NHL Recaps: Bruins clinch Atlantic, Knights edge Oilers, Rangers tame Cats, and more
NHL Recaps: March 25, 2023
Fifteen games were on tap for Saturday as teams battle to either make the playoffs or jockey for position.
We begin with the Boston Bruins, who wrapped up the Atlantic Division by beating old nemesis Tampa Bay Lightning.
NHL Recaps: Bruins lock up Atlantic Title
Bruins 2 vs Lightning 1
Garnet Hathaway scored the deciding goal with 2:28 left in the second period, and the Boston Bruins held on for a 2-1 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning to clinch the Atlantic Division title on Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins have won six consecutive games. Hathaway has scored three goals since joining the Bruins in late February, two of which have been go-ahead tallies. Patrice Bergeron netted Boston’s first goal, extending his season-long point streak to five games. Linus Ullmark made 11 of his 26 saves in the third period, improving to 11-1-0 in his last 12 starts.
For the Lightning, Victor Hedman scored the lone goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy was credited with 32 saves. The loss was Tampa Bay’s fourth in a row.
“That’ll get you excited for playoff hockey, yeah,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said after the game. “Loved our effort.”
Canadiens 8 vs Blue Jackets 2
Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored his first NHL hat trick and Nick Suzuki had a goal and three assists for Montreal in a blowout win against visiting Columbus.
Mike Hoffman had a goal and two assists and Mike Matheson had three assists for the Canadiens, who won for only the third time in their past 13 games (3-8-2). Sam Montembeault made 21 saves.
Lane Pederson and Kirill Marchenko scored for the Blue Jackets, who have allowed at least six goals in four of their past five games. Elvis Merzlikins gave up six goals on 24 shots before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury with 2:58 remaining in the second period.
Devils 5 vs Senators 3
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period to lift New Jersey to a playoff-clinching victory over Ottawa in Newark, N.J.
New Jersey officially punched its ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2018 after the Florida Panthers dropped a 4-3 decision to the New York Rangers earlier on Saturday. Jack Hughes scored his 40th goal of the season to become the first member of the Devils to reach that plateau since Zach Parise in 2008-09.
Ottawa captain Brady Tkachuk scored his seventh goal in seven games and Mark Kastelic and defenseman Thomas Chabot also tallied. Dylan Ferguson turned aside 30 shots for the Senators, who have lost seven of their last nine games (2-6-1).
Penguins 4 vs Capitals 3
Evgeni Malkin stole the puck from Anthony Mantha for a breakaway and scored with 1:20 left in regulation as Pittsburgh recovered from blowing a three-goal lead to top visiting Washington.
Ryan Poehling, Chad Ruhwedel and Jake Guentzel also scored for the Penguins, who moved within a point of the New York Islanders for the top Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Pittsburgh goaltender Casey DeSmith, making his career-high 31st start of the season, made 31 saves.
Dylan Strome had a goal and an assist, and Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin also scored for the Capitals.
Flyers 3 vs Red Wings 0
Scott Laughton had one goal and one assist to lift host Philadelphia past Detroit.
Kieffer Bellows and Tyson Foerster added one goal apiece for the Flyers, who won their third in a row. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made all 29 saves in the shutout.
Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 19 shots. Nedeljkovic was making his first start for Detroit in 3 1/2 months, having been recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday.
Kraken 7 vs Predators 2
Eeli Tolvanen scored twice against his former team, his first multi-goal game in the NHL, as Seattle crushed host Nashville.
Jared McCann had a goal and two assists, Oliver Bjorkstrand had one of each and Daniel Sprong and Adam Larsson also scored for Seattle, which leads the Western Conference’s wild-card playoff race. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who returned after missing two games with a non-COVID illness, made 14 saves.
Tyson Barrie and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist, Philip Tomasino added two helpers and Juuse Saros stopped 32 of 39 shots for Nashville, which had a two-game winning streak snapped. That included a 2-1 shootout victory against the Kraken on Thursday in the opener of the two-game series.
Flames 5 vs Sharks 3
Walker Duehr scored one goal and assisted on Nazem Kadri’s third-period game-winning marker as host Calgary kept its flickering playoff hopes alive with a win over San Jose.
Tyler Toffoli scored twice, and Mackenzie Weegar added a single goal for the Flames, who are four points out of a playoff spot with eight games remaining. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves.
Logan Couture, Nico Sturm and Martin Kaut scored for the last-place Sharks. San Jose’s Erik Karlsson collected two assists and now has 90 points in his quest to become only the sixth defenseman to reach 100 points in a season and first since 1991-92.
NHL Recaps: Knights slip up Oilers
Golden Knights 4 vs Oilers 3 (OT)
Nicolas Roy put in a rebound of his own shot at 2:26 of overtime to give Vegas the victory over host Edmonton, which had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists, Jonathan Marchessault added a goal and an assist, and Pavel Dorofeyev also scored for Pacific Division-leading Vegas.
