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NHL Short Notes

LIGHTNING COMPLETE SWEEP OF CANADIENS, CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
Vladislav Namestnikov (2-1—3) recorded his first career multi-goal game and first career three-point performance to help the Lightning sweep their five-game season series with the Canadiens and clinch their eighth playoff berth in franchise history.
 

 

 
* At 47-23-7 (101 points), the Lightning moved within one point of the Canadiens (47-22-8, 102 points) for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. They also set a franchise record with their 47th victory of the season, surpassing the previous mark of 46 achieved in 2003-04, 2010-11 and 2013-14.

* The Lightning swept their season series with the Canadiens for the first time in franchise history. Per Elias, they also became the first team to sweep a season series of at least five games against the Canadiens since the Sabres went 8-0-0 vs. MTL in 1983-84.
 
* Namestnikov, who was selected by the Lightning 27th overall in the 2011 NHL Draft, has 9-7—16 in 38 appearances this season. His second goal stood as the decisive marker, his third such tally of the season (also Oct. 24 at WPG and March 5 vs. TOR).
 
Anton Stralman (1-1—2) and Ondrej Palat (0-2—2) also posted multi-point games for the Lightning, who snapped a two-game skid with their fifth victory in their past seven outings overall.
 
Ben Bishop made 25 saves to pick up his 37th win of the season (58 GP), equaling his career high and franchise record established in 2013-14 (63 GP). He improved to 10-1-2 in 14 career appearances vs. MTL (1.53 GAA, .941 SV%, 1 SO), including a perfect 5-0-0 record this season (1.59 GAA, .933 SV%, 1 SO).
 
* Bishop added two assists (on goals by Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin). Elias says he became the first goaltender in franchise history to register two assists in one contest. The last goaltender to accomplish that feat for any team was Ryan Miller in his last game for the Sabres on Feb. 25, 2014 vs. CAR.
 
* The Lightning improved to 19-4-3 this season against divisional foes, including an 8-1-1 record in their last 10 such games.
 
BLACKHAWKS NARROW CENTRAL GAP WITH WIN OVER KINGS
Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson scored 64 seconds apart in the second period to break a 1-1 tie and lead the Blackhawks to their second win in as many days.
 
* At 46-24-6 (98 points), the Blackhawks moved within one point of the Blues (46-23-7, 99 points) – who lost in regulation – for second place in the Central Division. The teams meet two more times this season, on April 5 at CHI and April 9 at STL (CHI: 2-1-0, STL: 1-2-0).
 

 

 
* Keith recorded his ninth career game-winning goal and second of the season (alsoJan. 30 at ANA). He paces team defensemen with 9-35—44 (75 GP).
 
Marian Hossa posted 1-1—2 for his 16th multi-point performance of the season. He ranks third on the club with 22-35—57 (76 GP), three points shy of his total from 2013-14 (30-30—60 in 72 GP).
 
Bryan Bickell added his 13th goal of the season (74 GP), his most in one campaign since notching a career-high 17 goals in 2010-11 (78 GP).
 
Scott Darling made 31 saves, including 22 over the final two periods, to improve to 8-3-0 in 12 career appearances (1.77 GAA, .941 SV%, 1 SO).
 
* The Blackhawks have won 16 of their last 22 home games against the Kings (regular season and playoffs) dating to Dec. 12, 2007.
 
LACK, CANUCKS CONTINUE DOMINANCE OF BLUES . . .
Eddie Lack made 23 saves to backstop the Canucks to their sixth victory in their last nine games overall (6-2-1) and sixth consecutive win over the Blues dating to Oct. 25, 2013.
 
* At 44-27-5 (93 points), the Canucks maintained a two-point lead over the Flames (42-28-7, 91 points) – who also won on Monday – for second place in the Pacific Division. Vancouver holds one game in hand and also owns the ROW tiebreaker (VAN: 40, CGY: 38). Calgary, however, won the season series (CGY: 2-1-1, VAN: 2-2-0).
 
* Lack picked up his 15th victory of the season (36 GP), one shy of his total from his rookie campaign in 2013-14 (41 GP). He also improved to 5-0-0 in five career appearances vs. STL (1.74 GAA, .935 SV%, 1 SO).
 
Radim Vrbata posted 1-1—2, including his team-leading 31st goal of the season. He has five multi-point performances in his past six outings, totaling 5-6—11 in that span.
 
* Fresh off signing a five-year contract extension, Christopher Tanev collected two assists for his second straight multi-point game (also Saturday vs. DAL: 0-2—2).
 
Nick BoninoAlexandre Burrows and Shawn Matthias supplied the other goals. Bonino recorded his sixth game-winning marker of the season (69 GP); he had two such tallies in his career prior to 2014-15 (189 GP).
 
