PENGUINS EARN SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN, CLIMB METROPOLITAN DIVISION
Tom Kuhnhackl (1-2-3) had a career-high three points, including the game-winning goal at 15:54 of the second period, to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to their sixth consecutive win.
* At 40-24-8 (88 points), the Penguins tied the idle New York Rangers (40-24-8, 88 points) - in terms of points and ROW (37) - for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh, however, holds a 2-1-0 edge in the four-game season series (NYR: 1-2-0).
* Sidney Crosby (0-2-2) extended his point streak to 12 games (6-14-20), including multiple points in three consecutive contests (2-4-6). He ranks third in the NHL with 31-45-76 this season.
* Marc-Andre Fleury (16 saves) picked up his fifth straight win and is 32-16-6 (2.29 GAA, .922 SV%, 5 SO).
Home Team in CAPS
Anaheim 3, Winnipeg 2 (OT)
NEW JERSEY 2, Columbus 1
PITTSBURGH 6, Washington 2
Calgary 4, MONTREAL 1
Minnesota 3, CHICAGO 2 (SO)
Colorado 3, EDMONTON 2
SAN JOSE 3, Arizona 0
WEDGEWOOD BACKSTOPS DEVILS TO VICTORY IN NHL DEBUT
Making his NHL debut, Scott Wedgewood turned aside 27 of 28 shots to help the New Jersey Devils to their fourth win in their past six games (4-2-0). Elias notes that Wedgewood, a third-round selection (No. 84) in the 2010 NHL Draft, became the first Devils goaltender to earn a win in his NHL debut since Martin Brodeur on March 26, 1992 vs. BOS (4-2 W). At 35-31-7 (77 points), the Devils climbed within six points of the idle Detroit Red Wings (36-25-11, 83 points) for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
DUCKS, SHARKS INCH CLOSER TO PACIFIC DIVISION LEAD
The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks picked up victories to inch closer to first place in the Pacific Division, where the top three teams are separated by five points.
* Jakob Silfverberg scored his first career overtime time goal with 58.6 seconds left in the extra period to lead the Ducks to an 8-2-1 record in their past 11 road games. At 40-22-9 (89 points), the Ducks moved within four points of the idle Los Angeles Kings (44-22-5, 93 points) for first place in the Pacific Division.
* James Reimer turned aside all 25 shots he faced to help the Sharks to their fourth straight win at SAP Center. Reimer picked up his third straight victory and has two shutouts in four games since being acquired by the Sharks (March 8 at EDM). At 41-25-6 (88 points), the Sharks remained a point back of the Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division.
AROUND THE RINKS
* Calvin Pickard made 26 saves and Gabriel Landeskog collected 1-1-2 to help the Colorado Avalanche improve to 5-1-0 in their past six games, including three straight wins. At 38-31-4 (80 points), the Avalanche maintained a one-point edge over the Wild for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
* The Blackhawks overcame a 2-0 deficit, but Charlie Coyle scored the decisive goal in the shootout and the Minnesota Wild improved to 4-1-1 in their past six road games. Devan Dubnyk (29 saves) denied all three shooters in the shootout and is 7-1-1 in his past nine decisions. At 34-28-11 (79 points), the Wild remained a point back of the Avalanche for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
* Sean Monahan (2-1-3) and Dougie Hamilton (0-3-3) each had three points to help the Flames stretch their point streak to four games (3-0-1). Monahan had his fourth multi-goal and fifth three-point game of the season and has scored five times in his past four games (5-2-7). Hamilton matched his career high with three assists from March 14 vs. STL (0-3-3). Making his first appearance since Jan. 13, 2015 at PIT (w/ MIN), Niklas Backstrom (21 saves) earned the victory in his Flames debut.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (26-39-65) had an assist to establish a single-season franchise record for points by a defenseman, eclipsing the previous record set by Sandis Ozolinsh in 1993-94 (26-38-64).
* Coyotes captain Shane Doan skated in his 1,457th career game and tied Glen Wesley for 22nd on the NHL's all-time list.
* Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella coached his 1,001st career regular-season game and passed Roger Neilson (1,000) for 25th on the all-time list among head coaches.
* Jets forward Chase De Leo, a fourth-round selection (No. 99) in the 2014 NHL Draft, Devils defenseman Vojtech Mozik, who signed with New Jersey as an undrafted free agent in June 2015, and Canadiens defenseman Joel Hanley, who signed with them as an undrafted free agent in July 2015, made their NHL debuts.
* Blue Jackets forward Scott Hartnell (1,100) and Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette (900) each skated in milestone games.
* Defenseman Justin Schultz scored his first goal in a Penguins uniform (8 GP).
* Canadiens forward Michael McCarron scored the first goal of his NHL career (14 GP).
Sharks forward Joe Thornton (0-1-1) extended his point streak to five games (2-4-6) and has at least one point in 38 of his past 43 games dating to Dec. 15 (13-41-54). Thornton (17-53-70) reached 70 poins for the 12th time in his 18 NHL seasons. ... Wild forward Nino Niederreiter (4-3-7), Sharks forward Tomas Hertl (2-5-7) and Wild forward Erik Haula (2-3-5) extended their point streaks to five games. ... Ducks forward Jamie McGinn (1-0-1) has scored in three straight games (3-0-3). ... Devils forward Devante Smith-Pelly scored the game-winner and has scored seven times in nine games since being acquired by the Devils (7-3-10). ... Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley (1-2-3) equaled his career high with three points from Jan. 29, 2015 at OTT: 1-2-3 and Dec. 31, 2011 vs. BOS: 1-2-3 (w/ DAL). ... Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (14-41-55) had an assist to eclipse his career high of 11-43-54 from 2014-15. ... Sharks forward Joel Ward (20-21-41) scored the game-winner to reach 20 goals for the second time in his nine NHL seasons (also 2013-14 w/ WSH). ... Oilers forward Connor McDavid (0-1-1) shares second in the NHL with 9-19-28 in 25 games since returning from injury on Feb. 2. ...The Ducks have won six consecutive regular-season games vs. WPG dating to March 31, 2014 (WPG: 0-2-4). ... The Wild have won six consecutive regular-season games vs. CHI dating to Feb. 3, 2015 (CHI: 0-5-1). ... The Sharks are 7-0-3 in their past 10 home games vs. ARI/PHX dating to March 24, 2012 (ARI/PHX: 3-5-2). ... The Sharks honored former defenseman Marcus Ragnarsson in a pre-game ceremony at SAP Center.