NHL: Around the League notebook for Tuesday, March 24
Home Team in Caps
Minnesota 2, NY ISLANDERS 1 (SO)
Los Angeles 4, NY RANGERS 2
St. Louis 3, PITTSBURGH 2 (OT)
COLUMBUS 5, Anaheim 3
Arizona 5, DETROIT 4 (OT)
TAMPA BAY 4, Florida 3
NASHVILLE 3, Montreal 2 (OT)
VANCOUVER 5, Winnipeg 2
LIGHTNING MATCH FRANCHISE RECORD, CLOSE GAP IN ATLANTIC
Ahead two goals before the eight-minute mark, the Lightning surrendered three goals in a span of 1:58 but scored twice in the third period, including Ryan Callahan‘s winning goal with 2:28 left, to pick up their fourth straight victory. 4-3 against the Florida Panthers.
* The Lightning (46-21-7, 99 points) are one of four teams in the NHL at 99 points. They sit one point behind the Atlantic Division rival Montreal Canadiens (46-20-8, 100 points), who lost in overtime but became the first team to reach the 100-point plateau and pulled into top spot in the entire League, where the top 12 teams are separated by 10 points.
* Tampa Bay’s 46 wins equal a single-season franchise record established in 2003-04 (46-22-14, 106 points) en route to its first and only Stanley Cup championship. The Lightning matched that win total last season (46-27-9, 101 points) and in 2010-11 (46-25-11, 103 points), their only other seasons with at least 100 points.
* The Lightning have won eight of their past nine games at Amalie Arena, including four straight wins, all in regulation against divisional opponents (MTL, DET, BOS, FLA). In fact, the Lightning have won 12 consecutive home games, all in regulation, against divisional opponents. The Elias Sports Bureau says they are the first team to accomplish that feat with only regulation wins since 1984-85, when the Philadelphia Flyers reeled off 13 consecutive home wins against Patrick Division opponents.
* Overall, the Lightning pace all clubs with 30 home wins and 61 home points this season; the Boston Bruins led the League in 2013-14 with 31 such victories.
* Callahan had an assist for his 15th multipoint game of the season and reached 50 points (22-29—51) for the second time in his career (2011-12: 29-25—54 w/ NYR).
* Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson scored their 27th and 26th goals, respectively, and trail only Steven Stamkos (40) for the Tampa Bay lead. Brenden Morrow scored his first goal since Dec. 4 vs. BUF.
WILD CONTINUE WINNING WAYS ON LONG ISLAND
Zach Parise scored at 11:45 of the third period to force overtime and had the lone goal in the shootout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 win against the New York Islanders, their third consecutive win and franchise-record 10th straight road victory.
* The Wild (42-25-7, 91 points) pulled three points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets (38-24-12, 88 points), who lost in regulation, for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference.
* Elias says Minnesota is the first team to win 10 straight road games in a season since the San Jose Sharks did so from Nov. 14 to Dec. 31, 2007 (10-0-0). The Wild extended franchise highs for road wins (22) and road points (46) in one season; only the New York Rangers (23) have more wins as visitors this season.
* Devan Dubnyk made 37 saves, four shy of his season-high, and denied all three shootout attempts to improve to 33-11-3 this season. He did so while making his 33rd consecutive start (MIN: 32, ARI: 1); Elias says that is the longest stretch by one goaltender in consecutive team games since Jan. 15 to April 4, 2011 (Antti Niemi w/ SJS, 34 GP).
* Dubnyk has been in net for each game during the Wild’s road winning streak. He is the second goaltender to post a 10-game road winning streak this season, after Carey Price (Dec. 23-Feb. 26, 10-0-0). Elias says the only other active goaltender with a single-season road winning streak that long is Jimmy Howard (10-0-0 w/ DET, 2010-11).
* The previous goaltender to win more than 10 consecutive team road games in a season was San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov (Nov. 21, 2009 – Feb. 11, 2010, 11-0-0).
* Overall, Dubnyk has posted a 24-6-1 record, 1.71 goals-against average, .938 save percentage and five shutouts in a Wild uniform. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 24 of his 32 appearances with Minnesota.
* Parise has 11 points (4-7—11) in his past 11 games and paces the Wild with 29-28—57 this season. His 42 points (18-24—42) against the Islanders (45 GP) are his most against any opponent.
