IDLE PANTHERS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
The idle Florida Panthers (44-25-9, 97 points) clinched a berth in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs by virtue of a Chicago Blackhawks victory, their fifth postseason appearance in franchise history and first since 2011-12.
BLUES, BLACKHAWKS CLIMB CENTRAL DIVISION WITH WINS
The St. Louis Blues (47-23-9, 103 points) and Blackhawks (46-26-7, 99 points) each won to inch closer to the Dallas Stars (48-23-9, 105 points) - who lost in regulation - for the top record in the Central Division and Western Conference.
* David Backes , Troy Brouwer and Alex Pietrangelo each had a goal and an assist to help the Blues pick up their sixth win in the past seven games (6-1-0), including four straight as visitors. At 47-23-9 (103 points), the Blues climbed within two points of the Stars for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference.
* The Blackhawks opened the scoring with six consecutive goals, including three by Patrick Kane (3-1-4), and held off a four-goal Bruins rally to pick up their fourth win in their last five games(4-1-0). Kane had his second career regular-season hat trick (also Jan. 15 at TOR: 3-1-4) and added an assist to reach the 100-point mark for the first time in his NHL career (43-57-100). Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Kane - who leads the NHL in points - became the first Blackhawks player to reach the 100-point mark in a season since Jeremy Roenick (46-61-107) in 1993-94. At 46-26-7 (99 points), the Blackhawks remained four points back of the Blues for second place in the Central Division.
DID YOU KNOW?
Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin (1-3-4) had his second consecutive four-point game (also April 1 at WPG: 2-2-4) and continues to lead all rookies in goals (28), assists (44), points (72) and game-winning goals (seven) this season.
* Panarin became the first rookie in Blackhawks history rookie to record consecutive four-point games and the first on any team since Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) in 2007-08 (Jan. 19 vs. FLA: 0-4-4 and Jan. 21 at PIT: 0-4-4).
* Panarin became the first Blackhawks player to have consecutive four-point games since Jeremy Roenick in 1991-92 (Dec. 7 at NYI: 4-0-4 and Dec. 8 vs. MNS: 2-2-4).
* With 28 goals in 2015-16, Panarin is tied for the fourth-most in a single season by a rookie in Blackhawks history.
AROUND THE RINKS
* Matthew Murray made 28 saves and Eric Fehr (2-0-2) scored twice to help the Penguins improve to 12-1-0 in their last 13 games, including a six-game winning streak. Murray picked up his fifth consecutive victory and improved to 7-2-1 overall (1.88 GAA, .933 SV%, 1 SO). Fehr had his first multi-goal game of 2015-16, including his team-leading fourth shorthanded goal of the season. At 46-25-8 (100 points), the Penguins increased their lead to five points over the idle New York Rangers (43-26-9, 95 points) for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
* Nate Thompson and Ryan Kesler (1-1-2) each scored shorthanded goals, the latter 10 seconds into the third period, to lead the Ducks to their fourth win in their last five games (4-1-0). John Gibson (24 saves) improved to 4-2-0 in his last six appearances and 20-12-3 overall (2.04 GAA, .920 SV%, 4 SO). At 44-24-10 (98 points), the Ducks leapfrogged the idle Los Angeles Kings (46-27-5, 97 points) for first place in the Pacific Division.
* Ondrej Pavelec turned aside 28 of 29 shots and five different skaters found the back of the net to help the Jets improve to 6-1-0 in their last seven games vs. MIN dating to Feb. 10, 2015 (MIN: 1-5-1), including three straight wins. Pavelec extended his personal point streak to five games (3-0-2).
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville earned his 800th career regular-season win and became the second head coach in NHL history to reach the milestone (Scotty Bowman: 1,244).
* Ducks forward Corey Perry became the second player in franchise history to play in 800 career games with the team (Teemu Selanne: 966).
* Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano became the second player in NHL history to start his career with 700 consecutive games played (Doug Jarvis: 964).
* Flyers forward Jakub Voracek scored playing in the 600th game of his NHL career.
* Jets forward Blake Wheeler (1-0-1) extended his point streak to eight games (5-6-11), matching his career high from Oct. 8-25, 2015 (4-7-11).
* Jets forward Mark Scheifele (1-0-1) extended his point streak to seven games (4-6-10).
* Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (1-0-1) extended his point streak to six games (2-4-6) and ranks third in the NHL with 33-49-82 this season, including at least one point in 18 of his last 19 games (8-18-26). Teammate Kris Letang (0-2-2) also extended his point streak to six games (2-7-9).
* Blues forwards Vladimir Tarasenko (2-4-6) and Paul Stastny (1-7-8) each extended their point streaks to five games.
* Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist (1-0-1) has scored in three consecutive games (3-0-3).
* Penguins forward Phil Kessel (0-1-1) has 5-6-11 in his last six games.
The Penguins improved to 38-0-0 when leading after two periods this season, the only team without a loss of any kind in that situation... Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling established a regular-season career high with 42 saves and improved to 4-1-0 in his last five appearances... Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (2-1-3) had his seventh multi-goal and second three-point game of the season. With 32 goals in 2015-16, Bergeron (32-35-67) eclipsed his single-season career high of 31 from 2005-06... Avalanche forward Matt Duchene (30-27-57) scored to reach the 30-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career... Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds scored his 29th goal of 2015-16, equaling his single-season career high from 2013-14... Blackhawks forward Artem Anisimov (20-22-42) had 1-2-3, his second three-point game of the season (also Feb. 6 at DAL: 1-3-4), and reached the 20-goal mark for the second time in his NHL career (also 2013-14 w/ CBJ)... Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri will have a hearing Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for an incident with Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening during a game at Air Canada Centre on Saturday... Linesman Brad Lazarowich worked his 1,971st and final NHL regular-season game (MIN-WPG) in the same city where he worked his first game on Oct. 9, 1986 (BUF-WIN)... Linesman Andy McElman, a native of Chicago Heights, Ill., was honored in a pre-game ceremony at United Center ahead of his 1,500th and final NHL regular-season game (BOS-CHI).