NHL Recaps: Avs take Central Division, Sabres win as Craig Anderson retires

NHL Recaps:  April 14, 2023

The NHL’s regular season concluded with the Colorado Avalanche winning their final game and taking first place in the Central Division.

NHL Recaps: Avs take Central

Avalanche 4 vs Predators 3

Nathan MacKinnon completed a hat trick with the late game-winning goal in a four-point outing and the Colorado Avalanche claimed the Central Division crown with a 4-3 road victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday.

Devon Toews produced a goal and an assist while Mikko Rantanen collected two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who will face the Seattle Kraken in the first round of the playoffs.

Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made 18 saves for the Avalanche (51-24-7, 109 points). Colorado edged the Dallas Stars (47-21-14, 108 points) to claim the division title on the last day of the regular season.

For the Predators (42-32-8, 92 points), Kiefer Sherwood posted his first career two-goal game and Luke Evangelista tallied once. Goalie Kevin Lankinen stopped 30 shots.

With overtime looming, MacKinnon raced down the right wing on a two-on-one rush and buried a shot for his 42nd goal of the season with 1:42 left.

NHL Recaps: Sabres win, Anderson retires

craig anderson
Apr 13, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson (41) waves to the crowd after a win against the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Sabres 5 vs Blue Jackets 2

Jeff Skinner had a goal and two assists for the Buffalo Sabres in a 5-2 win against the host Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Casey Mittelstadt had a goal and an assist, and Devon Levi made 29 saves for the Sabres (42-33-7, 91 points).

Johnny Gaudreau and Tyler Angle scored for the Blue Jackets (25-48-9, 59 points). Jon Gillies stopped 24 of 27 shots before leaving the game after the second period with a lower-body injury. Michael Hutchinson allowed two goals on eight shots in relief.

Buffalo goaltender Craig Anderson decided to retire after 20 seasons, six teams and close to 20,000 saves on Friday.

“I think I left it all out there,” Anderson said Thursday night after making 30 saves as the Sabres beat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime. “At the end of the day, I did everything I possibly could to make sure that I was competitive and gave the team a chance to win. You’ve got to be honest with yourself and that’s just the way this game goes. Father Time always catches up to you.”

Anderson will be 42 next month, and he retires with a career record of 319-275-2-71 in 709 games (621 starts) with the Chicago Blackhawks (2002-06), Florida Panthers (2006-09), Colorado Avalanche (2009-11), Ottawa Senators (2010-20), Washington Capitals (2020-21) and Sabres.

He has a career goals-against average of 2.86 and save percentage of .912.

–Field Level Media