Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/24/14 at 10:20 AM ET
ELLIOTT, BLUES BLANK PENGUINS
Brian Elliott (33 saves) recorded his 25th career shutout and fourth of the season to help the Blues snap a two-game skid and pick up their ninth victory in their past 12 outings (9-2-1).
* With the win, the Blues (48-16-7, 103 points) tied the Bruins (49-17-5, 103 points) for the most points in the NHL standings. The Bruins, however, own the ROW tiebreaker (BOS: 47, STL: 40).
* The Blues earned their 23rd road win of the season (23-11-3), tying the Rangers (23-13-0) for the League lead.
* Elliott recorded his 25th career shutout in his 209th NHL start. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the fifth-quickest goaltender in the NHL’s “modern era” (since 1943-44) to reach the 25-shutout milestone. The four goaltenders who needed fewer starts: Tony Esposito (134), Terry Sawchuk (152), Roman Cechmanek (185) and Jacques Plante (187).
* Elliott also posted his 16th shutout with the Blues, tying Glenn Hall for second in franchise history.
* David Backes scored the lone goal, his career-high fifth game-winning goal of 2013-14. He also reached the 50-point milestone for the fourth time in his NHL career (24-26—50 in 66 GP).
* Alex Pietrangelo collected the secondary helper on Backes’ goal to reach the 40-assist milestone for the first time in his NHL career (8-40—48 in 71 GP). He now is three points shy of his career high, set in 81 games during the 2011-12 season.
* The Blues improved to 4-0-1 in their last five games against the Penguins, with all five contests decided by one goal.
GETZLAF’S MILESTONE NIGHT LIFTS DUCKS
Ryan Getzlaf posted 1-2—3, his 20th multi-point performance of the season, to help the Ducks (46-18-7, 99 points) snap a two-game skid and move within one point of the Sharks (46-18-8, 100 points) for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
* Getzlaf, who has played his entire NHL career with the Ducks, became the third player in franchise history to reach the 600-point milestone (182-418—600 in 623 GP). Only Teemu Selanne (457-528—985) and Paul Kariya (300-369—669) have more points in a Ducks uniform.
* Getzlaf also reached the 30-goal milestone for the first time in his NHL career. He has 1-10—11 in his past eight outings, including 1-5—6 during a three-game point streak.
* Getzlaf posted his eighth game of three or more point this season, second in the NHL to Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (13). Getzlaf (30-49—79 in 67 GP) also ranks second to Crosby (34-60—94 in 71 GP) in total points this season.
* Corey Perry registered 1-2—3 to eclipse 70 points (37-35—72 in 71 GP) for the fourth time in his NHL career and first time since 2010-11, when he compiled a career-high 98 points in 82 games (50-48—98).
* Mathieu Perreault collected an assist to extend his point streak to a career-long five games (3-2—5).
MOULSON HELPS WILD SPLIT HOME-AND-HOME
Matt Moulson (1-1—2) scored at 2:15 of overtime to lead the Wild to a split of their back-to-back, home-and-home series versus the Red Wings.
* With the win, the Wild (37-24-11, 85 points) moved six points ahead of the Coyotes (34-26-11, 79 points) for the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
* The Red Wings (33-24-14, 80 points), meanwhile, leapfrogged the Maple Leafs (36-29-8, 80 points) for the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings hold two games in hand and also lead in ROW (DET: 28, TOR: 27).
* Moulson recorded his second career overtime goal and now has 3-3—6, including two game-winning goals, in his last four outings.
* Jason Pominville scored his team-leading 27th goal of the season (71 GP), his highest output since 2011-12, when he posted 30 goals in 82 games.
NABOKOV, ISLANDERS PLAY SPOILER . . .
Evgeni Nabokov (41 saves) posted his 58th career shutout and third of the season to backstop the Islanders to their third victory in their last five outings and deal a blow to the Blue Jackets’ playoff hopes.
* With the loss, the Blue Jackets (36-29-6, 78 points) fell two points behind the Red Wings (33-24-14, 80 points) and Maple Leafs (36-29-8, 80 points) for a Wild Card berth in the Eastern Conference.
* Nabokov ranks third among active goaltenders in career shutouts, trailing only Martin Brodeur (124, NHL record) and Roberto Luongo (66). He also is tied for 17th all-time with John Ross Roach and Clint Benedict.
* Cal Clutterbuck scored his first game-winning goal as an Islander. He now has 10-7—17 in 65 games during his first season on Long Island.
. . . DEVILS GAIN GROUND IN PLAYOFF CHASE
The Devils built a three-goal lead early in the second period and held on for a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs, their second victory in their last three outings.
* With the win, the Devils (31-28-13, 75 points) moved within five points of the Red Wings (33-24-14, 80 points) and Maple Leafs (36-29-8, 80 points) for a Wild Card berth in the Eastern Conference.
* Jon Merrill posted 1-1—2, including the game-winning goal, for his first career multi-point performance. He now has two career goals, both of which have been game-winners.
KASSIAN’S CAREER NIGHT POWERS CANUCKS
Zack Kassian (0-4—4) assisted on all four Canucks goals to lead the team to its fifth victory in its past eight games.
* With the win, the Canucks (33-30-10, 76 points) moved within three points of the Coyotes (34-26-11, 79 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. The Coyotes, however, hold two games in hand.
* Kassian had never recorded more than one assist in his 146 prior NHL games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Canuck to post four assists in one game since Feb. 18, 2012, when Henrik Sedin did so in a 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs.
* Shawn Matthias added 1-2—3 for his second three-point performance of the season (also March 2: 2-1—3 at NYI). He also eclipsed 100 career points (50-52—102 in 321 GP).
Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne made 29 saves for his 31st career shutout and first since March 12, 2013 . . . Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist posted 2-0—2 to extend his goal/point streak to five games (7-1—8). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he leads the NHL with 18 goals in 23 games since Jan. 20 . . . Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin played in his 600th NHL game . . . Sabres forward Cody Hodgson skated in his 200th career contest . . . Panthers goaltender Dan Ellis made 34 saves in his 200th NHL appearance . . . Islanders forward Johan Sundstrom collected an assist for his first career point (4 GP).
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Phoenix @ NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m., FS-A PLUS, MSG
Los Angeles @ Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m., FS-W, CSN-PH
Montreal @ Boston, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS
Ottawa @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., SNET-E, TVA, SUN
Winnipeg @ Dallas, 8:30 p.m., TSN-JETS, FS-SW
San Jose @ Calgary, 9:00 p.m., CSN-CA, SNET-W
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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