Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/10/14 at 10:36 AM ET
RED WINGS FALL IN OVERTIME, CLINCH 23RD STRAIGHT PLAYOFF BERTH
Riley Sheahan scored the tying goal with 1:15 left in the third period to force overtime, but Jussi Jokinen potted the lone tally in the shootout to lead the Penguins to their fifth victory in their past seven games.
* Despite the loss, the Red Wings clinched their 23rd consecutive playoff berth, the longest active streak in North American professional sports, by earning one point. Detroit has not missed the postseason since 1989-90.
* Jokinen scored the shootout-deciding goal for the second consecutive game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Penguins player to accomplish that feat since Kris Letang Dec. 17-19, 2009.
* Jokinen improved to 33-for-75 (44.0%), with 12 game-deciding goals, all-time in shootouts. His 33 shootout goals rank seventh among active players, while his 12 game-deciders are tied for ninth.
* James Neal (2-0—2) recorded his fifth multi-goal game of the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he has 15 multi-goal games over the past three seasons, tied for fourth in the NHL with Corey Perry. The only players with more multi-goal games in that span are Alex Ovechkin (23), Steven Stamkos (22) and Max Pacioretty (19).
* Letang posted an assist in his return to the lineup after missing 26 games due to a stroke.
* The Penguins earned their 100th regular-season victory at CONSOL Energy Center, which opened Oct. 7, 2010. Their 100 home wins lead all teams since the start of the 2010-11 season, four more than the Blackhawks, Blues and Sharks.
BOBROVSKY, BLUE JACKETS PUNCH TICKET TO POSTSEASON
Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves, including 17 in the third period, to help the Blue Jackets pick up their third consecutive victory and clinch their second playoff berth in franchise history (first since 2008-09).
* With the win, the Blue Jackets (42-31-7, 91 points) leapfrogged the Red Wings (38-27-15, 91 points) for the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The teams are tied in points, but Columbus owns the ROW tiebreaker (CBJ: 37, DET: 33).
* The Blue Jackets set a franchise record with their 42nd victory of the season, breaking the previous mark established in 2008-09 (41-31-10).
* Bobrovsky has posted a 1.30 goals-against average, .959 save percentage and one shutout during the team’s three-game winning streak. He improved to 31-20-5 in 57 total appearances this season, with a 2.39 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and five shutouts.
* Mark Letestu found the back of the net for the third consecutive game (3-1—4), his second three-game scoring streak of the season (also Jan. 11-17: 4-0—4).
* James Wisniewski recorded an assist to extend his assist/point streak to five games (1-5—6). He also reached the 50-point milestone for the second time in his NHL career; Wisniewski posted a career-high 51 points in 2010-11.
MAROON, DUCKS WRAP UP SECOND STRAIGHT DIVISION TITLE
Patrick Maroon (2-0—2) posted his first career multi-goal performance, including the game-winner, to help the Ducks clinch their second consecutive Pacific Division title and the third in franchise history.
* With the win, the Ducks (52-20-8, 112 points) leapfrogged the idle Blues (52-20-7, 111 points) for the top record in the Western Conference. St. Louis, however, holds one game in hand.
* The Ducks set a franchise record with their 112th point, breaking the previous mark established in 2006-07 (110). They also set a club record for goals in one season (257) and tied a team mark for home wins in one season (28, set in 2007-08).
* The Ducks improved to 9-4-1 in their last 14 games overall, including points in eight of their past 10 (7-2-1).
* Corey Perry (1-1—2) tallied his 43rd goal of the season, second-most in the NHL. He has found the back of the net in five of the last seven games, totaling 6-4—10 in that span.
SHARP LIFTS BLACKHAWKS PAST CANADIENS
Patrick Sharp earned the primary assist on Marian Hossa’s tying goal with 47.7 seconds remaining in regulation and then scored the game-winner 43 seconds into overtime to lift the Blackhawks to their fourth consecutive victory.
* With the win, the Blackhawks (46-19-15, 107 points) moved within two points of the idle Avalanche (51-21-7, 109 points) for the No. 2 seed in the Central Division. Colorado, however, holds one game in hand and leads in ROW (COL: 46, CHI: 40).
