The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to be the hottest team in the NHL.
The Lightning won their ninth consecutive game and extended their home winning streak to 10 by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 at Amalie Arena on Thursday. Tampa Bay (38-18-5) moved within one point of the Boston Bruins (35-11-12) for first place in the Atlantic Division and the NHL standings with its League-leading 17th win since Jan. 1.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves to extend his point streak to 20 games (18-0-2), becoming the sixth goalie in NHL history to have a streak at least that long. He allowed two goals or fewer for the fifth straight game to earn his League-leading 31st win. The 25-year-old is trying to join Terry Sawchuk as the only goalies in NHL history to end the season leading (or tied for the League lead) in wins in at least three consecutive seasons; he had 44 in 2017-18 and 39 last season. Sawchuk did it in five straight seasons from 1950-51 to 1954-55.
Jon Cooper has guided the Lightning to four winning streaks of at least nine games. He's the first coach in NHL history to have four such runs with the same team and the fourth to have at least that many in his career.
Golden Knights overcome Sanford's big night, top Blues in OT
The Vegas Golden Knights overcame a four-goal game by Zach Sanford when Jonathan Marchessault's second goal of the game gave them a 6-5 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.
Sanford scored his fourth goal at 11:45 of the third period to put the Blues ahead 5-4, but Alex Tuch scored the third game-tying goal by the Golden Knights at 15:20 before Marchessault got the winner at 2:30 of overtime. Mark Stone had his fourth assist of the game on Marchessault's OT goal for his second game with at least four points in a span of four games; he had five points (two goals, three assists) against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 6. Stone is the 20th player with multiple four-point games this season and he's the first player in Golden Knights history to accomplish the feat.
Sanford, who had his first NHL hat trick, became the sixth player in Blues history to score four goals in a regular-season game and the first since David Backes did it against the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 6, 2015.
Sanford also is the fifth player to score four goals in a game this season, joining Anthony Mantha of the Detroit Red Wings (Oct. 6), James Neal of the Edmonton Oilers (Oct. 8), the Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak (Oct. 14) and Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres (Nov. 16). The only seasons in the past 20 years with more four-goal games are: 2002-03 (eight), 2000-01 (eight), 2017-18 (seven) and 2005-06 (six).
Capitals get another comeback win; Ovechkin still at 698 goals
Alex Ovechkin went without a goal for a third straight game, but his teammates scored three unanswered goals to rally the Washington Capitals past the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at Pepsi Center.
It was the eighth multigoal comeback win by the Capitals this season, one shy of the Washington record of nine, set in 2009-10. The NHL record is 12, set by the Edmonton Oilers in 1983-84 and matched by the Hartford Whalers in 1985-86. In all, there have been 11 instances of teams reaching double digits in multigoal comeback wins in a single season.
Ovechkin had seven shots on goal but has not scored since a third-period hat trick against the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 4 moved him within two goals of becoming the eighth player in NHL history to reach 700.
T.J. Oshie's game-winner with 2:04 remaining in the third period extended his goal streak to three games and his point streak to four (three goals, two assists). He has points in 10 consecutive games against the Avalanche (six goals, five assists) and is one of 15 players with an active point streak of 10-plus games against one opponent. Pastrnak (13 games against the Pittsburgh Penguins) and the Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (13 games against the Capitals) have the longest active runs.
MacKinnon becomes fourth 80-point player
Nathan MacKinnon (32 goals, 48 assists) assisted on Colorado's two first-period goals to become the fourth player in the NHL this season to reach 80 points. He's one behind Pastrnak (41 goals, 40 assists) and the Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (30 goals, 51 assists) for second. Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers leads the NHL with 90 points (32 goals, 58 assists).
MacKinnon became the fifth player in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history to reach the 80-point mark within his first 56 games of a season. He joined Joe Sakic (1995-96) as the second player to do so with the Avalanche since the franchise moved from Quebec in 1995.
Matthews ties for NHL goals lead, scores 30th of season at home
Auston Matthews moved into a tie for the League lead with Pastrnak by scoring his 41st goal of the season for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Arena.
Matthews has scored 30 of his 41 goals in Toronto's 30 home games. He's the first Maple Leafs player to score 30 times in their first 30 home games and the fifth NHL player in the past 30 years to accomplish that feat.