NHL Roundup: Kings and Stars inch closer to playoffs, Canes rally into first, and more
What a Saturday of action! Twelve contests in total comprise today’s NHL Roundup with plenty of rallies and playoff implications to recap.
In the East, the Carolina Hurricanes rallied from 2-0 late against the New Jersey Devils to move into sole possession of the Metro Division. Meanwhile the Pittsburgh Penguins picked up two valuable points to stay ahead of the Washington Capitals for third place. And the Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the Nashville Predators to maintain a three point lead over the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division.
The West playoff picture is starting to become clearer with the Los Angeles Kings doubling up the Anaheim Ducks. If the Kings can secure two more points they lock up third place in the Pacific. And the Dallas Stars rallied to beat the Seattle Kraken and regain a 4 point cushion over the Vegas Golden Knights for the last wild card spot.
NHL Roundup: Kings 4, Ducks 2
Arthur Kaliyev had a goal and an assist to help the Los Angeles Kings inch closer to a Stanley Cup playoff berth with a 4-2 win against the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
Matt Roy, Alexander Edler and Alex Iafallo also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 19 saves. Quinton Byfield registered two assists for the Kings (43-27-10, 96 points), who moved seven points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights for third place in the Pacific Division.
“I think we are where we want to be,” Byfield said. “Win and you get in. You don’t want to leave it up to anyone else, so it’s a great feeling right now and a great feeling in the locker room.
The Kings can clinch a playoff spot by earning at least two points over their final two games — at the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday and the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday — or if Vegas loses in regulation to the visiting San Jose Sharks on Sunday or at the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
Trevor Zegras and Gerry Mayhew scored, and Anthony Stolarz made 36 saves for the Ducks (30-35-14, 74 points).
Lightning 6, Predators 2
Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov produced three-point games Saturday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning handled the visiting Nashville Predators in a 6-2 victory.
The Lightning captain and Kucherov each posted a goal and two assists, with Kucherov finding the net for the fifth straight game.
Victor Hedman had a marker and a helper, and Anthony Cirelli, Ross Colton and Pat Maroon tallied for the Lightning (48-22-8, 104 points). Backup goalie Brian Elliott stopped 19 shots.
By finishing its season-long five-game homestand (4-1-0) triumphantly, Tampa Bay won for the ninth time in the past 11 games (9-2-0) against the Western Conference club.
Panthers 3, Leafs 2 (OT)
Brandon Montour scored at 2:26 of overtime and the Florida Panthers defeated the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 Saturday night at Sunrise, Fla.
The Panthers won a franchise-record 13th consecutive game.
Montour scored his 10th goal of the season when he poked the puck past goaltender Jack Campbell at the end of a 2-on-1 with Mason Marchment, who had two assists in the game.
Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists, and Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist for Florida (57-15-6, 120 points)
Mitchell Marner and Justin Holl scored for the Maple Leafs (51-21-7, 109 points). TJ Brodie added two assists for the Maple Leafs.
Flames 6, Canucks 3
Dillon Dube scored twice as the host Calgary Flames claimed a 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, serving a crushing blow to their playoff hopes.
Elias Lindholm reached the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career for the Canucks.
Brett Ritchie, Nikita Zadorov and Johnny Gaudreau also tallied for the Pacific Division champion Flames (49-20-10, 108 points), who are on a 9-1-1 roll and posted the second-best point total in franchise history. Goaltender Dan Vladar made 30 saves and Chris Tanev collected three assists.
Quinn Hughes, Conor Garland and Elias Pettersson replied for the Canucks (38-30-11, 87 points), who are six points out of a playoff spot with three games remaining. Goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 26 shots.
Stars 3, Kraken 2
Roope Hintz scored twice as the Dallas Stars maintained playoff positioning in the Western Conference wild-card race, rallying past the visiting Seattle Kraken 3-2 Saturday night.
“Give our guys full credit, they dug deep to find the win,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said.
Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for Dallas (44-30-5, 93 points) and Joe Pavelski recorded his 500th career assist. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 30 saves as the Stars snapped a three-game losing streak.
Riley Sheehan and Yanni Gourde scored for the Kraken (26-46-6, 58 points), who blew a two-goal, first-period lead for the second consecutive night after a 6-3 loss Friday at Minnesota. Goalie Chris Driedger stopped 28 of 31 shots.
Blues 5, Coyotes 4 (OT)
Justin Faulk scored twice, including the overtime winner, as the visiting St. Louis Blues edged the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 Saturday in Glendale, Ariz.