KINGS WIN STANLEY CUP REMATCH ON BROADWAY
Mats Zuccarello scored just 51 seconds after the opening faceoff, but the Los Angeles Kings responded with four straight goals to defeat the Rangers 4-2 and win their first visit to Madison Square Garden since Game 4 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final (2-1 L).
* The Kings (36-23-14, 86 points) tied the idle Calgary Flames (40-27-6, 86 points) in terms of points for third place in the Pacific Division and moved within two points of the Jets (38-24-12, 88 points) for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
* Anze Kopitar (0-2—2) has points in four straight games and back-to-back multipoint games (1-2—3 Monday at NJD). He leads all Kings with 44 assists and 59 points this season. He played in his 674th career game, surpassing Mike Murphy for eighth in franchise history.
* Marian Gaborik, who played for the Rangers from 2009-10 to 2012-13, scored against his former club for the first time in the regular season. He had 2-1—3 vs. NYR in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
* Jeff Carter scored his fifth game-winner and 26th goal to pad his team lead in each category. Robyn Regehr snapped a 41-game goalless drought with his first goal since Nov. 18, while Jake Muzzin set a career-high with his eighth goal.
* Jonathan Quick made 34 saves, including 14 in the third period, to pick up his first regular-season win against the Rangers since Oct. 7, 2011 at STAPLES Center.
CANUCKS RALLY, CREATE SPACE IN PACIFIC
The Vancouver Canucks erased a two-goal deficit with five unanswered goals, highlighted by three-point performances from Radim Vrbata (2-1—3) and Henrik Sedin (1-2—3), to defeat the Jets 5-2, picking up their third straight victory and halting the Jets’ winning streak at five games.
* The Canucks (43-26-4, 90 points) moved four points ahead of the idle Flames (40-27-6, 86 points) and Kings (36-23-14, 86 points) for second place in the Pacific Division. They also pulled within nine points of the Anaheim Ducks (46-22-7, 99 points), who lost in regulation, for top spot in the division.
* Vrbata had his third multigoal game of the season and first three-point outing since March 11, 2014 at FLA (1-2—3 w/ PHX). He paces the Canucks with 29 goals and ranks third with 56 points this season (70 GP), six shy of tying career highs in each category established in 2011-12 with the Arizona Coyotes (35-27—62, 77 GP).
* Henrik Sedin had his second three-point game this season, following 2-1—3 on Jan. 3 vs. DET. Daniel Sedin had two assists to stretch his point streak to five games (2-6—8) and maintain his hold on first place in team scoring; he has 16-50—66, one point more than brother Henrik (17-48—65).
* Eddie Lack made 26 saves to improve to 7-2-1 in his past 10 decisions. He has won four of five games against the Jets, posting a 2.29 GAA and .921 save percentage.
* Chris Higgins (1-1—2) had multiple points for the Canucks, who improved to 12-3-2 in all-time meetings with the Jets/Thrashers franchise, including a 5-1-0 mark in six games since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg.
BLUES, PREDATORS KEEP PACE IN BATTLE FOR CENTRAL
The St. Louis Blues (46-21-7, 99 points) and Nashville Predators (45-21-8, 98 points) each rallied for overtime victories Tuesday to maintain their first- and second-place positions in the Central Division. St. Louis also leapfrogged the idle Ducks (46-22-7, 99 points) into the top spot in the Western Conference, where six teams are separated by only nine points.
* The Penguins took a two-goal lead in a span of 17 seconds during the second period, but the Blues tied the game before the end of the period and Alexander Steen scored 35 seconds into overtime to help St. Louis win 3-2 and snap a three-game skid.
* Steen scored his 39th career game-winning goal and second in overtime (also Feb. 13, 2013 at DET). It was his 62nd point of the season (24-38—62), tying his career high set in 2013-14 (33-29—62).
* Robert Bortuzzo (9 GP) and Marcel Goc (23 GP) each scored his first goal in a Blues uniform. They were acquired via trade from the Penguins earlier this season, Goc on Jan. 27 and Bortuzzo at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2. Zbynek Michalek (7GP), also acquired at the deadline, had his first assist/point with the Blues.
* Jake Allen made 24 saves to pick up his first career win against the Penguins. He improved to 19-6-4 in 33 appearances this season (2.45 GAA, .906 save percentage).
* The Blues have earned at least one point in six of their past seven games against the Penguins (5-1-1) dating to Oct. 23, 2010. They improved to 21-7-3 against Eastern Conference opponents this season; their final such game is Saturday vs. CBJ.
