Kukla's Korner

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NHL Short Notes

THREE HARD LAPS

* It's been a long road to the top, but Sharks forward Patrick Marleau finally matched “Mr. Hockey” on the NHL’s all-time games played list.

* The Coyotes overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Blues after Oliver Ekman-Larsson guaranteed a win for Leighton Accardo, who the club honored in a pre-game ceremony.

* Sunday’s six-game slate opens with the Bruins facing the MassMutual East Division-leading Capitals on NBC.


 

MARLEAU MATCHES “MR. HOCKEY” AT TOP OF ALL-TIME GAMES PLAYED LIST
On a milestone night in Minnesota 23-plus years in the making, Sharks forward Patrick Marleau skated in the 1,767th regular-season game of his NHL career and tied Gordie Howe for the most in League history. He is set to surpass “Mr. Hockey” for sole possession of first place when San Jose visits Vegas tomorrow.




* The Wild, whose fans saluted Marleau during a first-period stoppage, scored three goals in a span of 1:12 en route to victory. After the game, Minnesota players – including 23-year-old Kirill Kaprizov (1-0—1), who matched the single-season franchise record for points by a rookie – congratulated the 41-year-old veteran on his historic achievement.




COYOTES RALLY FROM 2-0 DEFICIT AFTER HONORING LEIGHTON ACCARDO

After inducting Leighton Accardo into the team's Ring of Honor during a pre-game ceremony at Gila River Arena, the Coyotes scored three unanswered goals to rally from a 2-0 deficit and defeat the Blues.

* Arizona (20-20-5, 45 points) leapfrogged St. Louis (19-18-6, 44 points) for fourth place in the Honda West Division and earned its fifth multi-goal comeback win this season, tied for the most in the NHL (w/ FLA & WPG).
 



OILERS BLANK JETS AS McDAVID ECLIPSES 70-POINT MARK
Connor McDavid had two assists and Mike Smith turned aside all 26 shots he faced as the Oilers (26-15-2, 54 points), who occupy third in the Scotia North Division, blanked the second-place Jets (27-15-3, 57 points). McDavid (23-48—71 in 43 GP) became the first player to reach the 70-point mark this season and maintained his eight-point lead on teammate Leon Draisaitl (22-41—63 in 43 GP) – who also had a pair of helpers on Saturday – in the 2020-21 Art Ross Trophy race.



DISCOVER CENTRAL DIVISION TEAMS PICK UP PIVOTAL VICTORIES
Four teams battling for playoff spots in the Discover Central Division picked up pivotal wins on Saturday:

* The Hurricanes (29-10-4, 62 points) scored three goals on a season-high 48 shots to improve to 6-0-0 against the Predators in 2020-21 and maintain their one-point edge over the Panthers (28-12-5, 61 points) at the top of the division standings. Dougie Hamilton (0-1—1) has at least one point in all six games versus Nashville this season (1-6—7).

* Recent acquisitions Sam Bennett (0-2—2), Brandon Montour (1-0—1) and Nikita Gusev (0-1—1) combined for 1-3—4 as Florida handed Andrei Vasilevskiy his first home loss of the season and leapfrogged Tampa Bay (29-13-2, 60 points) for second place in the division.


Malcolm Subban turned aside all 29 shots he faced as the Blackhawks (21-19-5, 47 points), who moved within two points of the fourth-place Predators (24-21-1, 49 points), rebounded from a 4-1 loss to the Red Wings on Thursday with a 4-0 win. Subban became the second Chicago goaltender to record a shutout in Detroit this season, following Kevin Lankinen on Feb. 17.
 
Roope Hintz (0-2—2), one of seven Stars players with multiple points on Saturday, found the score sheet for a fifth consecutive game (2-9—11) as Dallas (17-14-12, 46 points) remained a point back of Chicago.
 


BUCHNEVICH ACHIEVES FRANCHISE FIRST WITH BIRTHDAY HAT TRICK
Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich, who turned 26 on Saturday, tallied three times against the Devils and became the first player in franchise history to score a hat trick on his birthday. Buchnevich, who now leads the team with 19 goals this season, helped New York (22-16-6, 50 points) extend its winning streak to three games and move within four points of idle Boston (24-12-6, 54 points) in the MassMutual East Division standings.

Igor Shesterkin (30 saves) had blanked New Jersey in each of his last two appearances but saw his shutout sequence come to an end when Michael McLeod scored at 12:37 of the second period. His run of 152:37 was the longest by a Rangers rookie since 1929-30 when forward passing was permitted inside all three zones.



OTHER MASSMUTUAL EAST DIVISION CLUBS EARN WINS
The MassMutual East Division-leading Capitals (29-12-4, 62 points) also earned a win on Saturday afternoon by a 6-3 margin, while the Penguins (28-13-3, 59 points) edged the Sabres to leapfrog the idle Islanders (27-13-4, 58 points) for second place:

Alex Ovechkin (2-1—3) scored the 729th and 730th goals of his NHL career, moving him within one of tying Marcel Dionne (731) for fifth place on the League’s all-time list. Ovechkin’s first on Saturday was his 268th career power-play goal, six back of Dave Andreychuk (274) for the most in NHL history.


John Carlson (0-4—4), one of two NHL players with four points on Saturday (also Artemi Panarin), established a single-game career high for assists. He had the primary assist on both Ovechkin goals.



Sidney Crosby collected the primary assist on the game-winning goal by Bryan Rust to reach the 50-point mark and help Pittsburgh improve to 17-5-2 (36 points) since March 1. The Penguins’ 17 wins over that span trail only the Avalanche (19) and Golden Knights (18) for the most in the NHL.
 
* Tristan Jarry made 28 saves to improve to 11-2-2 in 16 appearances since the beginning of March (2.38 GAA, .923 SV%), including a 6-0-2 record in his last eight decisions.



QUICK CLICKS
 
Mark Howe congratulates Patrick Marleau on tying his father’s NHL record
Patrick Marleau: The Road to 1,768 Games
Matt Murray gets Senators' first shutout in two years to top Canadiens
Sabres, Penguins join forces for Pride game

SUNDAY’S SLATE BOOKENDED BY NATIONALLY-BROADCASTED GAMES
Sunday’s six-game slate opens with the Bruins welcoming the MassMutual East Division-leading Capitals to TD Garden on NBC and concludes with the Scotia North Division-leading Maple Leafs visiting the Canucks on Sportsnet as the hosts are scheduled to make their return.
 

 

Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.

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