The Blues blew a 4-1 third-period lead but won on Faulk’s goal 30 seconds into overtime to extend their point streak to 15 games.
Logan Brown, Ivan Barbashev and Brandon Saad also scored for the Blues (48-20-11, 107 points). Jordan Binnington made 16 saves to earn the victory.
The Blues pulled even with the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division and the home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff series. But Minnesota has played one fewer game.
Nathan Smith, Bokondji Imama, Michael Carcone and J.J. Moser scored for the Coyotes (22-50-7, 51 points), who are winless in their last 10 games (0-8-2). Harri Sateri made 27 saves in defeat.
Sabres 5, Islanders 3
Rasmus Dahlin snapped a tie by scoring the first of three unanswered second-period goals for Buffalo, which built its longest winning streak in more than three years by beating visiting New York.
Casey Mittelstadt scored in the first, Tage Thompson and Vinnie Hinostroza scored later in the second, and Jeff Skinner added a goal in the third for the Sabres, who have won four straight. It’s their longest winning streak since a 10-game run Nov. 8-Nov. 27, 2018. Goalie Dustin Tokarski made 19 saves.
Mathew Barzal scored in the first, and Noah Dobson and Kieffer Bellows scored fewer than two minutes apart in the third to generate a late comeback attempt by the Islanders, who have lost four straight. Goalie Ilya Sorokin recorded 30 saves.
Penguins 7, Red Wings 2
Kris Letang had a goal and two assists to lead Pittsburgh to a road win over Detroit.
Evgeni Malkin scored two goals, and Sidney Crosby and Rickard Rakell each had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh. Casey DeSmith stopped 23 of 25 shots for Pittsburgh.
Jakub Vrana and Michael Rasmussen scored in defeat for Detroit. Thomas Greiss stopped 18 of 23 shots in two periods for the Red Wings, before Alex Nedeljkovic made 13 saves in relief.
Bruins 3, Rangers 1
David Pastrnak recorded a goal and an assist to reach the 500-point mark for his NHL career to lift Boston to a win over visiting New York.
Pastrnak had missed the previous eight games due to injury. Taylor Hall and Trent Frederic also scored goals for the Bruins, who have won three of four following a Thursday loss in Pittsburgh and snapped New York’s four-game win streak.
Boston scored one goal in each period. Mika Zibanejad scored the lone New York goal.
Hurricanes 3, Devils 2 (OT)
Seth Jarvis scored at 1:39 of overtime to complete a huge rally for the Carolina Hurricanes in a 3-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon at Newark, N.J.
Tony DeAngelo’s pass set up Jarvis for the winning goal, allowing goalie Pyotr Kochetkov (17 saves) to win his NHL debut.
“I think you come out at the start of season, and you say, ‘We want to be the best,'” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “So that’s still the goal.”
Brady Skjei and Nino Niederreiter scored in the last 5:36 of regulation as Carolina produced a third-period uprising for the second game in a row. Niederreiter’s tally came with 1:56 left after the Hurricanes went with an extra skater.
Yegor Sharangovich had a goal and an assist as the Devils appeared ready to deal a blow to Carolina’s hopes for a divisional title. Nico Hischier also scored for New Jersey. Devils goalie Jon Gillies made 26 saves.
Sharks 4, Blackhawks 1
Timo Meier collected one goal and one assist to lead the host San Jose Sharks to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Jasper Weatherby, Tomas Hertl and Nick Bonino also scored for the Sharks (31-35-12, 74 points), who have two wins in 13 games. Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen made 27 saves in an outstanding performance.
Tyler Johnson replied for the equally floundering Blackhawks (26-42-11, 63 points), who have only two wins in 14 games. Goalie Kevin Lankinen stopped 15 shots in a losing effort.
Senators 6, Canadiens 4
Mark Kastelic scored his first two NHL goals, and got into a fight, as the Ottawa Senators used a five-goal second period to win their third in a row Saturday night, 6-4 over the visiting Montreal Canadiens, who have lost eight straight.
Parker Kelly and Austin Watson each had a goal with an assist, Josh Norris posted his 34th goal and Anton Forsberg made 44 saves for the Senators (31-41-7, 69 points), who snapped an 0-2-1 home rut during a chippy affair that featured 15 total penalties.
Playing one night after the death of legend Guy Lafleur, who was honored with a pregame video tribute Saturday, Montreal (20-48-11, 51 points) got a pair of goals from Rem Pitlick and Cole Caulfield’s 20th. However, Carey Price stopped just 20 of 26 shots to remain winless in four 2021-22 starts as the Canadiens dropped their eighth straight in regulation for the second time in three months.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report