Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/05/14 at 11:16 AM ET
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
There were three game-winning or game-tying goals in the final five minutes of regulation last night, two of those coming in the final minute. It's happened in each of the past six days:
Sunday, March 30: Vincent Lecavalier, Philadelphia (GTG, 19:35) vs. Boston
Monday, March 31: Corey Perry, Anaheim (GTG, 19:37) vs. Winnipeg
Tuesday, April 1: Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado (GTG, 15:03) at Columbus
Wednesday, April 2: Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim (GWG, 18:39) vs. Edmonton
Thursday, April 3: Tyson Barrie, Colorado (GTG, 19:08) vs. NY Rangers
Thursday, April 3: Erik Haula, Minnesota (GTG, 18:06) at Chicago
Friday, April 4: Ben Smith, Chicago (GWG, 19:56) at Columbus
Friday, April 4: Ryan Carter, New Jersey (GWG, 15:06) vs. Washington
Friday, April 4: Sam Gagner, Edmonton (GTG, 19:19) at Phoenix
BIG NIGHT FOR PACIORETTY, HABS
Max Pacioretty (3-2—5) posted his third hat trick of the season and the Montreal Canadiens scored seven straight goals to down the Senators by a score of 7-4. Montreal (44-27-7, 95 points) holds a two point lead on Tampa Bay (44-27-7, 93 points) for second place in the Atlantic Division.
* Pacioretty’s is the third player to register three hat tricks this season (Joe Pavelski, Tyler Seguin). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Pacioretty is only the fourth Montreal player in the NHL's expansion era (i.e., 1967-68 to date) to record three or more hat tricks in one season. The others are Jean Beliveau (three in 1967-68), Guy Lafleur, who did it three times (three in 1971-72 and 1974-75, four in 1977-78), and Pierre Larouche (three in 1980-81). They also confirm that he is the first Montreal skater to post five points in a game since Lars Eller tallied 4-1—5 in a 7-4 victory over Winnipeg on January 4, 2011.
* Pacioretty’s second goal held on to be his third game-winner in Montreal’s last five games, and his League-leading 11th of the season. He is the first Canadiens player to earn 11 game-winning goals in a single season since Stéphane Richer did so in 1987-88.
* Now with 38 goals on the season, Pacioretty ranks fourth in League goal scoring, behind Pavelski (39) Corey Perry (41), and Alex Ovechkin (49). He added two assists for his first career five-point game. Pacioretty has 5-3—8 in his last three games.
* Thomas Vanek tallied 0-3—3 for his fourth three-point game of the season, all of which have come in his last 15 contests. He has 2-6—8 in his last four games. Vanek has 6-8—14 in 14 games since being acquired by the Canadiens.
* David Desharnais posted 1-1—2 for the third time in his last four games. He tied a career-high with his 16th goal of the season.
* This was the second time in less 20 days that the Canadiens have defeated the Senators after trailing by three goals in the game.
BLACKHAWKS WIN ON LATE GAME HEROICS
Ben Smith netted the game-winning goal with just 3.7 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory, defeating the Blue Jackets for the 13th straight time. Chicago (44-19-15, 103 points) now sits one point behind Colorado (49-21-6,104 points) for second place in the Central Division.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Smith’s goal at 19:56 of the third period is the latest regulation game-winner for the Blackhawks since Kyle Calder scored at 19:59 in a 3-2 win over Vancouver on December 17, 2002.
* Duncan Keith posted 0-3—3 for the third time this season. His 54 assists lead all defensemen and rank fourth among all skaters. He is one assist shy of his career-best, set in 2009-10.
DETROIT KEEPS PACE IN EAST
A three-goal first period was all the goals the Red Wings (37-26-14, 88 points) would need to build their lead in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race, as they hung on for a 3-2 victory over Buffalo.
* The Red Wings have won four straight games, and are 11-1-1 in their last 13 games against Buffalo.
* Jimmy Howard made 21 saves for his third straight win, improving to 5-0-0 all-time against the Sabres. Howard reached the 20-win mark for the fifth straight season.
* Head Coach Mike Babcock earned his 413th win behind the Red Wings’ bench, tying him with Jack Adams for most in franchise history.
