Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/06/14 at 09:41 AM ET
BOSTON CLINCHES TOP SPOT IN EASTERN CONFERENCE
With the score tied 2-2 in the third period, Johnny Boychuk (1-0--1) and Milan Lucic (1-2--3) scored 31 seconds apart to power the Bruins to a 5-2 win over the Flyers, clinching the best record in the Eastern Conference (53-18-7, 113 points).
* Boston’s victory combined with St. Louis’ loss to Colorado moved the Bruins two points ahead of the Blues (52-18-7, 111 points) in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. The Bruins also avoided losing three consecutive games for the first time this season and improved to 7-0-1 in their past eight games at TD Garden.
* Boston’s League-leading 53rd win of the season matches the third-highest total in franchise history.
MOST SINGLE-SEASON WINS, BRUINS HISTORY
1. 57 wins in 1970-71 (57-14-7)
2. 54 wins in 1971-72 (54-13-11)
t-3. 53 wins in 2008-09 (53-19-10) and 2013-14 (53-18-7)
* The Bruins also lead the League with 30 home wins in 2013-14 (30-7-3), the second-highest single-season total in franchise history (33-4-2 in 1970-71 and 1973-74).
* Patrice Bergeron extended his point streak to 11 games (9-6--15), establishing a new career-high. His streak is the longest by a Bruin since David Krejci tallied 5-11--16 in 11 games from Dec. 17, 2011 to Jan. 14, 2012.
* Loui Eriksson (0-4--4) recorded a career-high four assists and matched his best single-game point total (2-2--4 on Nov. 5, 2010 with Dallas).
* The Bruins swept their season series against the Flyers for the first time since 1989-90.
AVALANCHE, VARLAMOV, AND ROY RECORD MILESTONE WINS
Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and the Avalanche scored three goals in the first 10:25 of the second period en route to a 4-0 win in St. Louis. Varlamov’s victory was his League-leading 40th of 2013-14, tying Patrick Roy’s franchise record for wins in a season (2000-01).
* The Avalanche reached the 50-win mark for the second time in franchise history and need two wins to match the club-record of 52 set in 2000-01. Colorado (50-21-6, 106 points) also established the third-highest point total in franchise history and moved within five points of St. Louis (52-18-7, 111 points) for first in the Central Division.
* Colorado won their 24th road game of the season, matching the highest total in franchise history - established by the Nordiques in 1992-93 and again by the Avalanche in 2000-01.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Patrick Roy became the fifth coach in NHL history to reach the 50-win milestone in his first season behind the bench.
FIRST-YEAR NHL HEAD COACHES WITH 50+ WINS
Tim Johnson (BOS): 57-14-7 in 1970-71
Mike Keenan (PHI): 53-20-7 in 1984-85
Pat Burns (MTL): 53-18-9 in 1988-89
Todd McLellan (SJ): 53-18-11 in 2008-09
Patrick Roy (COL): 50-21-6 in 2013-14
* Paul Stastny extended his point streak to six games (2-7--9) with his fourth winning tally of the season. He now has 11-19--30 in 24 career games against St. Louis.
* With their win over St. Louis, Colorado became the only team to defeat all 29 of their opponents this season.
GIONTA, PRICE HELP CANADIENS OVERCOME RED WINGS' RALLY
Detroit erased a three-goal third-period deficit with three goals in a span of 5:33 but Brian Gionta powered Montreal to a 5-3 win at the Bell Centre with his second goal of the night less than three minutes after the Red Wings tied the game. Carey Price stopped 34 shots, including 15 stops in the middle frame, to improve his record to 15-7-5 when making 30-plus saves this season.
* Montreal (45-27-7, 97 points) improved to 10-2-0 in their past 12 games and moved four points ahead of Tampa Bay (42-27-9, 93 points) for second in the Atlantic Division.
* Playing in his 300th game with Montreal, Gionta recorded his second winning tally of the season (also Jan. 6 versus Florida) and his first multi-goal game since Apr. 18, 2013.
* Max Pacioretty scored his 39th goal of the season, the most by a Canadiens player since Vincent Damphousse scored 39 goals in 1992-93.
