Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/28/14 at 10:39 AM ET
RASK, BRUINS SHUT OUT BLACKHAWKS FOR 50TH WIN . . .
Tuukka Rask made 28 saves to record his League-leading seventh shutout of the season and help the Bruins defeat the Blackhawks in their first meeting at TD Garden since Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
* With the victory, the Bruins (50-17-6, 106 points) reached the 50-win milestone for the ninth time in franchise history and first time since 2008-09 (53-19-10).
* The Bruins improved to 13-0-1 in their past 14 games, including a 6-0-1 mark in their last seven at TD Garden. They also picked up their League-leading 29th victory on home ice this season (29-7-3), three more than the next-closest teams (the Blues, Penguins and Sharks).
* Rask became the second goaltender in Bruins history to post at least seven shutouts in one season, following Tim Thomas’ nine-shutout campaign in 2010-11 en route to capturing the Vezina Trophy.
* Patrice Bergeron registered 2-0—2, including the game-winning goal, to extend his point streak to six games (6-2—8) and goal streak to five games (6-1—7). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bergeron is the first NHL player to score his club’s first goal in each of five consecutive team games in one season since March-April 1999, when Rob Brown did so for the Penguins. The only other player to accomplish that feat in Bruins history is Johnny Bucyk, who did so in December 1965.
* Bergeron tallied his seventh game-winning goal of the season, surpassing his previous career high of six set in 2005-06 and equaled in 2006-07.
* The Bruins improved to 7-1-2 in their last 10 regular-season meetings with the Blackhawks dating to Dec. 29, 2006.
* The Bruins wore Boston Fire Department hats during pregame warm-ups and held a moment of silence in honor of Lt. Edward J. Walsh Jr. and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, who died Wednesday in a Back Bay fire.
. . . OSHIE’S HAT TRICK POWERS BLUES TO 50TH VICTORY
One week after the birth of his daughter, T.J. Oshie (3-0—3) recorded his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, to lead the Blues to their third consecutive victory and 11th win in their past 14 outings (11-2-1).
* With the victory, the Blues (50-16-7, 107 points) maintained a one-point lead over the Bruins (50-17-6, 106 points) in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.
* The Blues reached the 50-win milestone for the second time in franchise history and first time since 1999-00 (51-19-11).
* Oshie’s hat trick came one game after David Backes tallied his second career hat trick Tuesday against the Maple Leafs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blues last posted hat tricks in consecutive games Dec. 20-23, 2000, when Pavol Demitra and Michal Handzus did so against the Rangers and Ducks, respectively.
* Oshie reached the 20-goal and 60-point milestones for the first time in his NHL career. He now has set career highs in goals, assists and points this season (21-39—60).
* The line of Oshie (4-2—6, +5), Backes (3-2—5, +5) and Alexander Steen (1-3—4, +7) has combined for 15 points and a +17 rating over the past two games.
* Ryan Miller made 27 saves to improve to 9-2-1 with a 2.03 goals-against average and .918 save percentage since joining the Blues. He has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his 12 starts with the team.
* The Blues swept their four-game season series versus the Wild and have won nine straight against Minnesota dating to Jan. 14, 2012.
KINGS TIE FRANCHISE RECORD WITH 8TH STRAIGHT ROAD WIN
Drew Doughty scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period to lift the Kings to their eighth consecutive road victory, matching a franchise record set Dec. 18,1974-Jan. 16, 1975.
* With the win, the Kings (43-25-6, 92 points) maintained an eight-point lead over the Coyotes (36-26-12, 84 points) for third place in the Pacific Division.
* The Kings picked up their fifth consecutive victory overall and improved to 13-3-0 in their last 16 games dating to Feb. 6.
* Martin Jones made 35 saves to improve to 11-5-0 with a 1.91 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and three shutouts in 17 appearances this season. He has allowed two or fewer goals in 14 of those games.
VANEK, CANADIENS HOLD OFF RED WINGS . . .
Thomas Vanek posted 1-2—3, including the game-winning goal, to power the Canadiens to their fourth consecutive victory and seventh win in their past eight outings.
* Vanek now has 5-4—9, including two game-winning goals, in 11 contests since joining the Canadiens; he had two game-winners in his prior 70 outings dating to last season.
* Tomas Plekanec scored twice to reach the 20-goal milestone for the sixth time in his NHL career. He now has 19 career multi-goal games, including three this season.
* Carey Price made 26 saves to improve to 8-1-0 with a 2.23 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and two shutouts in his last nine appearances.
. . . LIGHTNING WIN 13-ROUND SHOOTOUT TO KEEP PACE IN ATLANTIC
Sami Salo scored the decisive goal in the 13th round of the shootout to help the Lightning extend their point streak to 10 games (6-0-4).
