NHL Review March 10 2020
RASK, MARCHAND, BRUINS BLANK FLYERS TO COLLECT 100TH POINT
Tuukka Rask (36 saves) posted his 50th career shutout while celebrating his 33rd birthday and Brad Marchand extended the NHL’s longest active point streak to 13 games (5-13—18) as the League-leading Bruins (44-14-12, 100 points) halted the Flyers’ nine-game win streak and their attempt to overtake first in the Metropolitan Division.
Boston became the first team to reach the 100-point mark in 2019-20 and opened up an eight-point lead over the next closest team.
The Bruins, who collected at least 100 points for the third consecutive season, reached the benchmark in 70 games or fewer for the seventh time in franchise history. Boston reached triple digits in three or more straight campaigns for the third time in franchise history and first in over 40 years (5 from 1975-76 to 1979-80; 4 from 1970-71 to 1973-74).
Boston became the first team to reach 100 standings points for the sixth time in franchise history (1989-90, 1982-83, 1973-74, 1971-72 and 1970-71). Only the Canadiens (8x) and Red Wings (8x) have recorded more such instances in NHL history (including ties and outright).
Marchand matched the longest point streak of his career – a mark he set earlier this season (13 GP from Oct. 5 – Nov. 4, 2019). His current 13-game run is tied for the fourth-longest by any player this season, behind Jack Eichel (17 GP: Nov. 16 – Dec. 17, 2019), Patrick Kane (15 GP: Nov. 2-30, 2019) and Sebastian Aho (14 GP: Jan. 21 – Feb. 28).
ZIBANEJAD NETS THIRD 10-GOAL MONTH OF 2019-20, SCORES GOAL NO. 40
Mika Zibanejad (1-1—2) reached the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career and Igor Shesterkin (31 saves) collected his 10th career win in 12 games as the Rangers (37-28-4, 78 points) continued to chase an Eastern Conference playoff spot. They sit three points shy of the Blue Jackets (33-22-15, 81 points) for the second Wild Card position and hold one game in hand.
The Rangers have 13 games remaining this season, including six against Metropolitan Division clubs (PIT: 3x, CBJ: 1, WSH: 1 and PHI: 1) and one against the Panthers (March 30) – who have collected as many points but two fewer wins than New York.
Zibanejad scored his 10th goal in the month of March after his five-goal performance on March 5 and has tallied double digits in a single month for the third time this season (10 in Dec. 2019 and 11 in Feb.). Only two active players have recorded more such months in a single season.
Zibanejad (Huddinge, Sweden) joined Alex Ovechkin (RUS), David Pastrnak (CZE), Auston Matthews (USA) and Leon Draisaitl (GER) as the NHL’s fifth 40-goal scorer this season. The 2019-20 campaign became the second in NHL history to feature the first five players to 40 goals from a different country (tied or outright), joining 1998-99: Teemu Selanne (FIN), Eric Lindros (CAN), Alexei Yashin (RUS), Tony Amonte (USA) and Jaromir Jagr (CZE).
Shesterkin improved to 10-2-0 (2.52 GAA, .932 SV%) in 2019-20 and became the sixth goaltender in NHL history to earn 10 wins in his first 12 appearances. The others: Frederik Andersen (10-2-0 in 2013-14 w/ ANA), Bob Mason (10-1-1 in 1983-84 to 1984-85 w/ WSH), Bob Froese (10-0-1 in 1982-83 w/ PHI), Wayne Thomas (10-1-0 in 1972-73 to 1973-74 w/ MTL) and Frank Brimsek (10-2-0 in 1938-39 w/ BOS).
MALKIN LEADS PENGUINS TO SEVENTH STRAIGHT 40-WIN SEASON
Evgeni Malkin (2-1—3) recorded his eighth three-point game of 2019-20 to help the Penguins (40-23-6, 86 points) register their seventh consecutive 40-win season. Pittsburgh gained two crucial points and moved within three of the Flyers (41-21-7, 89 points) for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Penguins have registered seven consecutive 40-win seasons for the first time in franchise history, besting the previous high of six from 2006-07 to 2011-12. Pittsburgh’s current stretch tied the longest active run among all teams, joining Boston, Tampa Bay and St. Louis (all w/ 7) – which all extended in 2019-20.
Pittsburgh has collected 13 40-win campaigns since 2005-06 – tied with San Jose (13) for the most over that span.
PLAYOFF HOPEFULS CONTINUE POSTSEASON PUSH
The Maple Leafs (36-25-9, 81 points), Hurricanes (38-25-5, 81 points), Predators (35-26-8, 78 points) and Canucks (36-27-6, 78 points) each earned crucial two points to improve their postseason chances:
Auston Matthews (47-33—80) moved within one of Alex Ovechkin (48-19—67) and David Pastrnak (48-47—95) in the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy Race as the Maple Leafs opened up a three-point cushion on the Panthers for third in the Atlantic Division. Matthews scored his 32nd home goal of 2019-20 to eclipse Dave Andreychuk (31 in 1993-94) for the second-most in a single season in franchise history. Darryl Sittler (34 in 1977-78) is the only skater with more.
Morgan Geekie scored for the second time in as many games and Justin Williams extended his goal streak to five games as the Hurricanes overtook the Blue Jackets for the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference (CAR: 68 GP, CBJ: 70 GP). Williams (38 years, 158 days) became the third player in NHL history to record a goal streak of five-plus games at age 38 or older, joining Brett Hull (7 GP in 2003-04 w/ DET) and Johnny Bucyk (6 GP in 1974-75 w/ BOS).
Filip Forsberg (2-1—3) reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth straight season as the Predators moved into the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. With at least 20 goals in each of his last six seasons dating to 2014-15 (all w/ NSH), including a career-high 33 in 2015-16, Forsberg became the first player in Predators history to register six 20-goal campaigns. Teammate Craig Smith (18-13—31 in 69 GP) can join Forsberg in accomplishing the feat.
After the Islanders scored three game-tying goals, J.T. Miller netted the decisive marker in the shootout to help secure Thatcher Demko’s career-high performance (45 saves) and lead the Canucks into the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference – where four teams are separated by just one point. Demko, who posted his third 40-save performance this season (Dec. 3 and Jan. 9), became the third Canucks rookie goaltender to post three such outings in a single season, joining Dunc Wilson in 1970-71 and Wendell Young in 1985-86.
PREVIEW OF TODAY’S ACTION – POSTPONED GAME BETWEEN BLUES AND DUCKS SET TO TAKE PLACE
The game between the Blues and Ducks – originally scheduled for Feb. 11 but postponed by the NHL due to a medical emergency that occurred at 12:10 of the first period involving defenseman Jay Bouwmeester – will be played tonight in Anaheim.
The contest will follow the same 60-minute format of all regular-season games (including overtime/shootout as necessary) and begin with the score tied 1-1, as it was at the time of the postponement. The only statistics recorded Feb. 11 that will carry forward are goals and assists, as follows: Adam Henrique (G), Hampus Lindholm (A) and Josh Manson (A) for the Ducks; Ivan Barbashev (G) and Jordan Kyrou (A) for the Blues.