* Coming off a 7-4 win on Friday, Montreal scored at least five goals in consecutive victories for the first time since Oct. 22 and 24, 2009 (5-1 vs. NYI and 5-4 in OT vs. NYR).
CAPITALS STAY ALIVE WITH SHOOTOUT WIN
Trailing 3-1 in the second period, Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward tied the game with goals 2:16 apart and Evgeny Kuznetsov (1-0--1) eventually scored the lone shootout goal, keeping Washington’s playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 win on Long Island.
* The Capitals (35-30-13, 83 points) boosted their record to 9-2-0 in their past 11 road games against the Islanders and moved within two points of the Blue Jackets (39-31-7, 85 points) for the second Eastern Conference Wild Card spot. Columbus has a game in hand and holds the ROW tiebreaker (CBJ: 34, WSH: 25).
* Washington tied an NHL record with their 20th shootout game of the season (10-10). Kuznetsov became the sixth different Capitals player to tally a game-deciding shootout goal; Nicklas Backstrom leads the team with four.
* Braden Holtby made 35 saves and stopped all three shootout attempts he faced, improving to 5-1-0 in six career games versus the Islanders.
MORE ON THE EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE
* Travis Zajac broke a 1-1 tie at 6:34 of the second period and that proved to be the game winner as New Jersey beat Carolina 3-1. The Devils (34-28-16, 84 points) passed the Capitals and Maple Leafs and are now one point behind the Blue Jackets (39-31-7, 85 points) for the second Wild Card spot. Columbus holds one game in hand with the teams tied in ROW (34).
* Jacob Trouba set a franchise record for goals by a rookie defenseman with his 10th of the season (Elias), the first of three-straight Jets goals, propelling Winnipeg to a 4-2 win at Toronto. With the loss, the Maple Leafs (38-33-8, 84 points) remain one point behind the idle Blue Jackets for the second Wild Card spot. Columbus has two games in hand and holds the ROW tiebreaker, 34-29.
* Senators goaltender Robin Lehner stopped 41 of 43 shots he faced and Jason Spezza reached the 20-goal mark for the eighth time in his career, as the Senators defeated the Rangers 3-2. Despite the loss, the Rangers (43-31-5, 91 points) maintain a four-point lead over the Flyers (39-29-9, 87 points) for second in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia has two games in hand while New York holds the ROW tiebreaker, 39-36.
BRYZGALOV LEADS WILD TO SHUTOUT WIN
The Wild scored three goals in the first period, including Erik Haula’s first career game-winner, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 20 saves to shutout Pittsburgh 4-0. With the win, Minnesota (40-26-12, 92 points) holds a five-point lead over Dallas (38-28-11, 87 points) for the first Western Conference Wild Card spot and sits six points up on idle Phoenix (36-28-14, 86 points).
* Bryzgalov improved to 5-0-3 since joining the Wild and posted his third shutout of the season (second with Minnesota). Since Jan. 27, Bryzgalov is 7-0-5 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in 12 decisions. He is 6-2-2 with two shutouts in 12 career starts versus the Penguins.
* Zach Parise’s first of two assists was his 500th NHL point (240-261--501). His multi-point performance was his 12th of the campaign and 115th of his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Zach's dad, J.P. Parise, scored 594 points in his 14-season NHL career. The Parises are only the third father/son pair in NHL history in which each player scored at least 500 career points. The others are Gordie and Mark Howe, and Bobby and Brett Hull.
STARS SHINE IN TAMPA BAY, RECLAIM WILD CARD SPOT
Jamie Benn (2-1--3) scored 40 seconds into the game, his first of three points in the period, as Dallas leapfrogged idle Phoenix for the second Western Conference Wild Card spot with a 5-2 win in Tampa Bay.
* The Stars (38-28-11, 87 points) hold a game in hand on the Coyotes (36-28-14, 86 points), with the teams scheduled to meet in the final game of the regular-season.
* The Stars improved the club’s record to 12-3-2 all-time in Tampa Bay, including a 9-2-0 mark in their past 11 match-ups. Overall, the Stars lead the all-time series versus the Lightning with a 20-9-3 record.
* Tyler Seguin (1-1--2) scored for the third straight game and reached the 80-point mark for the first time in his career (35-45--80). He now has 5-6--11 in his past nine road games.
