NHL Review April 20, 2021
McDAVID COLLECTS 50TH ASSIST IN ANOTHER OILERS HOME WIN
Connor McDavid (1-2—3) factored on three of four unanswered Oilers third-period goals, highlighted by his 50th assist and ninth game-winning goal of the season, as Edmonton (27-15-2, 56 points) beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 and extended the NHL’s longest active home win streak to eight contests. The Oilers’ captain (24-50—74 in 44 GP) required the fewest games of his career to collect 50 helpers.
McDavid, who scored nine game-winning goals for the second time in his career (also 2018-19), moved into a tie with Toronto’s Auston Matthews (9) for most among all players this season.
Their nine such tallies in 2020-21 are the most by a player during an expansion-era season (since 1967-68) in which clubs contested a schedule of 56 games or fewer, besting the previous mark of eight set by Owen Nolan (1994-95 w/ QUE) and Jeff Carter (2012-13 w/ LAK).
PATRICK MARLEAU BECOMES ALL-TIME NHL LEADER IN GAMES PLAYED
Sharks forward Patrick Marleau surpassed Gordie Howe for the most games played in NHL history when he skated in the 1,768th regular-season game of his career on Monday in Las Vegas. Howe had held the distinction since Nov. 26, 1961 when he overtook Ted Lindsay (999 GP) and became the first player to appear in at least 1,000 career NHL regular-season games.
- Marleau has skated alongside or against over 3,000 different NHL players, equating to more than one-third of all players in League history. That total includes former teammates Joe Thornton, Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner of the Maple Leafs, who congratulated Marleau ahead of his historic night.
- Marleau appeared in his 1,596th career regular-season game as a member of the Sharks. He sits four shy of becoming the second player in NHL history to skate in at least 1,600 with one franchise, in which he would join Howe (1,687 GP w/ DET).
- Marleau also extended his “Ironman” streak to 899 games – he needs one more to become the fourth player in League history to skate in 900 or more consecutive contests, following Doug Jarvis (964 GP), Garry Unger (914 GP) and Keith Yandle (912 GP).
- Nikolai Knyzhov and Noah Gregor accounted for both goals by the Sharks, who fell in the shootout as the Golden Knights (32-11-2, 66 points) extended their winning streak to seven games and moved into first place in the NHL standings. Knyzhov and Gregor are two of the 171 current NHL players who were not yet born when Marleau made his League debut on Oct. 1, 1997 (min. 1 GP in 2020-21).
STARS AND PREDATORS CONTINUE BATTLE FOR FINAL PLAYOFF SPOT IN CENTRAL
The Stars (18-14-12, 48 points) and Predators (25-21-1, 51 points) continued their push to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with wins on Monday. Fifth-place Dallas, which collected its third straight win and has 12 scheduled games remaining, kept pace with fourth-place Nashville in the Discover Central Division, which has nine contests left. The two teams will go head-to-head one final time on May 1 (DAL: 3-0-4, NSH: 4-3-0).
Roope Hintz (1-1—2) collected two points in regulation, his fifth multi-point game in six contests, and has recorded an NHL-best 3-10—13 over that span. Only two players in Stars team history have registered more points over a span of six appearances.
The Predators scored twice in the opening minute of the third period en route to defeating the Blackhawks for the sixth time this season. Monday marked just the third time, and second this season, Nashville has netted two goals in the opening minute of a period (Feb. 20 and April 15, 2006). No other team has accomplished the feat multiple times in 2020-21.
ACQUISITIONS CONTINUE TO ACCUMULATE POINTS FOR PANTHERS
Sam Bennett scored his first goal in a Panthers uniform and recorded one of seven points collected by a first-year Panthers player on Monday. The victory helped Florida (29-12-5, 63 points) maintain second place in the Discover Central Division standings, where the top three teams are separated by just one point.
Radko Gudas (1-0—1), Anthony Duclair (0-2—2), Patric Hornqvist (0-1—1), Gustav Forsling (0-1—1) and Alex Wennberg (0-1—1) were the other players skating in their first season with the franchise to factor in on Florida’s 29th victory of the season.
YOUNG STARS SHINE ON MARLEAU’S HISTORIC NIGHT
On the night 41-year-old Patrick Marleau made NHL history, players 25 and younger played parts in their team’s victories:
Kirill Kaprizov (18-19—37 in 44 GP) opened the scoring for the Wild and helped Minnesota (28-13-3, 59 points) hold on to third place in the Honda West Division. The 23-year-old surpassed Marian Gaborik (18-18—36 in 71 GP) for the most points by a Wild rookie and now sits tied with Gaborik for the most goals by a rookie in franchise history.
Twenty-five-year-old Brayden Point scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season and collected his 300th career point (135-165—300 in 340 GP). Among players to debut with the Lightning, only two players required fewer games to reach the mark: Steven Stamkos (302 GP) and Nikita Kucherov (337 GP).
Twenty-one-year-old Senators forward Josh Norris (1-1—2) scored his first career game-winning goal and 13th of the season to tie 21-year-old Stars forward Jason Robertson, who also found the back of the net on Monday, for the second-most among rookies in 2020-21.
NBCSN, SPORTSNET GO NATIONAL ON EIGHT-GAME TUESDAY
An early national telecast in the U.S. will see the Bruins put their four-game win streak on the line against the Sabres, the first of three straight meetings between the clubs this week. Sportsnet will then hit the airwaves with another national showdown between the Maple Leafs and Canucks after Vancouver staged its first multi-goal comeback victory of the season on Sunday.
VEGAS IN POSITION TO CLINCH FIRST BERTH IN 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
The Golden Knights (32-11-2, 66 points) can become the first team to clinch a spot in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs pending Tuesday results. Idle Vegas would be guaranteed a trip to the postseason – their fourth in as many NHL campaigns – if Anaheim defeats Los Angeles in regulation.
Canucks’ Edler Suspended Two Games for Kneeing
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler has been suspended for two games, without pay, for kneeing Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman during NHL Game No. 697 in Vancouver on Sunday, April 18, 2021.
The incident occurred at 10:08 of the second period. Edler was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for kneeing. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Edler will forfeit $103,448.28. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Watch video for a full explanation of the decision.