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NHL Short Notes

THREE HARD LAPS 
  
Connor McDavid collected his fifth consecutive multi-point game, and fourth with at least three points over that span, to reach the 100-point mark in his 53rd contest of 2020-21.
 
* Only one playoff spot remains after the Predators defeated the Hurricanes to clinch the final berth in the Discover Central Division and set up a First Round series with Carolina.

* The Penguins (MassMutual East Division) and Maple Leafs (Scotia North Division) each locked up the No. 1 seed in their division. In the process, it was determined that the Capitals and Oilers would be the No. 2 seed in their respective divisions.



 
McDAVID CONTINUES HISTORIC SEASON, COLLECTS 100TH POINT IN 53RD GAME
In a contest broadcast nationally on Hockey Night in Canada, Connor McDavid (1-3—4) once again took the spotlight – collecting his seventh outing of four-plus points this season – as he became the ninth player in NHL history, and first in his lifetime, to reach the 100-point mark in 53 games or fewer (32-68 —100).

* He required the fewest games to reach the century mark since Mario Lemieux (38 GP) and Jaromir Jagr (52 GP) each did so 25 years ago with the Penguins (1995-96).



* McDavid became the third active player to post at least four career 100-point seasons, joining Sidney Crosby (6) and Alex Ovechkin (4) – each of whom have played 16 seasons to McDavid’s six. Additionally, only three players in Oilers history have recorded more: Wayne Gretzky (9), Jari Kurri (6) and Mark Messier (5).

* The 24-year-old Oilers captain, who also helped teammate Leon Draisaitl eclipse the 500-point mark on Saturday, joined elite company and became just the seventh skater in NHL history to register four 100-point campaigns before his 25th birthday.  


PREDATORS CLINCH FINAL PLAYOFF SPOT IN DISCOVER CENTRAL
Luke Kunin scored twice against the Hurricanes, including the game-winning goal, to help Nashville clinch the final playoff spot in the Discover Central Division. It marks the seventh consecutive season in which the Predators will compete in the postseason.
 

* Nashville's win over Carolina not only clinched its spot in the postseason, it locked in a First Round series with the Hurricanes. Before Game 1, the two will play in each team's regular-season finale on Monday – meaning the clubs could meet up to nine consecutive times should the opening round go seven games.


 
* The Predators (14) are tied for the second-most postseason appearances among all NHL clubs since 2004, when they reached the playoffs for the first time. Only the Penguins (15, including 2021) have more postseason appearances in that span, while the Sharks also have 14.

* Nine players who helped the Predators reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 2017 remain with the club: Ryan EllisViktor ArvidssonMattias EkholmFilip ForsbergCalle JarnkrokRoman JosiPekka RinneJuuse Saros and Colton Sissons.

PENGUINS, MAPLE LEAFS CLAIM TOP SEED IN RESPECTIVE DIVISIONS
The Penguins (37-16-3, 77 points) and Maple Leafs (35-13-6, 76 points) each earned wins on Saturday to claim the No. 1 seed in the MassMutual East and Scotia North Division, respectively:

 

* With the combination of their regulation win against the Sabres and an overtime win by the Capitals, the Penguins clinched the top seed in their division for the first time in seven years. Washington, meanwhile, secured the No. 2 seed.
 



* The Penguins concluded their final home game of 2020-21 with a 22-4-2 record at PPG Paints Arena and a .821 points percentage. In the last 30 years, only three teams have had a better home points percentage at the conclusion of a season: San Jose (.829 in 2008-09), Detroit (.902 in 1995-96) and Quebec (.875 in 1994-95).

* After holding the No. 1 seed in the Scotia North Division for 106 of 116 days in 2020-21, the Maple Leafs rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Canadiens and collect their 13th comeback win of the season – the most among their seven-team grouping.



PANTHERS PREY ON LIGHTING IN PLAYOFF PREVIEW
A night after their First Round series in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs was confirmed, the Panthers (36-14-5, 77 points) scored at least five goals against the Lightning for the fourth time this season and extended the NHL’s longest active win streak to five games.



* The 2020-21 campaign, a prelude to the first-ever playoff series between the Panthers and Lightning, marks just the second season Florida has scored five-plus goals against Tampa Bay four times (including shootout-deciding goals). The other: 2006-07 (4x).

Alex Wennberg scored three of Florida’s five goals to record his second hat trick of the season (also April 3 vs. CBJ) and the fifth by a Panthers player – behind only the Rangers (6) for the most by any team in 2020-21. Wennberg became just the third player to score multiple hat tricks in his first season with the franchise, joining Pavel Bure (2 in 1998-99) and Noel Acciari (2 in 2019-20).

GOLDEN KNIGHTS, AVALANCHE CONTINUE TO BATTLE FOR HONDA WEST CROWN
The Golden Knights (39-13-2, 80 points; 1st) and Avalanche (36-13-4, 76 points; 2nd) each skated to victories and continued their pursuit of the No. 1 seed in the Honda West Division. The Wild (35-14-5, 75 points), who also collected two points on Saturday, cannot finish higher than second.

Reilly Smith (3-0—3) scored his first career hat trick to propel the Golden Knights to their second win against the Blues in as many days. Vegas closed out its season series against St. Louis with a 6-1-1 record (STL: 2-4-2) and maintained a four-point lead ahead of Colorado for first in the Honda West Division with two games remaining (May 10 vs. COL and May 12 at SJS).



Cale Makar (1-1—2) scored his 20th career regular-season goal to help the Avalanche maintain second place in the Honda West Division standings – Colorado has three games remaining (May 10 at VGK, May 12 & 13 vs. LAK). Makar (20-73—93 in 98 GP) required the second fewest games among active defensemen to reach the benchmark, behind only Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere (20-35—55 in 79 GP).  

MILLER GETS EMOTIONAL SENDOFF IN FINAL NHL GAME
Ryan Miller (21 saves) made the final appearance of his career on Saturday. The winningest U.S.-born goaltender in NHL history received a standing ovation from the Xcel Energy Center crowd and shared an emotional embrace with his parents following the contest.



QUICK CLICKS  
 
NHL, NHLPA announce COVID-19 protocols changes for playoffs, offseason

David Pastrnak required the fewest games in Bruins history to reach 200-goal milestone
Tim Stutzle scores first NHL hat trick, Senators defeat Jets

Phil Kessel scores overtime winner in 900th consecutive game


TKACHUK BROTHERS MATCHUP HIGHLIGHTS MOTHER’S DAY

#NHLStats Mother’s Day edition will feature both of Chantal Tkachuk’s sons in action when Brady Tkachuk and the Senators square off with Matthew Tkachuk and the Flames for the ninth and final time this season.



* Matthew holds the edge in points through their 12 meetings (2-8—10), including a 1-6—7 mark in 2020-21 (8 GP), but Brady’s team has collected more head-to-head wins (7-5-0) – highlighted by a 6-2-0 mark this season.

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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