PREDATORS STAY ALIVE WITH WIN. . .
Carter Hutton made 35 saves for his first NHL shutout and Patric Hornqvist (2-1--3) tallied three points in Nashville’s 3-0 victory at San Jose. With the win, the Predators (35-32-11, 81 points) remain in the Western Conference playoff picture, six points behind Dallas for the final position.
* Hornqvist, the last player selected in the 2005 NHL Draft (230th overall), reached the 20-goal mark for the fourth time in his career. He has three-straight multi-point games, including back-to-back three-point performances, and has 6-5--11 on his current six-game point streak.
* The Predators improved to 9-2-3 in their past 14 games versus the Sharks.
. . . CANUCKS KEEP PACE TOO
Trailing 1-0 to start the third period, Alexander Edler tied the game 1:06 into the final frame and Brad Richardson scored the winning goal with 1:23 remaining to lift the Canucks to a 2-1 victory over the Kings. The Canucks (35-32-11) moved to 81 points on the season and remain tied with the Predators with four games remaining.
Islanders forward John Persson, Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr, and Red Wings forward Luke Glendening each scored their first NHL goal. . . Flyers forward Sean Couturier and Kings defenseman Alec Martinez each played in their 200th NHL game; Rangers forward Derick Brassard recorded an assist in his 400th NHL contest and teammate Dominic Moore skated in his 600th career game; Devils forward Damien Brunner laced up in his 100th NHL contest. . . Kings defenseman Andrew Campbell, the Kings’ 74th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut. . . Despite the shootout loss, the Islanders extended their season-high point streak to seven games (6-0-1). Josh Bailey extended his point streak to four games (2-4--6). . . Mike Weaver extended his point streak to four games with an assist on Pacioretty’s goal (1-4--5). . . Mats Zuccarello scored both Rangers goals, extending his point streak to four games (4-3--7) while Benoit Pouliot stretched his to five games (1-4--5). . . Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk, in his second game since returning from a 16-game absence, scored his first goal since Dec. 30. . . Toronto’s Nazem Kadri reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career.
SNEAK PEEK AT SUNDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
St. Louis @ Chicago, 12:30 p.m., NBC, TSN2
Dallas @ Florida, 5:00 p.m., NHLN-CA, TXA 21, FS-F
NY Islanders @ Columbus, 6:00 p.m., MSG PLUS, FS-O
Buffalo @ Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2
Pittsburgh @ Colorado, 8:00 p.m., ROOT, ALT, RDS2
Anaheim @ Edmonton, 8:00 p.m., TSN, PRIME
BLUES FACE BLACKHAWKS ON NBC
The St Louis Blues (52-18-7, 111 points) have faced the Chicago Blackhawks (44-19-15, 103 points) more than any other team in their history as the two will meet for the 291st time this afternoon. The Blues are two points behind the League-leading Boston Bruins (53-18-7, 113 points) in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. The Blackhawks have won their last two games and are trying to catch the Avalanche (50-21-6, 106 points) for second place in the Central Division. They are three points back and have played one more game than Colorado.
PENGUINS AND AVALANCHE CLASH IN COLORADO
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ (49-24-5, 103 points) final road game of the season will be against the NHL’s hottest team. Colorado (50-21-6, 106 points) is on a six game winning streak, the longest active streak in the NHL. In their earlier matchup this season on October 21st, Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 34 saves as the Avalanche shutout the Penguins 1-0 in Pittsburgh.
NHL ANNOUNCES PARTICIPATING TEAMS FOR KRAFT HOCKEYVILLE 2014 HOST TOWN, SYLVAN LAKE, AB
With 532 communities nominated, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed that Sylvan Lake, Alberta, is the winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2014. In addition to receiving $100,000 in arena upgrades, this winning community will host an NHL pre-season game between the Calgary Flames and Phoenix Coyotes this fall.
“We are thrilled that Sylvan Lake, Alberta has deservingly earned the title of Kraft Hockeyville for 2014," said Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke. "The Calgary Flames are very proud of our Alberta roots and have made it a priority to be a strong supporter of our community's well-being."
“We are very excited to participate in next season’s Kraft Hockeyville event in Sylvan Lake, AB," said Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney.
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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