NHL Review April 4, 2021
LEAGUE-LEADING LIGHTNING, VASILEVSKIY EXTEND SEVERAL STREAKS
Brayden Point scored his second straight winning goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves as the League-leading Lightning (26-9-2, 54 points) improved to 17-0-0 with a 2-1 win in their last 17 regular-season home games versus the Detroit Red Wings dating to Dec. 12, 2013 (DET: 0-16-1).
Vasilevskiy improved to 13-0-0 in 13 appearances at AMALIE Arena in 2020-21 (1.46 GAA, .946 SV%, 2 SO), which marks the second-longest home winning streak from the start of a season in NHL history. Vasilevskiy also moved to 12-0-0 in 12 career appearances versus Detroit (1.77 GAA, .938 SV%).
MARCHAND SCORES HAT TRICK AS BRUINS EDGE PENGUINS BY 7-5 MARGIN
Brad Marchand (3-1—4) accounted for two of the game’s seven second-period goals and scored with 61 seconds remaining in regulation to record the fourth hat trick of his NHL career as Boston earned a 7-5 victory to snap Pittsburgh’s five-game win streak. The Bruins (19-10-5, 43 points) occupy fourth place in the MassMutual East Division and moved within seven points of the third-place Penguins (24-12-2, 50 points).
Saturday’s matinee at TD Garden was the sixth game in 2020-21 to feature 12 or more combined goals. It also marked the fifth instance this season in which two teams combined for seven or more goals in a single period.
GRUBAUER, COLORADO CONTINUE STREAKS ON SATURDAY
Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves and Cale Makar scored the go-ahead goal with 40.1 seconds remaining in regulation as the Honda West Division-leading Avalanche (25-8-4, 54 points) extended their point streak to 14 contests (12-0-2), tied for the second longest in franchise history behind a 16-game run in 2000-01 (12-0-4).
Grubauer improved to 11-0-1 in his last 12 appearances (1.19 GAA, .950 SV%, 2 SO) and matched the franchise record for longest point streak by an Avalanche/Nordiques goaltender.
Makar scored his sixth career game-winning goal during the regular season, which trails only Washington’s John Carlson (7) for the most among NHL defensemen since the start of 2019-20.
OTHER DISCOVER CENTRAL DIVISION TEAMS EARN WINS TO KEEP PACE
The Panthers (25-9-4, 54 points), Predators (20-18-1, 41 points) and Stars (13-12-10, 36 points) picked up wins on Saturday to keep pace with the Lightning:
Alex Wennberg tallied three times against his former club to record the first hat trick of his NHL career and help Florida, which ranks second in the Discover Central Division, extend its winning streak to five games. Wennberg became the second player this season to score a hat trick against a team that he played for in 2019-20, following Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli versus the Canucks on Jan. 20.
Juuse Saros turned aside all 41 shots he faced as Nashville blanked Chicago to strengthen its grip on fourth place in the Discover Central Division. Jake Oettinger also made 41 saves, backstopping Dallas to a come-from-behind road win over Carolina.
MORE #NHLSTATS FROM SATURDAY’S 11-GAME SLATE
Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season (19-9—28 in 31 GP). He now trails only Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (24-18—42 in 34 GP), Oilers captain Connor McDavid (22-42—64 in 38 GP) and Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen (21-22—43 in 37 GP) in the 2020-21 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race.
Kirill Kaprizov pulled the Wild even at 6:13 of the third period to extend his goal streak to three games (3-1—4) and Joel Eriksson Ek (1-1—2) scored the go-ahead goal less than a minute later as Minnesota (23-11-2, 48 points), which occupies third place in the Honda West Division, defeated second-place Vegas (24-10-2, 50 points). The Wild improved to 10-2-2 (22 points) in 14 all-time games against the Golden Knights.
Kevin Labanc and Evander Kane each had 1-1—2 as the Sharks (17-16-4, 38 points) edged the Kings to move within one point of the idle Coyotes (17-15-5, 39 points), who occupy the final playoff spot in the Honda West Division. San Jose improved to 6-3-1 in its last 10 games, including four straight wins.
Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves through 65 minutes and denied four shootout attempts as the Islanders (24-10-4, 52 points) matched the idle Capitals (24-9-4, 52 points) for the most points in the MassMutual East Division. Sorokin improved to 6-0-0 through the first six home appearances of his NHL career (1.64 GAA, .930 SV%, 1 SO).
DIVISION-LEADING CAPITALS, MAPLE LEAFS BACK IN ACTION ON EASTER SUNDAY
A dozen teams are in action on Easter Sunday, including the MassMutual East Division-leading Capitals (24-9-4, 52 points) and Scotia North Division-leading Maple Leafs (24-10-3, 51 points).
Washington is set to face New Jersey again at Prudential Center after earning a 2-1 overtime victory over the hosts on Friday. The Capitals, who improved to 7-0-0 against the Devils in 2020-21 (NJD: 0-5-2), can become the first team with eight or more wins versus one opponent in a single regular season since Montreal went 8-0-0 against Boston in 2007-08 (BOS: 0-7-1).
Jack Campbell is 8-0-0 in eight appearances this season (1.35 GAA, .951 SV%, 2 SO) and can extend his run when Toronto takes on Calgary at Scotiabank Saddledome. The longest winning streak by a goaltender in franchise history is nine games which was last achieved by Felix Potvin who, like Campbell, also did so in season-opening fashion.