored for the first time since Feb. 24 against the Senators (w/ CAR).
* The New Jersey Devils tied the game twice, but Bruins forward Ryan Spooner scored the game-winning goal in the third period to help Boston improve to 8-2-0 under coach Bruce Cassidy. The Bruins have won 11 of their past 15 games to move into third place in the division.
Nikita Kucherov (0-1-1) scored on a sneaky move in the shootout to help the Tampa Bay Lightning improve to 8-2-2 in their past 12 games. Kucherov (7-7-14) and Victor Hedman (2-5-7) extended their point streaks to six and five games, respectively . . . Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat (0-3-3) matched NHL career highs for assists and points in a game . . . Jamie Benn (5-4-9) and John Klingberg (3-4-7) led the Dallas Stars to victory and extended their point streaks to six and five games, respectively . . . Jack Eichel extended his NHL career-high assist/point streaks to nine games (2-10-12). Elias notes that Eichel is the first Buffalo Sabres player to have a single-season point streak of at least nine games since 2009-10 . . . Jets teammates Blake Wheeler and Nikolai Ehlers each had a goal and two assists, while Mathieu Perreault (3-8-11) and Dustin Byfuglien (2-7-9) pushed their point streaks to seven games . . . Forwards Henrik Zetterberg (1-8-9 in 6 GP), Alex Galchenyuk (3-4-7 in 5 GP), David Pastrnak (1-5-6 in 5 GP) and Artemi Panarin (1-4-5 in 5 GP) also extended point streaks . . . Former Toronot Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin, one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players, posed for a photo with rapper Drake before a show in Sweden.
SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Islanders @ Calgary, 4 p.m., SNW, SNF, MSG+
Buffalo @ Pittsburgh, 5 p.m., NHLN, ROOT, MSG-B
Columbus @ New Jersey, 5 p.m., MSG, FS-O
San Jose @ Minnesota, 6 p.m., FS-N, FS-WI, CSN-CA
Vancouver @ Anaheim, 8 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, PRIME
St. Louis @ Colorado, 8 p.m., NBCSN
Carolina @ Arizona, 8:30 p.m., FS-A PLUS, FS-CR
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HOMETOWN HOCKEY TOUR STOPS IN MEDICINE HAT, ALBERTA
The Canucks (27-30-7, 61 points) visit the Anaheim Ducks (33-21-10, 76 points) on Rogers Hometown Hockey, which will showcase the city of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Anaheim sits in third place in the Pacific Division, where teams Nos. 2-4 are separated by four points. 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 Medicine Hat.
* Click here for the full schedule of stops for the 2016-17 season.
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE TAKES CENTER STAGE
Games Sunday also features other key matchups in the Western Conference playoff race:
* The Calgary Flames (35-26-4, 74 points), owners of the first wild card into the playoffs from the West, look to extend their winning streak to seven games and gain ground in the Pacific Division when they host the New York Islanders (30-22-11, 71 points), who hold the final wild card in the Eastern Conference.
* The Wild (41-15-6, 88 points) aim to reclaim the top spot in the Central Division and Western Conference when they face the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks (38-18-7, 83 points).
* The St. Louis Blues (31-27-5, 67 points) look to climb back into a playoff spot when they visit the Colorado Avalanche (17-43-3, 37 points) on NBCSN. St. Louis sits one point behind the Los Angeles Kings (31-28-6, 68 points) for the second wild card from the West.