* With the win, the Lightning (40-24-9, 89 points) remained two points behind the Canadiens (42-26-7, 91 points) for second place in the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay, however, holds two games in hand.
* The 13-round shootout equaled the second-longest tiebreaker in League history and fell two rounds short of the NHL record, set Nov. 26, 2005, when Marek Malik scored in the 15th round to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Capitals.
* The teams combined for nine shootout goals (TB: 5, NYI: 4), two more than the previous high for an NHL game. The Lightning’s five goals also were the most by one team in a shootout, topping the previous high of four.
* Valtteri Filppula collected an assist to extend his career-long point streak to 10 games (4-10—14).
* Ryan Callahan posted 2-0—2 and now has 4-4—8, including one game-winning goal, in 11 contests since joining the Lightning.
BARRIE PLAYS OVERTIME HERO (AGAIN) FOR AVALANCHE
Tyson Barrie scored the game-winning goal 55 seconds into overtime to lead the Avalanche to their second consecutive win and ninth victory in their past 14 outings (9-4-1).
* With the win, the Avalanche (46-21-6, 98 points) moved within one point of the Blackhawks (42-17-15, 99 points) for second place in the Central Division. Colorado also holds one game in hand.
* Barrie recorded his fourth game-winning goal of the season, including his third in overtime (also Jan. 8 vs. OTT and Jan. 14 at CHI). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first defenseman to score three or more overtime goals in one season since 2010-11, when Dustin Byfuglien had three for the Thrashers. Scott Niedermayer holds the NHL record for overtime goals by a defenseman in one season, with four for the Devils in 2001-02.
* Barrie’s three overtime goals also match a single-season franchise record (for any player), set by David Jones in 2010-11.
COYOTES OUTLAST DEVILS TO STRETCH WILD CARD LEAD
Mikkel Boedker potted the lone goal in the shootout to lift the Coyotes to their second consecutive win and ninth victory in their past 13 games (9-3-1).
* With the win, the Coyotes (36-26-12, 84 points) moved within one point of the Wild (37-26-11, 85 points) for the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. They also moved five points ahead of the idle Stars (34-27-11, 79 points) and Canucks (34-30-11, 79 points) for the final playoff berth in the West.
* Kyle Chipchura posted 1-1—2 for his fourth multi-point game of the season. He has 2-6—8 in 14 games in March after totaling 2-7—9 in his first 58 outings this season.
* Thomas Greiss made 26 saves, and denied all three attempts he faced in the shootout, to pick up consecutive victories for the first time since Dec. 31 and Jan. 7.
Hurricanes goaltender Anton Khudobin made 35 saves for his third career shutout and first of the season . . . Shea Weber scored twice to lead the Predators to their third win in their last four games (3-0-1). He and Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (1-0—1) became the second and third blueliners to reach the 20-goal milestone this season . . . Tobias Enstrom scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:36 remaining to propel the Jets to their third win in their last six games . . . Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist posted an assist to extend his point streak to seven games (9-2—11) . . . Sharks forward Logan Couture reached the 20-goal milestone for the fourth consecutive season . . . Canucks forward Daniel Sedin collected an assist to reach 800 career points (305-495—800 in 972 GP) . . . Sharks forward Joe Thornton skated in his 1,200th NHL game . . . Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson played in his 400th career game . . . Predators forwards Colton Sissons and Calle Jarnkrok both scored their first NHL goal . . . Josh Pauls and Steve Cash of the gold medal-winning U.S. Paralympic hockey team dropped the ceremonial opening puck at the Blues-Wild game.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Toronto @ Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m., RDS2, SNET-O, CSN-PH
Pittsburgh @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., ROOT, FS-O
Chicago @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m., CSN-CH, SNET-E
Nashville @ Dallas, 8:30 p.m., FS-TN, FS-SW
NY Rangers @ Calgary, 9:00 p.m., MSG PLUS, SNET-CGY
Anaheim @ Edmonton, 9:30 p.m., PRIME, SNET-W
MAPLE LEAFS VISIT FLYERS IN KEY EASTERN CONFERENCE BATTLE
The Maple Leafs (36-30-8, 80 points) visit the Flyers (38-27-7, 83 points) at Wells Fargo Center in the third and final meeting of the season between these clubs. Toronto has won their first two matchups, scoring a 3-1 victory Oct. 2 and 4-3 overtime win March 8. Currently on a six-game losing streak and on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Maple Leafs could move into the first Wild Card spot with a victory tonight. Meanwhile, the Flyers, who have lost two straight following a five-game winning streak, could move within one point of the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Above information was provided by the NHL PR department
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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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