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NHL Short Notes


Auston Matthews found the back of the net on Saturday and stands as the only U.S.-born player in NHL history to begin his career with five straight 30-goal seasons.

* The Blues tied the game late in regulation and captain Ryan O’Reilly scored late in overtime to propel St. Louis into a playoff spot.

* The Stars and Blackhawks had rookies play pivotal roles in their wins as they gained crucial points on the Predators in the Discover Central standings.

Auston Matthews (3-1—4) and Mitchell Marner (1-3—4) each surpassed the 50-point mark this season as the Maple Leafs outlasted the Senators and extended the NHL’s longest active point streak to 10 games (9-0-1). Toronto (28-10-3, 59 points) moved past Carolina (27-9-4, 58 points) and idle Colorado (27-9-4, 58 points) for first place in the League standings.

* Matthews, a native of San Ramon, Calif., scored a career-high 47 goals in 2019-20 and is averaging an NHL-best 0.72 goals per game over the last two seasons (min. 50 GP). In the process, the Maple Leafs forward became the first U.S.-born player in NHL history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first five career seasons.

* Matthews (31-21—52 in 38 GP), who scored his third career hat trick, became the first player to reach the 30-goal mark this season. Only three other active players hit the benchmark in as many games or fewer in a single campaign: Alex Ovechkin (34 GP in 2013-14), Sidney Crosby (37 GP in 2010-11) and Steven Stamkos (38 GP in 2010-11).

* Meanwhile, fellow U.S.-born teammate Jack Campbell improved to 11-0-0 through his first 11 appearances in 2020-21 (1.88 GAA, .934 SV%, 2 SO) and established an NHL record for longest win streak to start a season.

Mike Hoffman tied the game twice, including an equalizer with 42 seconds remaining in regulation, and set the stage for Ryan O’Reilly in overtime. The Blues (19-16-6, 44 points) swept their two-game set with the third-seeded Wild (24-13-3, 51 points) and leapfrogged the idle Coyotes (19-17-5, 43 points) into fourth place in the Honda West Division.

* After powering St. Louis with a four-point outing on Friday, O’Reilly’s game winner marked the latest overtime goal in Blues history – one second later than Vince Dunn’s mark in 2018-19 (4:57 on March 30, 2019). The Blues captain also became the third player to score within the final five seconds of overtime this season, joining Minnesota’s Matt Dumba (4:59 on Feb. 27) and Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn (4:59 on March 4). 

The Blackhawks (19-18-5, 43 points) and Stars (15-14-10, 40 points) each earned pivotal wins on Saturday to move within two and five points, respectively, of the Predators (22-19-1, 45 points) who hold the final playoff spot in the Discover Central Division.

Wyatt Kalynuk’s first career NHL goal came on the night the Blackhawks overcame a multi-goal deficit to win for the second time in 2020-21 (also: March 5 vs. TBL). Chicago currently sits atop the League in goals by rookies this season (Pius Suter: 11, Philipp Kurashev: 7, Brandon Hagel: 5, Nicolas Beaudin: 2, Ian Mitchell: 2 and Kalynuk: 1).

Jason Robertson (11-16—27) recorded his first career two-goal game and tied Chicago’s Pius Suter and Ottawa’s Josh Norris for the second-most goals among rookies this season. He also registered his sixth multi-point game of 2020-21, which trails only Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov (8) for the most among rookies.

The Lightning (28-11-2, 58 points), Jets (25-13-3, 53 points) and Flames (17-21-3, 37 points) received shutout performances from Andrei Vasilevskiy (36 saves), Connor Hellebuyck (19 saves) and Jacob Markstrom (17 saves), respectively, to collect wins on Saturday.

* While Vasilevskiy posted his fourth shutout of the season, rookie Ross Colton scored the game-winning goal and collected his 10th point of the season (7-3—10 in 15 GP). Tampa Bay’s fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (No. 118) owns a three-game goal streak and trails only Anthony Cirelli (4 GP in 2018-19) and Cedric Paquette (4 GP in 2014-15) for the longest such run by a Lightning rookie.

Nikolaj Ehlers (1-1—2) was one of five different Winnipeg goal scorers and became the eighth player to score 10 road goals this season. The Jets, 2-0-0 on their current five-game road trip, improved to 14-7-1 as visitors this season and moved into a tie with the Maple Leafs (14-4-1) for the most road wins among all clubs in 2020-21.

Mark Giordano (1-1—2) earned his 90th career multi-point game as Markstrom recorded three shutouts in a single season for the first time in his career. Only two netminders in franchise history have recorded more in their first season with the Flames: Roman Turek (5 in 2001-02) and Miikka Kiprusoff (4 in 2003-04).


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The top two teams in the Honda West Division will take to the ice on Sunday. Nathan MacKinnon will put his eight-game point streak on the line when the first-place Avalanche (27-9-4, 58 points) face off with the Ducks, while the second-place Golden Knights (26-11-2, 54 points) – with at least six goals in each of their last two wins – host the Coyotes.

Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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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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