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NHL Short Notes

THREE HARD LAPS


Auston Matthews reached 40 goals on the season, while Connor McDavid moved within four of the 100-point mark.

Jeff Carter scored four times as the Penguins followed up a 7-3 win on Tuesday with an eight-goal outburst to move back into first place in the MassMutual East Division.

* Friday’s slate is highlighted by Wild rookie Kirill Kaprizov looking to inch closer to the 30-goal mark, the 2020 Stanley Cup Finalists concluding their season series as well as the Honda West Division-leading Golden Knights and fourth-place Blues opening a back-to-back set in Las Vegas.
 


MATTHEWS REACHES 40-GOAL MARK AS MAPLE LEAFS PAD LEAD ATOP DIVISION
Auston Matthews (40-24—64 in 49 GP) scored to reach the 40-goal mark and Jack Campbell (19 saves) improved to 16-2-2 through 20 appearances in 2020-21 as the Scotia North Division-leading Maple Leafs (34-13-6, 74 points) extended their point streak to seven games (6-0-1).




* Matthews, who holds a nine-goal lead in the 2020-21 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race, extended his goal streak to five contests (6-0—6) and became the third player in franchise history to reach 40 in fewer than 50 games, following Frank Mahovlich (48 GP in 1960-61) and Rick Vaive (49 GP in 1983-84).


* Toronto moved eight points ahead of Edmonton (32-18-2, 66 points), which occupies second place in the Scotia North Division. The Maple Leafs can clinch first place in their division for the second time in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) – the first instance was in 1999-00 when Toronto reached the 100-point mark for the first time and concluded the campaign atop the Northeast Division (45-27-10, 100 points).

CARTER SCORES FOUR GOALS TO RECORD FIRST HAT TRICK WITH PENGUINS
Jeff Carter scored a career-high four goals as Pittsburgh (36-16-3, 75 points) tallied eight times on the heels of a 7-3 win Tuesday and reclaimed first place in the MassMutual East Division.

* Carter scored the ninth hat trick of his NHL career (7 regular season2 playoffs) – he also has four with Los Angeles as well as two with both Philadelphia and Columbus. He became the third active NHL player with at least one hat trick for four different franchises (also Phil Kessel & James Neal).



MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THURSDAY

Connor McDavid (31-65—96 in 52 GP) collected three assists to record his ninth multi-point game since April 17 (10 GP) and move within four points of his fourth career season with a triple-digit total. McDavid, who is averaging 1.85 points per game in 2020-21, reached the 100-point mark in 82 games in 2016-17, 77 in 2017-18 and 66 in 2018-19.


Alex DeBrincat scored at 2:02 of extra time as the Blackhawks defeated the League-leading Hurricanes (36-10-8, 80 points), who fell to 9-0-4 in their last 13 games and reached 80 points on the season by virtue of the overtime loss. Carolina matched its fewest games to reach the 80-point mark in a season (54 GP), a mark set in 2005-06 en route to winning its first and only Stanley Cup (38-12-4, 80 points).

Jeremy Swayman made 15 saves to record the second shutout of his NHL career (9 GP) and help the Bruins (32-14-7, 71 points), who rank third in the MassMutual East Division, move three points ahead of the fourth-place Islanders (31-17-6, 68 points). Swayman became the third Bruins rookie in the League’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to record a shutout against the Rangers, following Andre Gill (Dec. 23, 1967) and Tuukka Rask (Jan. 31, 2009).

Jack Rathbone scored the first goal of his NHL career as the Canucks tallied four times on their first four shots en route to a victory in the first half of a two-game set against the Oilers. Vancouver became the first team to score four goals on its first four shots against one goaltender since Pittsburgh did so versus Washington’s Don Beaupre on Nov. 24, 1989.

Joe Thornton (0-1—1) extended his point streak to seven games (2-5—7), the longest active run in the NHL. Thornton, who was signed by Toronto on Oct. 16, 2020, has 31-102—133 in the postseason (179 GP) – the most-recent player to suit up in a playoff game for the Maple Leafs with as many postseason points was Ron Francis in 2004, which marked the last year in which the franchise won a playoff series.



QUICK CLICKS
 
New York Rangers fined $250,000
Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich suspended one game for high-sticking
Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen fined for diving/embellishment
The Clorox Company and NHL announce multiyear North American partnership
Sabres captain Jack Eichel sends 450 bouquets of flowers to nurses in Buffalo

FOURTEEN TEAMS IN ACTION AHEAD OF 14-GAME SATURDAY
Six sets of teams are set to open the first half of back-to-back sets on Friday before concluding them during Saturday’s 14-game slate.

 



#NHLSTATS TO WATCH FOR DURING FRIDAY’S SEVEN GAMES

Rookie scoring leader Kirill Kaprizov (26-21—47), who has appeared in all 52 games contested by the Wild, enters Friday four goals shy of 30 on the season. He has averaged a goal per game since April 17 (10-2—12 in 10 GP).



* The Lightning and Stars, who met in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, conclude their eight-game season series tonight at AMALIE Arena. Tampa Bay (36-14-3, 75 points), which occupies second place in the Discover Central Division, is 6-1-0 against Dallas in 2020-21 (DAL: 1-5-1).



* The Honda West Division-leading Golden Knights (37-13-2, 76 points) and fourth-place Blues (24-19-8, 56 points), who reached the Final in 2018 and 2019, respectively, contest the first half of their back-to-back set at T-Mobile Arena. St. Louis is still looking to lock up a berth in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, while Vegas is closing in on clinching first place in its division for the third time in four seasons.

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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