NHL Review April 27, 2021
McDAVID ECLIPSES 80 POINTS AS OILERS LEAPFROG JETS
Connor McDavid (3-1—4) scored his third hat trick of the season to eclipse the 80-point mark in 2020-21 (28-53—81) and help Edmonton (28-16-2, 58 points) leapfrog Winnipeg (27-18-3, 57 points) into second place in the Scotia North Division with a 6-1 win over the Jets. The Oilers captain, who joined elite company in collecting his 80th point in 46 games, is on pace for 99 points this season.
The NHL’s points leader, who also scored a hat trick on Jan. 14 (vs. VAN) and Feb. 20 (vs. CGY), joined Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad (March 17, March 25 and April 25) as the NHL’s second player to record three hat tricks in 2020-21.
McDavid, who has collected three-plus points in three consecutive games for the second time in his career (also 3 GP from Nov. 14-19, 2019), has recorded an NHL-best 67 outings with three or more points since entering the League in 2015-16 – 18 more than the next closest player (Patrick Kane: 49).
HURRICANES SECURE SPOT IN 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Jordan Staal assisted on Carolina’s game-tying, third-period goal to help the Hurricanes salvage a point and clinch a playoff berth for the third consecutive season and 16th time in franchise history (8x as Carolina, 8x as Hartford).
The Hurricanes have reached the playoffs in three consecutive seasons for the first time since moving to Raleigh in 1997-98 and second time in franchise history – the Whalers made seven straight appearances from 1986 to 1992.
Staal leads all current Hurricanes players in career playoff goals (27), assists (19), points (46) and games played (96) and is one of three members of the roster with a Stanley Cup (2009 w/ PIT). He can join his brother, Marc Staal (107 GP), as the second member of his family to skate in 100 career playoff games. Their other brother, Eric Staal (now w/ MTL), is the Hurricanes/Whalers franchise leader in career playoff goals (19) and points (43).
BATTLES FOR FOURTH SEEDS ROUND OUT MONDAY’S ACTION
With the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs on the horizon, the race for the fourth seed in the Discover Central, Scotia North and Honda West divisions were on full display during Monday’s action.
Captain Roman Josi (0-1—1) factored on one of his team’s four goals and Juuse Saros (39 saves) earned his career-high 18th win of the season as the Predators (27-21-2, 56 points) maintained fourth place in the Discover Central Division and prevented the Panthers and Lightning from clinching a playoff berth.
Jamie Benn (1-3—4) collected three assists in regulation and scored 2:44 into overtime as the fifth-place Stars (21-15-12, 54 points) kept pace with the fourth-ranked Predators in the Discover Central Division. Benn, who also scored the overtime winner on April 24 at Detroit, became the first player in franchise history to accomplish the feat in consecutive games. The only player in NHL history to extend his streak beyond two contests is Andrew Cogliano, who did so in 2007-08 with Edmonton.
Tyler Toffoli, who extended his goal streak to four games, scored his 25th of the season as the Canadiens (21-17-9, 51 points) concluded their season series with the fifth-ranked Flames (21-24-3, 45 points) and strengthened their grip on fourth place in the Scotia North Division. Toffoli trails only Auston Matthews (34), Connor McDavid (28) and Mikko Rantanen (26) in the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race.
David Perron (1-2—3) and Ryan O’Reilly (0-2—2) each recorded multi-point games as the Blues (21-19-6, 48 points) earned a win in their final contest against the Avalanche to leapfrog the Coyotes (21-23-5, 47 points) for fourth place in the Honda West Division. O’Reilly posted his 45th multi-point game since joining St. Louis in 2018-19, the most among all Blues players over that span and 11 more than the next closest teammate (Perron: 34).
PENGUINS, BRUINS SET TO CONCLUDE SEASON SERIES
In what could be a potential First Round matchup in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the MassMutual East Division-leading Penguins (32-14-3, 67 points) will conclude their season series against the fourth-ranked Bruins (27-14-6, 60 points). Despite a seven-point difference in the standings, Pittsburgh and Boston have traded wins through their first seven games of 2020-21 (BOS: 4-3-0, PIT: 3-3-1).