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NHL Short Notes

Phil Kessel scored three goals and added an assist to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. It was Kessel's second hat trick of the season and the fifth of his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kessel is only the second player to register two hat tricks in one season at Air Canada Centre, which opened in February 1999. The first was Alexander Mogilny, who had a pair of hat tricks for the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in 2002-03.

The hat trick marked the second time Kessel has scored three goals in a game against the Senators (Oct. 8, 2011). He leads all Maple Leafs players in career games played (45), goals (25), assists (21) and points (46) against Ottawa, and has registered more career goals and points against the Senators than against any other NHL club.

Kessel became the second player to reach the 30-goal plateau this season, the fifth time he has reached the milestone. He also extended his point streak to four games (4-5—9).

* This marked the second straight game in which the Maple Leafs overcame a 2-0 deficit to win. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time they accomplished that feat in back-to-back games was October 29 and November 1, 2008.

* Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to five games (3-6—9).

* James Van Riemsdyk had two assists to extend his point streak to four games (2-4—6).

* The Maple Leafs extended their home winning streak to a season-high six games.

Rookie Nathan MacKinnon had a career-high three points as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Buffalo Sabres 7-1. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, MacKinnon is the first rookie to register at least three points in one game for the Avalanche since Nov. 27, 2010, when defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk posted one goal and two assists in a 7-4 Colorado victory against Minnesota. MacKinnon is the first rookie this season to score 20 goals and the first to reach 40 points (20-20—40). He also extended his point streak to four games (3-4—7).
* Jamie McGinn had two goals and an assist, matching a career-high with three points. McGinn was credited with his third game winning goal, a new career-high.

* Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals to extend his point streak to five games (2-5—7).

* Erik Johnson (0-3—3) matched a career-high with three points.

* Marc-Andre Cliche scored his first NHL goal in his 49th career game.

* The Avalanche have won seven straight games against the Sabres. Buffalo's last win in this series was Dec. 4, 2005 at Pepsi Center.

David Krejci broke a scoreless tie in the second period and the Bruins added three more goals in the third period of a 4-0 shutout win over the Edmonton Oilers. Chad Johnson made 21 saves to earn his first shutout as a Bruin and the second of his career, improving to 10-3-0 with a 2.14 goals-against average and .923 save percentage this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Johnson has won all five of his home starts for the Bruins this season while allowing two or fewer goals in each game. Johnson's lifetime NHL record in home starts is 7-0-1. The Bruins have won 12 straight games against the Oilers, their longest active winning streak against any opponent.

* Jarome Iginla had two assists and has nine points (2-7—9) in his past five games.

* Zdeno Chara recorded his first two assist game of the season. Chara has six points (4-2—6) in his past five games.

* Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to four games (2-3—5).

Nate Thompson provided all the offense his club needed with a shorthanded goal in the second period and the game winning goal with 24 seconds remaining in overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Thompson is the first player in Lightning franchise history to record a multiple-goal game while scoring every one of the team's goals in an overtime win. He's the second NHL player to pull off that feat this season; Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov did so in the Canadiens' 2-1 overtime victory against the Blackhawks on January 11. Thompson's shorthanded goal was his second of the campaign. He had just two shorthanded goals in 310 games prior to this season.

* Victor Hedman assisted on both Lightning goals for his fourth multi-point game in his past five outings. He has ten points in his past five games (1-9—10).

Mike Ribeiro scored the 200th goal of his career and added an assist to lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ribeiro has scored a team-high 11 of his 14 goals at home this season. Zbynek Michalek, who played two seasons for Pittsburgh before returning to Phoenix for the 2012-13 season, ended an 83-game regular-season goal drought scoring what turned out to be the game winning goal in the second period. Ironically, Michalek's last NHL goal came March 5, 2012 as a member of the Penguins against the Coyotes. Antoine Vermette picked up an assist to extend his point streak to a career-long seven games (7-3—10).

Mikael Backlund scored a shorthanded goal in the third period and then added the overtime winner to give the Calgary Flames a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. Backlund extended his point streak to a career-high four games (5-3—8), with all four contests being multi-point efforts. With his two goal night, Backlund established a new career-high in points with 27. The Flames won all five games during their homestand, the first time they have swept a five game homestand since February 7-15, 1997.  Captain Mark Giordano picked up a pair of assists to extend his point streak to nine games (4-6—10).

Los Angeles defenseman Robyn Regehr played in his 1,000th career NHL game…Evgeni Malkin recorded an assist to earn his 614th point, moving him into sole possession of fifth on the Penguins all-time list passing Ron Francis...Dallas captain Jamie Benn extended his point streak to six games (5-5—10)...Christian Thomas made his Montreal Canadiens debut vs. Tampa Bay, where his dad, Steve Thomas (a veteran of 1,235 NHL games) is an assistant coach... Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds scored his 100th career NHL goal...Flyers goaltender Steve Mason made 35 saves to earn his third shutout of the season and 22nd of his career...The Flyers recorded 13 shots on goal, a franchise record for fewest shots in a win...Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves to improve to 11-2-0 in his past 13 starts...Senators forward Chris Neil matched a career-high with two goals and three points...Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson had an assist to record his 100th career NHL assist…The Blues improved to 53-0-1 in their past 54 games in which they score three or more goals at home, 18-0-0 this season...Dan Ellis made 26 saves to earn his first shutout of the season and the 14th of his career...Oilers forward Nail Yakupov played in his 100th career NHL game...Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly had two assists, including the 100th of his career.

All Times Eastern
Detroit @ Washington, 12:30 p.m., NBC, NHL Network-CA
Winnipeg @ Montreal, 1:00 p.m., CBC, RDS

The Detroit Red Wings will go for a home-and-home sweep of the Washington Capitals in the final meeting of the season between the two teams. On Friday night in Detroit, Patrick Eaves scored in the seventh round of the shootout to give the Red Wings a 4-3 victory. Both Detroit (59 points) and Washington (57 points) are chasing Philadelphia (60 points) for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Winnipeg Jets travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens on Sunday afternoon. Since hiring new head coach Paul Maurice on January 12th, the Jets have gone 7-2-0 including winning three of four games on the road. Montreal is coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday, and currently holds the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 64 points.

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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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