LIGHTNING EARN SHUTOUT VICTORY OVER BLUE JACKETS, CLIMB ATLANTIC
Ben Bishop denied all 37 shots he faced and Steven Stamkos (2-1-3) scored twice for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are 7-1-0 in their past eight road games.
* At 40-24-5 (85 points), the Lightning increased their lead to six points over the Detroit Red Wings (34-24-11, 79 points) - who lost in regulation on Sunday - for third place in the Atlantic Division. They also tied the idle Florida Panthers (38-21-9, 85 points) - in terms of points - for second. Florida, however, holds a game in hand.
* Bishop earned his 16th career shutout (fourth this season) and is 29-18-4 (2.02 GAA, .928 SV%, 4 SO). Fourteen of Bishop's 16 career shutouts have come in a Lightning uniform. Per Elias Sports Bureau, he tied Nikolai Khabibulin for the most in Lightning history.
* Stamkos had his sixth multi-goal game of the season and added an assist to pick up his fourth three-point game.
* Stamkos (31-24-55) reached the 30-goal mark for the fifth time in his eight NHL seasons (all w/ TBL). Per Elias, he became the third player in Lightning history to have five or more 30-goal seasons with the team, joining Martin St. Louis (6) and Vincent Lecavalier (5).
Video: TBL@CBJ: Stamkos pots two to reach 31 on the season
DID YOU KNOW?
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (2-1-3) and forward Ondrej Palat (1-1-2) each scored shorthanded goals in a span of 3:45. Per Elias, the Lightning scored multiple shorthanded goals in a game for the sixth time in their history and the first time since scoring three on Dec. 27, 2003 vs. BOS (Martin St. Louis: 2 and Vincent Lecavalier: 1).
PENGUINS CLAIM FIRST WILD CARD SPOT WITH WIN OVER RANGERS
The New York Rangers overcame three separate one-goal deficits, but Matt Cullen notched the tie-breaking goal with 8:51 left against his former club to guide the Pittsburgh Penguins to their sixth win in their past nine.
* At 36-24-8 (80 points), the Penguins leapfrogged the Red Wings (34-24-11, 79 points) - who lost in regulation on Sunday - for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. They also moved within two points of the idle New York Islanders (37-21-8, 82 points) for third place in the Metropolitan Division.
* Sidney Crosby (1-1-2) had his 21st multi-point game of the season to extend his point streak to eight games (4-9-13). He ranks tied for fifth in the NHL with 29-40-69 this season (67 GP), including a League-high 23-27-50 dating to Dec. 18 (37 GP). Crosby has also 24-46-70 in 54 career regular-season games vs. NYR.
Video: PIT@NYR: Crosby seals game with empty-netter
BERNIER, MAPLE LEAFS EDGE RED WINGS IN 2017 NHL CENTENNIAL CLASSIC PREVIEW
Jonathan Bernier turned aside all 38 shots he faced and Michael Grabner scored the only goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Red Wings in a preview of next season's 2017 NHL Centennial Classic.
* Bernier earned his third shutout of the season, matching his career high from 2010-11 (w/ LAK). Per Elias, he became the first Maple Leafs goaltender to get a shutout vs. DET since Curtis Joseph on Dec. 6, 2000 (3-0 W).
* The Maple Leafs are 4-1-1 in their past six games vs. DET dating to Nov. 22, 2014 (DET: 2-3-1).
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Penguins forward Dominik Simon, a fifth-round selection (No. 137) in the 2015 NHL Draft, had an assist in his NHL debut (7:55 TOI).
The Rangers fell to 13-1-0 in their past 14 games following a loss of any kind dating to Dec. 22. ... Penguins forward Conor Sheary (2-0-2) had the first multi-goal game of his NHL career. ... Rangers forward Derick Brassard (1-0-1) has scored in three straight games (3-1-4) and leads the team with 25 goals this season. ... Rangers teammates Derek Stepan (2-5-7) and Keith Yandle (1-4-5) extended their point streaks to five games. ... The Lightning are 6-1-0 in their past seven games vs. CBJ dating to April 11, 2014 (CBJ: 1-6-0), including four straight wins. ICYMI: Former NHL forward Darcy Tucker tweeted a picture of a letter he penned at the age of nine, addressed to Wayne Gretzky.