* The Panthers stunned the top-ranked Bruins to earn a first-of-its-kind win during their final game before welcoming the League’s biggest stars to South Florida for the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.
* Nikita Kucherov found the score sheet once again at AMALIE Arena as the Lightning established a new franchise record for longest home winning streak.
* Matthew Berlin made one save (and a memory that will last a lifetime) in the Oilers’ high-scoring victory versus the Blackhawks.
“COMEBACK CATS” LIVE UP TO NICKNAME ONCE AGAIN Florida fell behind at 19:11 of the third period, but Aleksander Barkov (1-2—3) pulled the Panthers even in the final moments of regulation and Sam Reinhart recorded the winner just 17 seconds into overtime as the hosts clawed their way past the League-leading Bruins.
* The 20 seconds between Florida’s game-tying goal and overtime winner was the shortest such span by a team in NHL history – the second-shortest duration is 27 seconds, set by Oilers against the Panthers earlier this season on Nov. 28, 2022. Florida also became the second team in League history to fall behind in the final minute of regulation, tie the game and then score the overtime winner in the opening 60 seconds of extra time, joining the Hartford Whalers on Dec. 7, 1990.
* With an assist on Reinhart’s overtime winner, Barkov (234-366—600 in 638 GP) became the ninth Finnish-born player in NHL history to reach the 600-point milestone. That list also includes former Florida captain Olli Jokinen (321-429—750 in 1,231 GP), who had 419 of his 750 career points with the Panthers.
LIGHTNING, KUCHEROV EXTEND HOME STREAKS, INCH CLOSER TO MAPLE LEAFS Nikita Kucherov, who is set to skate alongside Aleksander Barkov at the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, had an assist to help the Lightning (32-15-1, 65 points) extend their home winning streak to a franchise-record 12 games. Tampa Bay, which was led in scoring Saturday by rookie defenseman Nick Perbix (0-3—3), moved within three points of idle Toronto (30-12-8, 68 points) which occupies second place in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning hold two games in hand on their 2022 First Round opponent.
CLUBS CLIMB WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS IN FINAL GAMES BEFORE BREAK The Kraken (29-15-5, 63 points), Oilers (28-18-4, 60 points), Wild (27-17-4, 58 points) and Avalanche (27-18-3, 57 points) earned wins in their final contests before the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend to climb the Western Conference standings:
* Alex Wennberg scored the game-winning goal against his former club as Seattle surpassed Los Angeles (28-18-6, 62 points) to reclaim first place in the Pacific Division. The top three teams are separated by just one point, with the Golden Knights (29-18-4, 62 points) grabbing second place by virtue of their overtime loss Saturday.
* Zach Hyman (26-34—60 in 49 GP) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (22-38—60 in 50 GP) joined teammates Connor McDavid (41-51—92 in 50 GP) and Leon Draisaitl (29-47—76 in 48 GP) in the 60-point club as Edmonton strengthened its grip on the Western Conference’s first Wild Card spot. The Oilers scored seven goals in a game for a League-leading fifth time this season.
* Alex Newhook opened the scoring on the day he turned 22 years old to mark the second consecutive year he has potted a goal on his birthday and helped Colorado move ahead of Calgary (24-17-9, 57 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Newhook became the first player in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history to score a goal on his birthday in consecutive years.
* Logan Couture (2-3—5) collected a career-high five points – which were one shy of the franchise record set by Owen Nolan (3-3—6 on Oct. 4, 1999) – as the Sharks prevailed against the Penguins in a back-and-forth game at PPG Paints Arena. Skating across from Couture was Sidney Crosby (541-928—1,469 in 1,157 GP), who corralled 1-1—2 to surpass Stan Mikita (541-926—1,467 in 1,396 GP) for sole possession of 15th place on the NHL’s all-time points list.
* Matthew Berlin, who signed an amateur tryout contract with the Oilers on Saturday, was inserted into the game late in the third period and was credited with one save to help Edmonton earn the victory. Berlin won a WHL championship with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2017 and has spent each of the past four seasons with the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
TOP TWO TEAMS IN EAST FACE OFF ON SUNDAY Sunday’s two-game slate includes a showdown between the top two teams in the NHL when the League-leading Bruins (38-6-5, 81 points) visit the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes (31-9-8, 70 points). Carolina will look to put together a five-game win streak for the second time this season (also 11-0-0 from Dec. 10, 2022–Jan. 1, 2023), while the Bruins are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss on Saturday.
Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.
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