Kukla's Korner

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NHL Short Notes

THREE HARD LAPS

* The Golden Knights defeated the Sharks and became the NHL’s first team to clinch a berth into the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The Blackhawks kept their playoff hopes alive after scoring three third-period goals in a span of 2:51 to erase a 4-1 deficit and defeat the Predators.

Alex Ovechkin has scored some monumental goals against the Islanders as of late. Will the trend continue tonight at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum?


GOLDEN KNIGHTS WIN AND CLINCH SPOT IN THE 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
On the night Jonathan Marchessault (2-2—4) matched a career high with four points, Mark Stone extended his point streak to six games and Max Pacioretty collected his 600th career point, the Golden Knights (33-11-2, 68 points) defeated the Sharks and are headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth time in as many NHL seasons.



* The Golden Knights became the fourth franchise in NHL history to make the playoffs in each of its first four seasons, following the Oilers (13; 1980–1992), Rangers (9; 1927–1935) and Blues (6; 1968–1973). Each club did so under different rules and circumstances, with only Vegas and Edmonton achieving the feat after the 1967-68 expansion season.

* Vegas will enter the playoffs with a designated captain for the first time, with Stone donning the “C” after collecting 13-16—29 through 27 postseason games with the club. Stone ranks among the top 10 in the NHL for playoff points since 2019 when he joined the Golden Knights.

BLACKHAWKS ERASE THREE-GOAL, THIRD-PERIOD DEFICIT TO BEAT PREDATORS
Brandon Hagel (1-2—3) factored on three goals and scored the overtime winner as the Blackhawks erased a three-goal deficit in the final 10 minutes of regulation to win for just the second time in franchise history (also Feb. 1, 1987 vs. EDM). Chicago (22-20-5, 49 points) earned a crucial victory against Nashville (25-21-2, 52 points) and moved within three points of them for fourth place in the Discover Central Division. 



* Chicago, which scored three goals in a span of 2:51 in the final frame, erased a deficit of three or more goals in the third period to win for the ninth time in franchise history and first since Nov. 19, 2016 (at VAN). Four other teams have also accomplished the feat in 2020-21: Florida (March 11), Philadelphia (March 29), Ottawa (Feb. 15) and Arizona (Feb. 24).

* Hagel joined Brent Seabrook (2 in 2005-06) as just the second rookie in franchise history to score multiple overtime goals and sits two shy of the most by any rookie in NHL history.



WILD AND CANADIENS KEEP PACE IN HONDA WEST AND SCOTIA NORTH
The Wild (29-13-3, 61 points) and Canadiens (20-15-9, 49 points) boosted their playoff hopes after they each earned wins on Wednesday.

* After trailing 1-0 in the first period, the Wild scored four straight goals – including one from rookie Kirill Kaprizov – to record their third win streak of five or more games this season (5 GP from March 8-16 and 6 GP Feb. 18-27). They have had only two other campaigns in which they posted at least three win streaks of five or more games: 2014-15 (3x) and 2011-12 (3x).

* Kaprizov leads all rookies in goals and points and scored his 19th goal of the season to eclipse Marian Gaborik (18 in 2000-01) for the most by a rookie in franchise history.

Josh Anderson scored two of his team’s four goals, including his fifth game winner of the season, as the Canadiens split their two-game set against the Oilers. Only five players have scored more game-winning goals than Anderson in their first campaign with the franchise: Vincent Damphousse (8 in 1992-93), Yanic Perreault (7 in 2001-02), Kirk Muller (7 in 1991-92), Erik Cole (6 in 2011-12) and Mats Naslund (6 in 1982-83).

QUICK CLICKS

NHL extends West Division schedule to May 13
NBC Sports' Anson Carter chats with past Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award Winners
Alex Ovechkin may challenge NHL goals record, Marcel Dionne says
Matt DumbaDarnell Nurse see Derek Chauvin guilty verdict as step in combating racism
Anson CarterJ.T. Brown join push for policing overhaul bill named for George Floyd

PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION
Alex Ovechkin
 and Anthony Mantha look to continue their goal-scoring ways when the Capitals (29-13-4, 62 points) battle the Islanders (29-13-4, 62 points) at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Washington holds first place in the MassMutual East Division due to regulation wins (WSH: 24, NYI: 21).



* Ovechkin (730), who sits one goal shy of tying Marcel Dionne (731) for fifth place on the NHL’s all-time list, has made a habit of scoring monumental tallies against the Islanders as of late. On March 16, he passed Phil Esposito for sixth place; he passed Mario Lemieux for 10th place and tied Steve Yzerman for ninth on Jan. 18, 2020.



* Mantha, who’s in the midst of a career-long five-game goal streak, enters tonight’s contest with goals in each of his first four games with Washington since being acquired by the team at the NHL’s Trade Deadline on April 12 (4-1—5 in 4 GP). Should he find the back of the net against the Islanders, Mantha can become the seventh player in NHL history to score in each of his first five games with a franchise.



MacKINNON, AVALANCHE RETURN TO ACTION
Nathan MacKinnon 
takes an 11-game point streak (7-11—18) into tonight’s contest as the Avalanche (30-9-4, 64 points) return to action against the Blues (19-18-6, 44 points). Fifth-place St. Louis sits one point back of idle Arizona (20-22-5, 45 points) for the final playoff spot in the Honda West Division.

* MacKinnon, who owns the NHL’s longest active point streak, has had three point streaks of 12-plus games in his regular-season career (14 GP in 2017-18, 13 GP in 2019-20 & 13 GP in 2013-14). Only two players in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history have registered four such runs of at least 12 contests: Peter Stastny (8x) and Joe Sakic (5x).



CROSBY EYES 13TH CAREER 20-GOAL SEASON
Sidney Crosby
 has notched 4-9—13 since April 1, including 1-1—2 and the game-winning goal in Pittsburgh’s wild win over New Jersey on Tuesday. The Penguins captain has earned a team-leading 52 points in 2020-21 (18-34—52 in 45 GP) and sits two goals shy of becoming the first player in franchise history to record 13 seasons of 20-plus goals. He currently sits tied with Mario Lemieux and Evgeni Malkin with 12 such campaigns.

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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