ROOKIES VAULT MAPLE LEAFS UP ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS
William Nylander (1-1-2) extended his point streak to nine games (3-7-10) and Auston Matthews scored his 33rd goal of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 and improved to 6-1-1 in their past eight games.
* The Maple Leafs (34-23-15, 83 points) moved one point ahead of the Boston Bruins (38-29-6, 82 points) for third place in the Atlantic Division. They have one game in hand and completed a four-game season sweep of the Bruins on Monday.
* Nylander, who scored his 20th goal of the season, tied the longest point streak by a Maple Leafs rookie, equaling the mark set by Gus Bodnar in 1943 and later matched by Bob Nevin (1960) and Dan Daoust (1983), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
* Matthews, who has 58 points (33 goals, 25 assists) moved within one goal of matching Wendel Clark (34 in 1985-86) for the most by a Maple Leafs rookie and vaulted back into a tie with Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets for the rookie goal-scoring lead.
Video: Nylander, Kadri power Maple Leafs to 5-2 victory
Home Team in Caps
Toronto 5, COLUMBUS 2
NY Islanders 3, NY RANGERS 2
ANAHEIM 4, Edmonton 3
DUCKS DEFEAT OILERS IN CRUCIAL PACIFIC DIVISION MATCHUP
Hampus Lindholm (1-2-3) had an NHL career-high three points and Ryan Getzlaf (0-3-3) had his sixth three-point game of the season as the Anaheim Ducks (39-23-11, 89 points) overtook the Edmonton Oilers (39-25-9, 87 points) for second place in the Pacific Division.
* Rickard Rakell (1-1-2) extended his point streak to six games (5-3-8), highlighted by his League-leading 10th game-winning goal. He also has set personal NHL career highs in goals (32) and points (45) this season.
* Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves and improved to 6-0-1 with a 1.54 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and one shutout in his past seven games.
Video: Lindholm, Rakell lead Ducks to 4-3 win against Oilers
Andrew Ladd scored the tiebreaking goal with 7:22 remaining in the third period, his 20th of the season, as the New York Islanders (34-26-12, 80 points) moved within two points of the Bruins (38-29-6, 82 points) for the final wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The teams play at Barclays Center on Saturday. … Oilers captain Connor McDavid had his 10th three-point game of the season to extend his lead in the Art Ross Trophy race. He has 85 points (26 goals, 59 assists). … Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano skated in his 777th consecutive game, surpassing Craig Ramsay (776) for the fourth-longest streak in NHL history. … Rangers forward Rick Nash reached the 20-goal plateau for the 12th time in his 14 NHL seasons. … The NHL Department of Player Safety announced that the Maple Leafs' Roman Polak and the Buffalo Sabres' Rasmus Ristolainen each will have hearings Thursday. … ICYMI: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will wear Russian-American themed skates for pregame warmup as part of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.
SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Tampa Bay @ Boston, 7 p.m., TVA Sports, NESN, SUN, NHL.TV
Columbus @ Washington, 7 p.m., CSN-DC, FS-O, NHL.TV
New Jersey @ Toronto, 7:30 p.m., SNO, MSG+, NHL.TV
Carolina @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m., SNE, RDS, FS-CR, NHL.TV
Pittsburgh @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m., NHLN, RDS2, TSN5, ROOT, NHL.TV
Arizona @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., FS-F, FS-A, NHL.TV
Vancouver @ St. Louis, 8 p.m., FS-MW, SNP, NHL.TV
Calgary @ Nashville, 8 p.m., FS-TN, SNF, NHL.TV
Philadelphia @ Minnesota, 8 p.m., FS-N, FS-WI, CSN-PH, NHL.TV
Dallas @ Chicago, 8:30 p.m., CSN-CH, FS-SW+, NHL.TV
Edmonton @ Colorado, 9 p.m., ALT, SNW, NHL.TV
Winnipeg @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., FS-W, TSN3, NHL.TV
TOP CLUBS FACE OFF IN WASHINGTON
Two of the League's top teams face off when the Capitals (47-17-8, 102 points) host the Blue Jackets (47-19-6, 100 points) at Verizon Center. The Blue Jackets, who lead the season series 2-1-0 (WSH: 1-1-1), looks to narrow the gap in the NHL and Metropolitan Division standings. The Capitals are 3-0-1 in their past four games. This matchup also features the League's top two goaltenders, as the Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky, who leads the NHL in wins (39) and goals-against average (2.04), faces the Capitals' Braden Holtby, who ranks second in each of those categories with 37 wins and a 2.05 GAA. The teams conclude their season series in Columbus on April 2.
PENGUINS, SENATORS LOOK TO IMPROVE PLAYOFF POSITIONING
The second place team in the Metropolitan Division meets the second place team in the Atlantic Division when the Pittsburgh Penguins (46-17-9, 101 points) visit the Ottawa Senators (40-24-8, 88 points) at Canadian Tire Centre. The Penguins look to gain ground in the NHL and Metropolitan Division standings, where the top three teams are separated by two points. The Senators will try to narrow the gap on the Montreal Canadiens (41-23-9, 91 points) atop the Atlantic Division standings.
WESTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD BATTLE RESUMES
The Calgary Flames (41-28-4, 86 points) and Nashville Predators (36-25-11, 83 points), who hold the first and second wild cards into the playoffs from the Western Conference, respectively, complete their three-game season series in Nashville. The Flames, who are 12-2-0 in their past 14 games, also trail the Oilers (39-25-9, 87 points) by one point for third place in the Pacific Division.