NHL Recap: Ovechkin ties Bossy and Gretzky, Golden Knights pull closer to playoff spot, and more
NHL recap for April 20, 2022 covers all four games on the docket with an updated view on the playoff picture in both conferences.
The Seattle Kraken stunned the Colorado Avalanche and picked up a rare win. Florida was idle last night so the battle for the Presidents Trophy remains deadlocked at 116 points each. Panthers have a game in hand which they play tonight at home against the Detroit Red Wings.
In Edmonton, the Oilers put a hurting on the Dallas Stars with a solid victory that allowed the Vegas Golden Knights to narrow the gap to two points for the final wild card spot in the West. Vegas was able to defeat the Washington Capitals in OT to keep their playoff aspirations alive.
As for the Caps they are now tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for third-place in the Metro Division with 97 points each. Although they remain in the second wild card spot in the East due to a tie-breaker.
Alex Ovechkin ties Bossy and Gretzky
Golden Knights 4, Capitals 3 (OT)
Shea Theodore scored at 2:09 of overtime as the Vegas Golden Knights overcame a history-making night by Alex Ovechkin to keep their playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
Vegas closed within two points of the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Golden Knights are also just three points behind the third-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.
Ovechkin had two goals and an assist. His second goal gave him 50 in a season for the ninth time in his career, tying Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most 50-goal seasons in NHL history.
“I’m always saying, without my teammates and linemates, I’d never reach those milestones and goals, so thanks,” said Ovechkin. “I’m pretty happy.”
Theodore and Evgenii Dadonov each had a goal and an assist, and Alec Martinez and Chandler Stephenson added goals for Vegas. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist for Washington, which got 26 saves from Ilya Samsonov.
“Our back is against the wall. These are must-win hockey games,” Martinez said. “Obviously, to get a win tonight and get those two points is huge… The job isn’t done yet. We can enjoy this one for tonight, but we all know what the task at hand is.”
Vegas has four games remaining on the season and will likely need to win out in order to reach the playoffs. Dallas has a game in hand.
Kraken 3, Avalanche 2
Host Seattle used three early goals to secure its first-ever three-game winning streak, edging Colorado.
“Guys are working hard, especially in this building, in front of the fans that have been here through thick and thin for the last six, seven months,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “Because they’re working hard, they’re working together all night tonight.”NHL
Kole Lind, Jordan Eberle and Yanni Gourde all scored within the game’s first 15 minutes, giving Seattle a lead it would never relinquish. Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 of 27 shots.
Cale Makar and Artturi Lehkonen scored for the Western Conference-leading Avalanche, who have lost their past two games. Pavel Francouz made 26 saves in the loss.
Oilers 5, Stars 2
Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists to help Edmonton post a win against visiting Dallas.
The output moved McDavid past Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau into the NHL scoring lead with 113 points. Huberdeau has 111.
“I thought we got off to a good start and put them on their heels,” McDavid said. “They pushed back, and I liked our response when they pushed. It was another good game, a similar type of story as the last ones. I think guys are confident right now.”
Evander Kane, Derek Ryan, Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi each added a goal and Evan Bouchard had two assists for the Oilers, who moved four points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings in the battle for second place in the Pacific Division. Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz each had a goal and an assist for the Stars.
Edmonton in now four points up on the Los Angeles Kings for second-place in the Pacific Division and solidifying their position. They also have a game in hand on the Kings.
Blackhawks 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)
Alex DeBrincat notched his 40th goal of the season in overtime and Alex Vlasic netted his first NHL goal as visiting Chicago claimed a victory in Glendale, Ariz.
Dominik Kubalik and Jake McCabe also scored for the Blackhawks, and Kevin Lankinen made 32 saves. Chicago has only two wins in its past 12 outings.
Nathan Smith, with his first NHL goal, Barrett Hayton and Anton Stralman replied for the Coyotes, who have lost eight straight games. Karel Vejmelka stopped 36 shots.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report