For the latest NHL news, check out The DSH's Daily Power Play Recap below:
DUCKS LEAPFROG KINGS, FIRST IN PACIFIC
Nate Thompson and Ryan Kesler (2-0—2) each scored shorthanded goals to lead the Ducks to their fourth win in their last five contests (4-1-0).
At 44-24-10 (98 points), the Ducks leapfrogged the idle Kings (46-27-5, 97 points) for first place in the Pacific Division.
John Gibson made 24 saves to reach 20 wins in a season for the first time in his NHL career (20-12-3), tied for most among rookie goaltenders (Mike Condon: 20-24-6 w/ MTL).
Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano became the second player in NHL history to start his career with 700 consecutive games played (Doug Jarvis: 964).
IDLE PANTHERS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
The idle Panthers (44-25-9, 97 points) – who currently own first place in the Atlantic Division – clinched a berth in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs by virtue of a Blackhawks victory, their fifth postseason appearance in franchise history and first since 2011-12.
KANE REACHES 100 POINTS IN BLACKHAWKS WIN
The Blackhawks opened the scoring with six consecutive goals – including three by Patrick Kane (3-1—4) – and held off a four-goal Bruins rally to pick up their fourth win in their last five contests (4-1-0).
Kane registered his second career regular-season hat trick (also Jan. 15 at TOR: 3-1—4) and added an assist to reach the 100-point mark for the first time in his NHL career (43-57—100).
Per Elias, Kane – who leads the Art Ross Trophy race by 12 points – became the first Blackhawks player to reach the 100-point mark in a season since Jeremy Roenick in 1993-94 (46-61—107) and the first U.S.-born NHL player to hit the mark since Doug Weight in 1995-96 (25-79—104 w/ EDM).
Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin (1-3—4) registered his second consecutive four-point game (also April 1 at WPG: 2-2—4). Per Elias, Panarin became the first rookie in Blackhawks history to record consecutive four-point performances and the first rookie on any team to do so since Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) in 2007-08 (Jan. 19 vs. FLA: 0-4—4 and Jan. 21 at PIT: 0-4—4).
BLUES KEEP PACE IN CENTRAL DIVISION
David Backes, Troy Brouwer and Alex Pietrangelo each collected 1-1—2 to help the Blues pick up their sixth win in their past seven contests (6-1-0).
At 47-23-9 (103 points), the Blues climbed within two points of the Stars (48-23-9, 105 points) for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference and remain four points ahead of the Blackhawks (46-26-7, 99 points) – who also won on Sunday – for second place in the division.
Vladimir Tarasenko recorded 0-2—2 to extend his point streak to five games (2-4—6). Paul Stastny, who registered an assist, also extended his point streak to five games (1-7—8).
PENGUINS WIN SIXTH STRAIGHT TO REACH CENTURY MARK
Matthew Murray made 28 saves and Eric Fehr (2-0—2) scored twice to help the Penguins improve to 12-1-0 in their last 13 contests, including an active six-game winning streak.
At 46-25-8 (100 points), the Penguins – who sit second in the Metropolitan Division – reached 100 points for the 10th time in franchise history and seventh time in the last 10 campaigns.
Murray earned his fifth consecutive victory and improved to 7-2-1 overall (1.88 GAA, .933 SV%, 1 SO).
Sidney Crosby (1-0—1) extended his point streak to six games (2-4—6) and ranks third in the NHL with 33-49—82 this season, including at least one point in 18 of his last 19 outings (8-18—26). Teammate Kris Letang (0-2—2) also extended his point streak to six games (2-7—9).
PANARIN, BURNS, AND MURRAY NAMED NHL "THREE STARS" OF WEEK
Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin, San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Apr.3.
FIRST STAR – ARTEMI PANARIN, LW, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Panarin led the League with 3-5—8 in three outings as the Blackhawks (46-26-7, 99 points) won two of three starts for the week to clinch a berth in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. After being held off the scoresheet in a 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild Mar. 29, Panarin registered consecutive four-point performances to close out the week: 2-2—4 in a 5-4 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets Apr 1 and 1-3—4, including the game-winning goal, in a 6-4 win over the Boston Bruins Apr. 3.
Per Elias, Panarin became the first rookie in Blackhawks history to record consecutive four-point games and the first rookie on any team to do so since Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom in 2007-08. Panarin leads all NHL rookies in goals (28), assists (44), points (72) and game-winning goals (seven).
SECOND STAR – BRENT BURNS, D, SAN JOSE SHARKS
Burns finished second among all scorers and first among defensemen with 1-6—7 in four games as the Sharks (44-29-6, 94 points) gained six of a possible eight standings points. Burns began the week by notching one goal and one assist in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings Mar. 28. On Mar. 29, he recorded two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks and added two assists in a 4-2 loss to the Canucks on Mar. 31.
Burns finished the week with one assist in a 3-2 shootout win over the Nashville Predators Apr. 2. Burns leads all defensemen with 27 goals this season and ranks second among blueliners with 74 points.
THIRD STAR – MATT MURRAY, G, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Murray went 3-0-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and one shutout as the Penguins (46-25-8, 100 points) recorded four victories for the week to extend their overall winning streak to six games and move into second place in the Metropolitan Division. Murray began the week by stopping 26 shots in a 5-4 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres Mar. 29. On Apr. 2, he stopped all 24 shots he faced to record his first career shutout, a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders. He finished the week with a 28 save effort in a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Apr. 3.
The 21 year-old native of Thunder Bay, Ont., has appeared in 10 games for the Penguins posting a 7-2-1 record (1.88 GAA, .933 SV%, 1 SO), including five consecutive wins.
TODAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS
- The Rangers will clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Blue Jackets in any fashion.
- The Lightning will clinch a playoff berth if they get at least one point against the Islanders.
MONDAY’S ACTION (All Times Eastern)
Tampa Bay @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, TVAS, FS-F, MSG+
NY Rangers @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., MSG, FS-O
Florida @ Toronto, 7:30 p.m., FS-F, TSN4
Arizona @ St. Louis, 8:00 p.m., FS-A PLUS, FS-MW
Los Angeles @ Vancouver, 10:00 p.m., FS-W, SNP
SUNDAY’S RESULTS (Home Team in Caps)
CHICAGO 6, Boston 4
PITTSBURGH 6, Philadelphia 2
St. Louis 5, COLORADO 1
WINNIPEG 5, Minnesota 1
ANAHEIM 3, Dallas 1
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services