Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/29/14 at 10:44 AM ET
PENGUINS PUSH INTO POSTSEASON
The Pittsburgh Penguins officially earned a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 2-1 victory over Columbus. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Penguins, who have qualified for the postseason in each of the last eight seasons.
* Pittsburgh completed a season sweep of Columbus, going 5-0-0 against the Blue Jackets. It is the first time the Penguins have swept a season series of five or more games since winning all eight contests they played against Philadelphia in 2006-07.
* Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves in his 35th victory of the season. Fleury has reached 35 wins six times in his career, including in each of his last five complete seasons (82-game schedule).
* Sidney Crosby earned an assist for the third straight game. Crosby has a League-best 97 points (34-63--97) in 74 games this season and extended his League assist lead to three over Joe Thornton (11-60--71).
GIROUX, HARTNELL LEAD FLYERS
The Philadelphia Flyers (39-27-7, 85 points) moved to within one point of the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division, snapping a two-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over Toronto.
* Claude Giroux (1-2—3) posted his sixth game of three or more points this season and the Flyers are now 19-2-1 this season when he scores a goal. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Giroux’s 21 points (6-15-21) in 13 games this month matches the point total posted in a month by any Flyer over the last 12 seasons (Jeff Carter, 21 points in Dec. 2008; Jakub Voracek, 21 points in Feb. 2013).
* Scott Hartnell posted 1-1—2 for his ninth multi-point game of the season, and his third in the last six games. Hartnell’s goal was his 20th of the season, marking the seventh time he has reached the 20-goal plateau.
QUICK TALLY TIES RECORD
James van Riemsdyk scored the Maple Leafs’ opening goal just 0:04 into the second period of their game against Philadelphia. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the quick strike tied the fastest goal to open a period in NHL History. The feat was previously accomplished by Claude Provost (Montreal, November 9, 1957) and Denis Savard (Chicago, January 12, 1986). It was also the fastest by any player this season, eclipsing Jason Zucker’s tally eight seconds into the third period of the Wild/Oilers game on January 16.
STARS FILL THE NET
Five different Dallas players had multi-point outings as the Stars matched a season-high with a seven-goal performance against Nashville. The Stars (35-27-11, 81 points) moved to within three points of Phoenix for the second Wild-Card position in the Western Conference. Dallas is 8-1-2 in its last 12 home games.
* Tyler Seguin extended his career-long point streak to 11 games with an assist (7-11—18). He is the first Stars player to record an 11-point streak since Mike Ribeiro did so from December 29, 2010-January 21, 2011.
* Alex Goligoski posted three assists (0-3—3) and a plus-5 rating for the Stars. His 31 assists are one shy of his career-high, set in 2010-2011.
* Colton Sceviour notched a goal and added an assist in his first career multi-point game.
* Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens stopped 48 of 51 pucks he faced, improving to 2-1-0 when facing 50+ shots this season and helping the Oilers snap a three-game losing streak by defeating Anaheim 4-3 in overtime.
*A 46-save performance from Craig Anderson carried the Senators to a 5-3 win over Chicago.
Anderson improved to 4-1-2 when making 40 or more saves this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Anderson has a 30-9-9 lifetime record in games in which he has faced 40 or more shots on goal -- the 30 wins are third among active NHL goaltenders (Roberto Luongo, 49; Tomas Vokoun, 41).
Chicago forward Matt Carey played in his first NHL game…Patrick Sharp set a new career-high with his 72nd point of the season… Nashville captain Shea Weber played in his 600th career contest…Karri Ramo made a season-high 38 saves to improve to 6-1-0 in his last seven decisions… Mathieu Perreault scored his career-high 17th goal of the season and added an assist, extending his point streak to seven games (5-3—8)… Mike Cammalleri posted 1-1—2 for the Flames and now has 7-6—13 in his last eight games… Marcus Kruger played in his 200th NHL game… Oilers rookie defenseman Oscar Klefbom scored his first career NHL goal in his ninth contest… Sam Gagner scored his 100th career goal in the first period… David Perron earned three assists for his third three-point game of the season and now has earned a point in nine of his last 11 contests ( 3-8—11)… Ottawa forward Clarke MacArthur posted 1-2—3 for his first three-point game since January 24, 2012… Several NHL teams will celebrate Earth Hour this evening from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. by scaling back the electricity used in their operations or creating awareness through their media platforms.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Boston @ Washington, 12:30 p.m., NESN, CSN-DC
San Jose @ Colorado, 3:00 p.m., RDS2, CSN-CA, ALT
Tampa Bay @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., SUN, MSG-B
Detroit @ Toronto, 7:00 p.m., CBC, NHLN-US, FS-D
Montreal @ Florida, 7:00 p.m., CBC, RDS, FS-F
New Jersey @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., MSG, MSG PLUS
Columbus @ Carolina, 7:00 p.m., FS-O, FS-CR
Dallas @ St. Louis, 8:00 p.m., TXA 21, FS-MW
Minnesota @ Phoenix, 9:00 p.m., FS-N, FS-WI, FS-A
Anaheim @ Vancouver, 10:00 p.m., CBC, KDOC
Winnipeg @ Los Angeles, 10:00 p.m., CBC, FS-W
WILD CARD BATTLE HEATS UP
*The Red Wings and Maple Leafs, both with 80 points and vying for a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, will face each other for the fourth time this season. The Red Wings have won two of three against the Maple Leafs, splitting shootout victories before winning 3-2 on March 18. Detroit will look for scoring from forward Gustav Nyquist, who leads the League in goals (20) since Jan. 20.
*The Phoenix Coyotes (84 points) are one point behind the Minnesota Wild (85 points) and can jump ahead of the Wild into the top Western Conference Wild Card position with a regulation win at home. The Coyotes are surging, having won their last two games and seven of their last 10.
PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY RACE
The St. Louis Blues (107 points, 50 wins) and the Boston Bruins (106 points, 50 wins) are both in action Saturday night as they battle for top spot in the League standings. The Blues will face the Dallas Stars and the Bruins will battle the Washington Capitals – two teams fighting for their playoff lives. The Stars are three points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second Wild Card position in the Western Conference and the Capitals are vying for a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference (Columbus, Detroit, Toronto and Washington all have 80 points).
Flyers tickets are in demand, get them while you can.
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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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