* The Canucks also extended their point streak against the Blues to 11 games dating to Jan. 12, 2012 (9-0-2).
 
. . . HUDLER (AGAIN) IGNITES FLAMES TO CAP PROLIFIC MONTH
Jiri Hudler registered 1-1—2, his second multi-point performance in as many days (alsoSunday at NSH: 1-2—3), to power the Flames to their second straight win on the heels of a 2-3-2 stretch.
 
* At 42-28-7 (91 points), the Flames moved three points ahead of the Kings (37-25-14, 88 points) – who lost in regulation – for third place in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles holds one game in hand, but Calgary owns the ROW tiebreaker (CGY: 38, LAK: 35). The clubs meet for a fifth and final time on April 9 at CGY (CGY: 3-1-0, LAK: 1-1-2).
 

 

 
* Hudler, who played his final game of the month, leads the NHL with 10-13—23 in 15 March outings. Elias says that is the most points by any player during one calendar month this season. It also is the most points by any Flames player in one month sinceJarome Iginla totaled 10-16—26 in December 2006 (14 GP).
 
* Hudler shares seventh in the NHL with 29-42—71 overall this season (74 GP). He also leads the Flames and has established career highs in all three categories (tied in goals w/ Sean Monahan).
 
Johnny Gaudreau posted 1-1—2 to move back into first place in the rookie scoring race (22-38—60 in 76 GP). His 22 goals ranks fourth among first-year skaters.
 
Dennis Wideman (1-1—2) also contributed multiple points, while Mikael Backlundand Raphael Diaz provided the other goals. Diaz recorded his second career game-winning tally and first since Jan. 21, 2012 at TOR (w/ MTL).
 
ROOKIES POWER OILERS TO THIRD STRAIGHT VICTORY
Both playing in their sixth NHL game, Brandon Davidson scored his first career goal and Andrew Miller collected three assists to lead the Oilers to their third consecutive victory – their longest winning streak since Oct. 20-27 (4-0-0).
 
* Davidson, who was selected by the Oilers in the sixth round (162nd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, also recorded his first NHL point. The 23-year-old forward made his debut on Dec. 10 at ANA.
 
* Miller, who was signed by the Oilers on April 17, 2013, as an undrafted free agent out of Yale University, has 1-5—6 since making his NHL debut on March 18 vs. CBJ. All six of those points have come in his past three games.
 
Anton Lander (0-2—2) also contributed multiple points, while Taylor Hall scored to extend his point streak to five games (2-3—5); he has one point in each contest since making his return from a 20-game absence.
 
Justin Schultz added his seventh career game-winning goal and first since April 6, 2014 vs. ANA. Richard Bachman made 29 saves to pick up his second win of the season (6 GP).
 
* The Oilers improved to 6-2-1 in their last nine meetings with the Avalanche dating to Feb. 16, 2013, including two wins in the past week (also Wednesday: 4-3 vs. COL).
 
DID YOU KNOW?
Brandon Davidson became the third Oilers player to score his first NHL goal in the team’s past three games. The others: Martin Marincin on Wednesday vs. COL andAndrew Miller on Friday vs. DAL.
 
* Via Elias, it marked the second time in Oilers history that different players recorded their first NHL goals in three consecutive team games. The other such instance was during the club’s inaugural season in 1979-80 – and it happened in the team’s first four games: Dale Hunter and Kevin Lowe scored their first goals on Oct. 10 at CHI, Blair MacDonald and Mark Messier did so on Oct. 13 vs. DET, Wayne Gretzky and Risto Siltanen did so on Oct. 14 vs. VAN, and Brett Callighen did so on Oct. 19 vs. QUE.
 
MESZAROS LIFTS SABRES OVER COYOTES
Andrej Meszaros (2-0—2) notched his second consecutive multi-goal game, including the decisive marker, to help the Sabres overcome a 1-0 deficit and snap a five-game skid (0-4-1).
 
* Meszaros, who also recorded two goals on Saturday at COL, posted his fifth career multi-goal game. He also scored his 11th career game-winning goal and first since Dec. 15, 2011 at MTL (w/ PHI).
 
Brian Gionta added his eighth career shorthanded goal and first since March 17, 2011 vs. TBL (w/ MTL).
 
Anders Lindback made 28 saves to pick up his fourth win of the season and second with the Sabres (11 GP, .926 SV%).
 
* The Sabres improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games with the Coyotes dating to Jan. 31, 2009, including five consecutive wins at Gila River Arena.
 