DEVILS JUMP CAPITALS
The New Jersey Devils (33-28-16, 82 points) defeated Washington (34-30-13, 81 points) by a score of 2-1 in regulation to leapfrog their opponent for the fourth ranking in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race. They sit three points behind Columbus (39-31-7, 85 points) and two back of Toronto (38-32-8, 84 points) for the last Playoff position.
* The Devils now have points in six consecutive games (3-0-3), and improved to 12-3-3 in their last 18 home contests.
* Cory Schneider made 24 saves, and has now earned a point in each of his last five decisions (3-0-2). According to the Elias Sports Bureau Schneider is 9-1-1 with a 1.62 goals-against average in his 11 home starts since January 1, after winning only two of his seven home starts for the Devils through the end of December (2-2-3), despite posting a 1.66 goals-against average in those seven games.
PREDS HANG ON TO HOPES WITH VICTORY
Nashville kept their Playoff hopes alive by building a three-goal first period lead and skating to a 5-2 win over the Pacific-leading Ducks.
* Pekka Rinne made 27 saves for his 161st career victory, all of which have come with the Predators. Rinne moved into a tie with Tomas Vokoun for Nashville’s franchise wins record.
* Patric Hornqvist posted 1-2—3, improving to 5-6—11 on a six-game point streak.
* Mike Fisher tallied 2-1—3 for his third three-point game of the season. He has 2-3—5 in his last two games.
* Matt Cullen earned three assists, and now has 3-8—11 in his last seven games.
Phoenix (36-28-14, 86 points) earned a single point in a shootout loss to move one point ahead of Dallas (37-28-11, 85 points) for the second Western Conference Wild Card spot… Roberto Luongo surrendered two goals in a losing effort, playing in his 800th NHL game on his 35th birthday…Alex Ovechkin scored his League-leading 49th of the season. It was his first even-strength goal since February 27th…Nicklas Backstrom reached the 60-assist mark for the third time in his career, and the first time since 2009-10…Gustav Nyquist failed to register a point, snapping his point streak at 10 games (12-2—14)… Kenny Agostino scored his first career goal in his fifth game…Buffalo’s Nicolas Deslauriers scored his first career goal, while teammate Chad Ruhwedel earned his first career assist…Mike Cammalleri netted his 500th career point. He has posted 236-264—500 in 667 career games…
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Philadelphia @ Boston, 1:00 p.m., NHLN-US, CSN-PH, NESN
Colorado @ St. Louis, 2:00 p.m., ALT, FS-MW
Washington @ NY Islanders, 5:00 p.m., CSN-DC, MSG PLUS
Winnipeg @ Toronto, 7:00 p.m., CBC
Detroit @ Montreal, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, RDS, CBC, FS-D
Dallas @ Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m., FS-SW+, CW44
Ottawa @ NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m., CBC, MSG
New Jersey @ Carolina, 7:00 p.m., MSG PLUS 2, FS-CR
Pittsburgh @ Minnesota, 8:00 p.m., ROOT, FS-N
Los Angeles @ Vancouver, 10:00 p.m., CBC, PRIME
Nashville @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., SPSO, CSN-CA+
FLYERS, BRUINS FIGHT FOR PLAYOFF POSITIONING
The Boston Bruins (52-18-7, 111 points) are fighting for the Presidents’ Trophy while the Philadelphia Flyers (39-28-9, 87 points) are trying to earn home ice advantage in the first round. The Bruins and Blues (52-17-7, 111 points) are tied in the standings but St. Louis holds a game in hand in the race for top spot in the NHL. The Flyers are four points behind the NY Rangers (43-30-5, 91 points) for second in the Metropolitan but have two games in hand. Boston has won its previous two games against Philadelphia and is looking to sweep this season’s series for the first time since 1989-90.
RED WINGS AND CANADIENS RENEW OLD RIVALRY
The Detroit Red Wings (37-26-14, 88 points) are trying to win five in a row for the first time this season as they face the Montreal Canadiens (44-27-7, 95 points). Both teams were winners on Friday night. This is their final meeting of the season, the Red Wings won the first two and the Canadiens were victorious in their most recent matchup on March 27. Montreal is 9-2-0 in its last 11 games.
above information 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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