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NHL Recap March 19 2019 – Caps Back in First in the Met

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NHL Recap March 19 2019

TUESDAY’S RESULTS – Home Team in Caps

  • Boston 5, NY ISLANDERS 0
  • Detroit 3, NY RANGERS 2
  • Montreal 3, PHILADELPHIA 1
  • CAROLINA 3, Pittsburgh 2 (SO)
  • Washington 4, NEW JERSEY 1
  • ST. LOUIS 7, Edmonton 2
  • NASHVILLE 3, Toronto 0
  • Colorado 3, MINNESOTA 1
  • DALLAS 4, Florida 2
  • CALGARY 4, Columbus 2

CAPITALS RECLAIM FIRST PLACE IN METROPOLITAN DIVISION STANDINGS

Brett Connolly (1-1—2) scored his 20th goal of the season to help Washington improve to 9-2-0 in its last 11 games dating to Feb. 24. The Capitals moved to 43-23-7 (93 points) overall this season and passed the Islanders (42-24-7, 91 points) to reclaim first place in the Metropolitan Division standings.

* Connolly, who established single-season career highs for goals, assists and points in 2018-19 (20-22—42 in 73 GP), became the fifth Capitals player to reach the 20-goal mark this season, joining Alex Ovechkin (48-34—82 in 72 GP), Tom Wilson (21-16—37 in 54 GP), Jakub Vrana (21-23—44 in 73 GP) and T.J. Oshie (21-24—45 in 62 GP). Wilson and Vrana also reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in 2018-19.

* Nicklas Backstrom collected a helper to reach the 50-assist mark for the sixth consecutive season and ninth time in his NHL career (18-50—68 in 72 GP).

IDLE SHARKS CLINCH BERTH IN 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

The idle Sharks (43-22-8, 94 points) became the second Western Conference team to clinch a berth in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs by virtue of the Avalanche’s 3-1 win over the Wild. San Jose will make its fourth consecutive postseason appearance and 21st in franchise history.

OTHER TEAMS STRENGTHEN GRIP ON PLAYOFF POSITIONS

The Bruins (44-20-9, 97 points), Predators (42-27-5, 89 points), Hurricanes (40-25-7, 87 points), Blues (38-27-8, 84 points) and Stars (38-29-6, 82 points) each secured wins on Tuesday to strengthen their grip on playoff positions:

* Tuukka Rask turned aside all 13 shots he faced to help the Bruins improve to 8-0-0 in their last eight road games against the Islanders dating to Jan. 27, 2014 (NYI: 0-8-0), outscoring them 35-13 in those contests. Boston, which occupies second place in the Atlantic Division standings, opened a six-point lead over Toronto in its pursuit of home-ice advantage in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* Pekka Rinne made 22 saves to help the Predators, who occupy second place in the Central Division standings, earn a 3-0 win and sweep their season series with the Maple Leafs (also 4-0 W on Jan. 7). They became the second team in NHL history to sweep a season series with the Maple Leafs franchise with shutout wins in each contest (min. 2 GP), joining the Flyers in 1992-93 (4-0 W on April 4, 4-0 W on April 10).

* Justin Williams tied the game with 1:56 remaining in regulation and Dougie Hamilton (0-1—1) scored the decisive goal in the shootout as the Hurricanes reached the 40-win mark for the eighth time in franchise history and first since 2010-11 (40-31-11, 91 points). Carolina (72 GP), which occupies the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference standings, required the second-fewest games to reach 40 wins in a season behind only their Stanley Cup-winning campaign of 2005-06 (58 GP).

* Jaden Schwartz (3-1—4) scored the fourth hat trick of his NHL career and David Perron (2-1—3) extended his streak of consecutive appearances with a point to 16 (9-12—21) as the Blues improved to 8-2-0 in their last 10 home games. St. Louis occupies third place in the Central Division standings.

* Tyler Seguin collected four assists and Ben Bishop made 20 saves as the Stars, who occupy the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference standings, improved to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games dating to Feb. 28. Bishop had his franchise-record shutout streak end at 233:04 when he allowed a goal at 2:11 of the first period.

CANADIENS, AVALANCHE INCH CLOSER TO WILD CARD SPOTS

The Canadiens (38-28-7, 83 points) and Avalanche (32-29-12, 76 points) each earned victories to inch closer to the final Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference standings, respectively. Montreal moved within one point of Columbus (40-29-4, 84 points), while Colorado moved within two points of Arizona (36-31-6, 78 points).

* Max Domi (1-1—2), who was acquired by the Canadiens on June 15, 2018, scored his 25th goal of the season (25-39—64 in 73 GP) and became the first Montreal player to score 25 or more goals in his first season with the franchise since Erik Cole in 2011-12 (35-26—61 in 82 GP).

* Tyson Barrie scored the 71st regular-season goal of his NHL career (all w/ COL) to move within one of tying Sandis Ozolinsh (72) for the most by a defenseman in Avalanche/Nordiques franchise history.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

 Toronto@ Buffalo 7:00 PM ET
 Tampa [email protected] Washington 7:30 PM ET
 [email protected] Vancouver 10:00 PM ET
 [email protected] Anaheim 10:00 PM ET

EAST POWERHOUSES FACE OFF IN WASHINGTON

The reigning Stanley Cup champion Capitals (43-23-7, 93 points) face the Presidents’ Trophy winning Lightning (56-13-4, 116) at Capital One Arena in Washington. The two teams last met on Saturday, when Tampa Bay opened the three-game season series with a 6-3 win. The two teams will play their head-to-head season finale on March 30.

* At least one of Washington and Tampa Bay have finished atop their respective division in every season since 2015-16 (WSH: 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18; TBL: 2017-18 and 2018-19). In that same span, the Lightning and Capitals rank either first or second in the entire League in regular-season wins (WSH: 203; TBL: 198), ROW (WSH: 190; TBL: 179) and points (WSH: 436; TBL: 420).

* Tampa Bay (73 GP) required the second-fewest games in NHL history to claim the Presidents’ Trophy, trailing only the 1995-96 Red Wings (71 GP). In 2015-16, Washington clinched the award after 75 games, tied for fourth-fastest in League history. Twelve members of the 2015-16 Capitals are still with the team in 2018-19.

* Wednesday’s matchup will pit the League leader in assists/points, Nikita Kucherov (35-82—117 in 73 GP), against the top goal-scorer, Alex Ovechkin (48-34—82 in 72 GP), for the second time in five days.

* Kucherov’s 117 points are the third-most ever in one season by a Russian player, trailing only Sergei Fedorov (1993-94: 56-64—120 in 82 GP) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93: 76-51—127 in 77 GP). Ovechkin, meanwhile, can reach the 50-goal mark for the eighth time in his NHL career. Gretzky and Mike Bossy, who each retired with nine 50-goal seasons, are the only players in League history to record more such campaigns.

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