LOOSE PUCKS
Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty scored his 37th goal of the season to move into sole possession of fourth place in the NHL. He also posted his third shorthanded goal of the season (77 GP); he had one such goal prior to 2014-15 (319 GP) . . . Stars forwardTyler Seguin notched his 35th goal of the season (67 GP), two shy of his career high set in 2013-14 (80 GP). He has 3-5—8 in his past seven outings . . . Avalanche forwardRyan O’Reilly scored to extend his point streak to a career-high eight games (5-8—13) . . . Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban recorded his 14th goal of the season (77 GP), matching a career high established in 2010-11 (77 GP) . . . Stars captain Jamie Bennregistered two assists to move into fifth place in the NHL scoring race (28-46—74 in 77 GP) . . . Blues defenseman Zbynek Michalek snapped a 16-game drought with his first goal since Jan. 31 at OTT (w/ ARI) . . . Flames defenseman TJ Brodie, Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw all recorded their 100th NHL point . . . Flames teammates Jiri Hudler (600) and Raphael Diaz (200) both played in milestone games . . . Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson and Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly were named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 29.

TUESDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS
There is one clinching scenario for today’s games:
 
* The Ducks (idle) would clinch the Pacific Division if the Canucks lose in any fashion to the Predators.

SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Florida @ Boston, 7:00 p.m., SNE, SNO, SNW, FS-F, NESN
Carolina @ Washington, 7:00 p.m., FS-CR, CSN-DC
New Jersey @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., MSG+, FS-O
Tampa Bay @ Toronto, 7:30 p.m., TVA, SUN, TSN4
Ottawa @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m., TSN5, RDS, FS-D
Vancouver @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., SNP, FS-TN
NY Rangers @ Winnipeg, 8:00 p.m., MSG, TSN3
NBCSN Channel Finder
Sportsnet Channel Finder
 
PANTHERS VISIT BRUINS IN WILD CARD SHOWDOWN
The Panthers (35-26-15, 85 points) will try to narrow their gap for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference when they visit the Bruins (38-25-13, 89 points) at TD Garden. This marks the third meeting of the season between these Atlantic Division foes; both clubs are 1-0-1, with Florida picking up a 2-1 shootout victory in their most recent matchup on March 21. Boston, however, has won seven straight head-to-head meetings at TD Garden dating to Dec. 23, 2011. These teams will close their season series on April 9 at FLA. Overall, the Panthers are 4-1-1 in their last six outings, while the Bruins have won two straight following a six-game losing streak (0-3-3).
 
“We’re four points back but still don’t control our own destiny because we need to make up five,” Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell told the Miami Herald. “We play them twice and it’s an absolute must to win these games. But this is fun. This is a great time to be playing meaningful hockey.”
 
MORE GAMES WITH PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS
Several other games on Tuesday’s schedule feature teams jockeying for playoff positioning:
 
* The Senators (37-26-12, 86 points) – who are three points behind the Bruins (38-25-13, 89 points) – also try to make up ground in the Wild Card race when they face off against the Red Wings (40-23-12, 92 points) at Joe Louis Arena. This marks the fourth and final meeting of the season between these Atlantic Division rivals; Detroit is 2-1-0 thus far (OTT: 1-1-1), including a 3-2 overtime win in their most recent matchup on Dec. 27. Overall, both clubs are battling through slumps – the Red Wings have dropped nine of their last 13 games (4-8-1), while the Senators have lost three straight (0-2-1) following a 15-1-1 stretch.
 
* The Canucks (44-27-5, 93 points) and Predators (47-22-8, 102 points) both attempt to create space in their division races when they drop the puck at Bridgestone Arena. Vancouver holds a two-point edge over Calgary (42-28-7, 91 points) for second place in the Pacific Division, while Nashville has a three-point lead over St. Louis (46-23-7, 99 points) for first place in the Central. The Predators have won the first two meetings of the season between these teams, picking up a 3-1 victory on Nov. 2 and a 5-1 triumph on Jan. 13. Overall, Vancouver is 6-2-1 in its last nine contests – including a 4-1 win over St. Louis on Monday – while Nashville dropped its most recent outing – on Sundayto Calgary – following a four-game winning streak.
 
* The Jets (39-25-12, 90 points) also look to create breathing room for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference when they welcome the Rangers (47-21-7, 101 points) to MTS Centre, where they have gone 12-3-2 in their last 17 games. Winnipeg currently holds a two-point edge over Los Angeles (37-25-14, 88 points) for the final playoff berth in the West, while New York trails Montreal (47-22-8, 102 points) by one point for the top seed in the East. Overall, the Jets have won six of their last eight contests, but suffered a last-minute loss to the Blackhawks on Sunday. The Rangers, meanwhile, are coming off consecutive regulation losses for the first time since Jan. 27-29.

the above information was provided by the NHL PR department

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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