* Ryan Ellis tied the game at 2-2 in the third period and Filip Forsberg notched the game-winning goal at 1:54 of overtime to lift the Predators to a 3-2 win against the Canadiens, their second straight victory and first home win against the Canadiens since Nov. 14, 2009.
* Forsberg scored his sixth game-winning goal of the season to tie Anders Lee (NYI) for tops among rookies; he is the only rookie with multiple overtime goals in 2014-15 (also Nov. 27 vs. EDM). Overall, he ranks second among rookies with 56 points and third with 22 goals.
* Elias says Forsberg is the first rookie to score multiple overtime goals in a season and also the first rookie to score at least six game-winning goals in one season.
* Mike Ribeiro had the primary assist on the tying and winning goal. He leads the Predators and is tied for 11th in the NHL with 43 assists this season. He and Forsberg lead the club with 56 points apiece. Ellis set a career-high with his seventh goal of the season, while fellow defenseman Mattias Ekholm scored from his knees to open the scoring in the first period.
* The Predators won their eighth overtime game of the season (8-3), tied for second in the NHL (w/ Boston) behind Calgary (9). Elias says Nashville’s eight overtime wins are a single-season franchise record, surpassing the previous high of seven (2003-04). Overall, they have 14 combined wins past regulation this season (OT: 8, SO: 6), matching the franchise record set in 2009-10.
* The Predators finish the 2014-15 campaign with a 13-3-0 record at Bridgestone Arena against Eastern Conference clubs. They are 18-10-2 overall in inter-conference play this season.
AROUND THE RINKS
Highlights from the rest of action Tuesday:
* Scott Hartnell scored his eighth career NHL hat trick to help the Columbus Blue Jackets rally from a two-goal deficit and defeat the Ducks 5-3, picking up their fourth straight win, their longest run since Dec. 1-16 (7-0-0). Hartnell had his first hat trick since April 15, 2013 at MTL (w/ PHI) and the first by a Blue Jackets player since April 5, 2012 (Cam Atkinson, 3-0—3 at COL). Hartnell has 9-1—10 in his past eight games to move into second on the club with 25 goals; he also sits third with 53 points. The Blue Jackets have overcome a deficit in seven straight wins, establishing a franchise record. Ryan Johansen (1-1—2) and Atkinson (0-2—2) had multiple points; Johansen stretched his point streak to five games (2-4—6). Nick Foligno scored his team-leading 26th goal.
* Mark Arcobello tallied 2-1—3, including the decisive goal at 3:08 of overtime, to match a career high for points in a game and help the Coyotes defeat the Detroit Red Wings 5-4, snapping an eight-game skid (0-7-1) against the Red Wings. Arcobello also had three points on Oct. 12, 2013 at TOR (0-3—3 w/ EDM). He has 15-11—26 in 69 games this season between EDM, NSH, PIT and ARI, including 7-4—11 in 19 games with the Coyotes. David Moss (2-0—2), John Moore (1-1—2) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each had two points. Mike Smith made 33 saves to end a personal six-game slide.
The Canadiens (47-20-7, 100 points) earned one point in Nashville (3-2 OTL) to reach the 100-point plateau for the 18th time in franchise history. The club has hit the century mark in back-to-back seasons (2013-14: 46-28-8, 100 points) for the first time since 1987-88 and 1988-89 . . . The Red Wings (39-21-12, 90 points) erased four one-goal deficits before losing in overtime . . . Red Wings teammates Jakub Kindl (1-1—2), Justin Abdelkader (1-1—2) and Henrik Zetterberg (0-2—2) each had multipoint games. Zetterberg has 17-32—49 in 41 GP vs. ARI . . . Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 28 saves, including a sliding backwards skate save . . . Coyotes defenseman Klas Dahlbeck had his first NHL assist . . . Jets forward Drew Stafford had one assist to extend his point streak to seven games (4-5—9) . . . Islanders forward Kyle Okposo had his 300th NHL point . . . Predators forward Colin Wilson had his 100th NHL assist . . . Jets forward Lee Stempniak played in his 700th NHL game . . . Predators forward Kevin Fiala made his NHL debut . . . The Canucks re-signed defenseman Christopher Tanev to a five-year contract extension . . . ICYMI: The Islanders honored Pat LaFontaine prior to their game against the Wild.