“Gusty win for us. It’s a divisional game, and I thought we played well,” Eichel said. “It’s a really good team over there, they generate a lot of offense, and I thought we did a really good job limiting them. [Laurent Brossoit] played great, and we were able to capitalize on one of our power plays. Got some timely goals and got a big win.”NHL.com
Laurent Brossoit, the fourth different starting goalie in four games for the Golden Knights, made 27 saves in his first game since suffering a lower-body injury on Feb. 25 against the Dallas Stars. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist, and Zach Hyman and Warren Foegele also scored for Edmonton. Skinner finished with 30 saves.
Kings 4 vs Jets 1
Viktor Arvidsson scored twice and Drew Doughty had a goal with an assist as Los Angeles extended its point streak to 11 games with a win over visiting Winnipeg.
Alex Iafallo also scored and Joonas Korpisalo made 25 saves to improve to 4-0-1 since coming over from Columbus for the Kings, who tied a franchise record with their current 9-0-2 stretch. Sitting second in the Pacific Division and a winner of four of five, Los Angeles is also amid a 10-0-2 home stretch.
Meanwhile, Pierre Luc-Dubois scored his 25th goal and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 shots for Winnipeg, which was trying for a third consecutive victory. Owners of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, the Jets have dropped three of their last five on the road.
Rangers 4 vs Panthers 3
Patrick Kane scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as New York rallied past Florida in Sunrise, Fla.
Kaapo Kakko, Filip Chytil and Alexis Lafreniere — known as New York’s “Kid Line” — each scored one goal and had one assist for the Rangers, who got 31 saves from backup goalie Jaroslav Halak.
“They were excellent,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “All three kids scored a goal tonight and played real well tonight. When they play like that it’s exciting. If I didn’t notice [they had it going] I shouldn’t be coaching in this league.”
Florida got two goals from captain Aleksander Barkov and one from third-line forward Ryan Lomberg. But it wasn’t enough as the Panthers lost their third straight game. With 13:00 left, Florida cut its deficit to 4-3 on a Barkov goal, but couldn’t tally the equalizer.
Wild 3 vs Blackhawks 1
Ryan Hartman scored the go-ahead goal with 1:11 remaining in the third period to fuel Minnesota to a win over Chicago in Saint Paul, Minn.
Hartman gave the Wild a 2-1 lead after converting a partial breakaway for his 13th goal of the season and third in his last six games. He was selected by the Blackhawks in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. Frederick Gaudreau sealed the win 40 seconds later by scoring into an empty net.
Saint Paul native and former Wild member Alex Stalock turned aside 22 shots for the Blackhawks. Chicago has mustered just four goals during its four-game losing skid.
Sabres 2 vs Islanders 0
Kyle Okposo’s goal with 6:29 left lifted Buffalo to a win over host New York in Elmont, N.Y.
Okposo broke a scoreless tie off an assist from Ilya Lyubushkin, while Jeff Skinner’s empty-net goal off assists from Dylan Cozens and Casey Mittelstadt secured the win with 31.8 seconds remaining. Buffalo backup goalie Eric Comrie made 26 saves to earn his second career shutout after allowing 10 goals in his last start, a 10-4 pummeling by the Dallas Stars on March 9.
The Islanders, who own the Eastern Conference’s top wild-card spot, have dropped two straight games after falling at Columbus, 5-4 in overtime, on Friday to end a three-game winning streak. Cozens had a golden opportunity to give Buffalo the lead just over a minute into the third period. But his backhander on a breakaway was stopped by Semyon Varlamov, who finished with 33 saves.
Hurricanes 5 vs Maple Leafs 3
Sebastian Aho scored with 2:26 left to lift host Carolina past Toronto in Raleigh, N.C.
Brent Burns and Jordan Staal had first-period goals and Stefan Noesen scored in the third period for Carolina. Teuvo Teravainen added an empty-net goal. Aho has a team-high 32 goals. The Hurricanes won for just the fourth time in their last eight games. Pyotr Kochetkov made 41 saves.
Auston Matthews scored two goals for the Maple Leafs, who dominated portions of the game as they rallied from a two-goal hole. Calle Jarnkrok had the first goal for the Maple Leafs, who had won three of their previous four games. Matthews tied a Maple Leafs franchise record with 15 shots on goal.
Canucks 3 vs Stars 1
Brock Boeser and Jack Rathbone scored in the second period, and visiting Vancouver netted three unanswered goals to sweep the season series from Dallas.
The Canucks improved to 9-2-0 in their past 11 matches and won for the sixth straight time over Dallas.
Dakota Joshua notched a short-handed marker, and goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 25 of 26 shots and moved to 6-0-0 in his career against the Stars.
Blues 6 vs Ducks 3
Brayden Schenn and Kasperi Kapanen each had two goals and an assist as St. Louis defeated host Anaheim to complete a three-game season series sweep.
Jakub Vrana and Sammy Blais each had a goal and an assist for the Blues (33-33-6, 72 points), who are 6-2-1 in their last nine games. Colton Parayko had three assists and Justin Faulk had two. Jordan Binnington made 22 saves in his first start for the Blues since March 12.
Troy Terry had a goal and an assist for the Ducks (23-40-10, 56 points) before exiting with an undisclosed injury after two periods.
–Field Level Media