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blackhawks’ victory marks the third time this season a team has tied a game in the final minute of regulation and then won in the opening 60 seconds of overtime: Matt Moulson (19:07 of 3rd period) and Matt D’Agostini (0:22 of overtime) combined to lead the Sabres to a 5-4 victory over the Bruins Feb. 26, while Corey Perry (19:37) and Stephane Robidas (0:16) did the same for the Ducks in a 5-4 win over the Jets March 31. The last time the Blackhawks had such a victory was Oct. 13, 2007, when Robert Lang scored at 19:58 of the third period and Jason Williams potted the decisive goal 43 seconds into overtime in a 2-1 win over the Stars.
* Sharp tallied the seventh regular-season overtime goal of his NHL career, all of which have come with the Blackhawks. He now is the franchise’s all-time leader in that category, one ahead of teammate Brent Seabrook.
* Jeremy Morin found the back of the net for the third consecutive game and now has 3-2—5 during a four-game point streak.
* Duncan Keith matched a career high with his 55th assist of the season, the most among all defensemen.
Sean Monahan scored in regulation and the shootout to lead the Flames to their fourth consecutive victory. Karri Ramo made a season-high 41 saves for his 17th win of 2013-14 . . . Kings forward Anze Kopitar tallied his 26th goal of the season and now has 10-13—23 in his past 23 games . . . Flames forward Matt Stajan scored for the third consecutive contest, extending his point streak to five games (3-2—5) . . . Stars forward Jamie Benn posted an assist to stretch his point streak to four games (4-2—6) . . . Kings forward Marian Gaborik recorded his 700th NHL point . . . Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver played in his 600th career game . . . The Canucks named Trevor Linden their new president of hockey operations. Linden played 16 of his 19 NHL seasons in Vancouver, compiling 375-492—867 in 1,382 total games.
TWO FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS LOCKED
* By virtue of the Ducks’ win, the Sharks will face the Kings in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with San Jose having home-ice advantage. These clubs have met two times in the postseason, with each team winning one series. The Kings advanced 4-3 in their most recent matchup in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals.
* By virtue of the Red Wings’ loss, the Canadiens will face the Lightning in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with home-ice advantage to be determined. These clubs have met one time in the postseason, a 4-0 series win by the Lightning in the 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Buffalo @ NY Rangers, 7:00 p.m., MSG-B, BELL TV, MSG
Washington @ Carolina, 7:00 p.m., CSN-DC, FS-CR
NY Islanders @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m., RDS, MSG PLUS 2, TSN-HABS
New Jersey @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m., MSG PLUS, SNET-E
Philadelphia @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., CSN-PH, SUN
Toronto @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., LEAFS TV, FS-F
Phoenix @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., FS-A, FS-TN
St. Louis @ Minnesota, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2
Boston @ Winnipeg, 8:00 p.m., NESN PLUS, TSN-JETS
Los Angeles @ Edmonton, 9:30 p.m., TSN, FS-W
Colorado @ Vancouver, 10:00 p.m., ALT, SNET-P
FLYERS, LIGHTNING JOCKEY FOR PLAYOFF POSITIONING
The Flyers (41-29-9, 91 points) visit the Lightning (43-27-9, 95 points) at Tampa Bay Times Forum as both teams battle for playoff positioning. Currently the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers could leapfrog the Rangers for home-ice advantage in the playoffs. The Lightning, the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Division, also could move within one point of the Canadiens for home-ice advantage. These clubs are facing off for the third and final time in 2013-14; Tampa Bay has won both of their matchups this season and is 6-0-1 in their last seven meetings at Tampa Bay Times Forum (dating to 2010-11). Overall, the Flyers have won two straight, while the Lightning are 2-2-0 on their six-game homestand.
COYOTES TRY TO CATCH STARS FOR FINAL WILD CARD
The Coyotes (36-28-15, 87 points) will try to catch the Stars (39-30-11, 89 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference when they face the Predators (35-32-12, 82 points) at Bridgestone Arena. Phoenix trails Dallas by two points, but has one game in hand; the Stars, meanwhile, lead in ROW (DAL: 35, PHX: 30). The Coyotes and Predators are squaring off for the third and final time in 2013-14 after splitting their first two meetings – a 5-4 shootout victory by Phoenix Oct. 31 and a 4-2 win by Nashville Nov. 25. Overall, the Coyotes have recorded at least one point in nine of their last 12 games (5-3-4), while the Predators are 3-0-1 in their past four.
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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