NHL Review April 6, 2021
MATTHEWS, MAPLE LEAFS CONTINUE TO ROLL
Auston Matthews scored his League-leading 26th and 27th tallies of the season (27-19—46 in 36 GP) to open a five-goal lead in the 2020-21 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race and help the Scotia North Division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs (26-10-3, 55 points) defeat the Calgary Flames 4-2 and extend their point streak to eight games (7-0-1).
Matthews scored the go-ahead goal with 9:10 remaining in regulation and also paces the NHL with nine game winners in 2020-21, which are the most in a season by a Toronto player since Mats Sundin in 2003-04 (10).
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Jason Spezza opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs at 3:10 of the second period. Spezza has a goal and an assist over his last three games played. He has four points (3-1-4) in seven games against the Flames this season. He has recorded 12 points (4-8-12) in 18 games on the road in 2020-21.
- Auston Matthews scored the second Toronto goal of the game at 7:53 of the second period and later scored the fourth Toronto goal of the game on the power play at 10:50 of the third period. Matthews has goals (3) and points (3-1-4) in two consecutive games. Tonight’s game is his seventh multi-goal game and his 14th multi-point game of the season. He has 20 points (11-9-20) in 17 games on the road this season. He has registered nine points (5-4-9) in eight games against Calgary in 2020-21. Matthews leads the NHL in goals (27) and game-winning goals (9), and is fifth among NHL skaters in points (27-19-46).
- Wayne Simmonds scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the night at 7:13 of the third period. Simmonds has recorded three goals and an assist in six games against the Flames this season. He has seven points (6-1-7) in 21 games played this season.
- John Tavares registered the primary assist on Matthews’ third period goal and later scored the fifth Maple Leafs goal of the night at 12:10 of the third period. Tavares has goals (2), assists (2) and points (2-2-4) in two consecutive games. Tonight’s game is his ninth multi-point game of 2020-21. Tavares’ assist in the third period was his 800th career NHL point. He has recorded 19 points (6-13-19) in 19 games on the road this season.
- Alex Kerfoot registered the primary assist on Spezza’s second period goal. Kerfoot has a goal and an assist over his last four games. He has recorded eight points (4-4-8) in 19 games on the road this season. The Maple Leafs are 7-1-1 when Kerfoot records an assist this season.
- Travis Dermott had the secondary assist on Spezza’s second period goal. Dermott has a goal and an assist over his last three games played. He has two goals and two assists in 35 games this season and has registered both assists in seven games against the Flames.
- William Nylander recorded the primary assist on Matthews’ second period goal and later had the secondary assist on Tavares’ third period goal. Nylander has assists (4) in two consecutive games. Tonight’s game is his fourth multi-assist and ninth multi-point game of 2020-21. He has six points (2-4-6) in eight games against Calgary in 2020-21. He has recorded seven primary assists at 5-on-5 this season, which is tied for third among Toronto skaters.
- TJ Brodie picked up the secondary assist on Matthews’ second period goal. Brodie’s assist is his first career point against Calgary after playing in 634 games for the Flames from 2010-20. He has recorded seven assists in 19 games on the road this season.
- Pierre Engvall had the lone assist on Simmonds’ third period goal. Engvall has recorded three goals and five assists in 30 games this season. He has recorded four of his five assists on the road this season. He has a pair of assists in eight games against Calgary in 2020-21.
- Zach Hyman notched the secondary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Hyman has assists (2) in two consecutive games. He has recorded five points (1-4-5) over his last five games played. He has recorded 16 points (9-7-16) in 19 games on the road this season. In seven games against the Flames in 2020-21, he has registered four points (1-3-4).
- Jake Muzzin registered the primary assist on Tavares’ third period goal. Muzzin has assists (2) in two consecutive games. He has five points (1-4-5) in six games against the Flames this season. He has registered 11 assists at 5-on-5 this season, which ranks 11th among NHL defencemen.
- Jack Campbell stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced to improve his record to 9-0-0 this season. With the win, he has tied the franchise record for consecutive wins by a goaltender (Previous: Felix Potvin, 1993-94; Jacques Plante, 1970-71; John Ross Roach, 1924-25).
AVALANCHE MOVE INTO FIRST PLACE IN NHL STANDINGS, EXTEND STREAK
Nathan MacKinnon and Andre Burakovsky each had 1-1—2 as Colorado withstood a third-period rally by Minnesota to improve to 26-8-4 (56 points) and move ahead of the idle Panthers (26-9-4, 56 points) for first place in the NHL standings. The Avalanche, who snapped the Wild’s franchise-record home win streak at 11 games, improved to 13-0-2 in their last 15 contests dating to March 10.
MacKinnon has found the score sheet in 13 contests during Colorado’s 15-game point streak (9-14—23), which is the longest by a team this season. His 23 points since March 10 are the most in the NHL over that span.
The Avalanche maintained their four-point edge on the second-place Golden Knights (25-10-2, 52 points) in the Honda West Division. Vegas earned a 6-1 win over St. Louis on Monday as Alex Pietrangelo returned to Enterprise Center.
STAAL SCORES OVERTIME WINNER IN CANADIENS DEBUT
Eric Staal tallied with 57.5 seconds remaining in extra time after the Montreal Canadiens overcame a 2-0 third-period deficit during regulation and became the first player to score an overtime goal in his first game with the Canadiens.
Staal, who was traded to Montreal by Buffalo on March 26 and is one of six Stanley Cup winners to dress for the Canadiens this season, became the 10th player to score an overtime goal in his first game with a team since 1983-84 (when regular-season overtime was reintroduced). He was the third member of that cohort to accomplish the feat this season.
Each NHL campaign featured regular-season overtime until it was discontinued on Nov. 21, 1942 due to wartime restrictions on train scheduling. Three players scored an overtime goal in their first game with a team from the League’s inaugural season until the discontinuation: Bernie Morris with the Bruins (Jan. 10, 1925), Charlie Langlois with the New York Americans (Dec. 2, 1925) and Nick Knott with the Brooklyn Americans (Nov. 2, 1941).
BUNTING SCORES COYOTES’ SECOND HAT TRICK IN AS MANY DAYS
Michael Bunting scored the first hat trick of his NHL career as the Coyotes (19-15-5, 43 points) defeated the Kings to strengthen their grip on fourth place in the Honda West Division. Bunting became the second Arizona player to record a hat trick in as many days, following Jakob Chychrun on Sunday.
GOALTENDERS GRUBAUER, CAMPBELL EXTEND STREAKS
Avalanche netminder Philipp Grubauer (21 saves) improved to 12-0-1 in his last 13 appearances dating to March 10 (1.41 GAA, .941 SV%, 2 SO) and established a franchise record for longest point streak by an Avalanche/Nordiques goaltender.
Maple Leafs netminder Jack Campbell (26 saves) improved to 9-0-0 through nine appearances this season (1.53 GAA, .944 SV%, 2 SO) and matched the franchise record for longest win streak by a Toronto goaltender at any point in a campaign.
LAMORIELLO CAN TIE SATHER DURING TUESDAY’S NINE-GAME SLATE
A total of 18 teams are in action tonight, including the MassMutual East Division-leading Capitals (25-9-4, 54 points) and second-place Islanders (24-10-4, 52 points) going head-to-head at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Lou Lamoriello enters Tuesday with 1,318 career regular-season wins as an NHL general manager, one back of Glen Sather (1,319) for second place in League history – David Poile tops the all-time list with 1,435.
DIVISION-LEADING PANTHERS EYE SEVENTH STRAIGHT WIN
The Discover Central Division-leading Panthers (6-0-0 since March 27) will put the NHL’s longest active win streak on the line when they visit the Hurricanes (25-9-3, 53 points), who sit just three points back of Florida (26-9-4, 56 points) and hold two games in hand. The Panthers set their sights on stringing together seven consecutive wins for the fifth time in franchise history and first since a franchise-record 12-game run in 2015-16 when they went on to clinch top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Carter Verhaeghe leads the team in points over their six-game winning streak (5-4—9 in 6 GP). Verhaeghe (17-16—33 in 39 GP) sits third in club scoring this season behind franchise stalwarts Jonathan Huberdeau (14-28—42 in 39 GP) and Aleksander Barkov (14-26—40 in 33 GP).
FOX LOOKS TO EXTEND DOUBLE-DIGIT POINT STREAK
Adam Fox and the Rangers (17-15-5, 39 points) look to continue their chase of the fourth seed in the MassMutual East Division when they host the Penguins (24-12-2, 50 points) at Madison Square Garden.
Fox enters Tuesday owning the NHL’s longest active point streak (2-16—18 in 10 GP) and is one of two defensemen with a 10-game run this season. The 2020-21 campaign is just the second season over the last 26 years to feature multiple blueliners with a double-digit point streak (also Nicklas Lidstrom & Keith Yandle in 2010-11).
The second-year defenseman has collected 33 points this season (4-29—33 in 36 GP), the second most among all blueliners behind reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Victor Hedman (7-29—36 in 38 GP). Fox has registered more points during his current streak than he did through his first 26 games of the season (2-13—15).