NHL Scores: McDavid hits 60 points, Maple Leafs stop the bleeding, Rangers snap Capitals streak, and more

connor McDavid stats
Mar 20, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) looks for a puck in front of Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid now has 60 points. He’s simply put “shake your head” good this season. The Jets jumped out to a 2-0 lead before this year’s eventual Art Ross winner took over.

NHL Scores: McDavid picks up two points to hit 60 and beat the Jets

Late in the first period, McDavid with a Jets defender on his back corralled the puck in the circle, skated to the slot and buried it unassisted. It was his 21st goal of the season and now ties him for first in goals with Auston Matthews, so that Rocket Richard award is in sight as well. He also picked up his 39th assist on the eventual game-winner by Leon Draisaitl (18).

“I thought we did a great job of just holding on to the game and not letting them get to [a 3-1 lead],” McDavid said. “That’s where [Mike Smith] steps in, and he was great again, and let us work our way back into the game. It took all night long, but I thought it was a real good team win.”

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NHL Scores: Maple Leafs get a big win, and more North action

The Maple Leafs picked up a huge win over the Flames thanks to a 31 save Jack Campbell 2-0 shutout. Toronto stops the bleeding at three straight losses, but the damage of losing 6 in their last 8 is done. They are currently tied with the Oilers for first in the North Division.

Jason Spezza, who threatened to retire if someone picked him up on waivers earlier this season opened the scoring. It was his 7th goal of the year but after the game he acknowledged the real star of the contest, his goalie.

“It was just a really gritty effort from our group,” Spezza said. “Probably the best thing that could have happened to us was getting a chance to play the next night, not having to sit on last night’s game. Jack coming in and shutting the door, he made a lot of great saves for us, which was great.”

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For Campbell it was his first start since February 27 after sustaining a lower-body injury that cost him 8 games. The Leafs need him because Frederik Andersen is struggling mightily this season and is said to be dealing with an injury.

In other North action, the Canucks lost a big point against the Canadiens in a shootout 5-4. Had they won it would be a tie for the last playoff spot. These divisional games have become so crucial where every point counts, especially against the team you are directly fighting with for the last spot.

NHL Scores: Rangers snap Capitals streak at seven games, Islanders win gives them tie for first

rangers vs capitals
Mar 20, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates after scoring the go ahead goal on Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (30) late in the third period in the third period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It was setting up to be a repeat of the game on Friday night. The Rangers were heading into the third period up 1-0 and waiting for the Capitals late push. John Carlson scored the tying goal as it looked like the Capitals were set to win their 8th straight, but the Rangers flipped the script by holding off the surge. Mika Zibanejad who has roared back to life, stole the puck from Brenden Dillon late in the third and rifled it over Ilya Samsonov with 2:32 left on the clock. The Blueshirts added an empty-netter and won it 3-1.

“I was basically just chasing [Dillon] and tried to stay on him,” said Zibanejad, who also had an assist. “Got a push. I don’t know if he caught a rut or something. He fell, and I was able to get the puck. Tried to get it on net and it went in, so it was nice.”

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The win puts the Rangers 6 points out of 4th place which is held by the Bruins. Boston is idle due to COVID protocols. New York’s victory also helped their crosstown rival Islanders who humbled the Flyers 6-1 and moved back into a tie for first place in the East. And finally, the Penguins got two assists from Sidney Crosby to beat the Devils 3-1.

NHL Scores: Here come the Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets have come back to life this season and now hold a tie for the final playoff spot with the Blackhawks. Columbus’ Seth Jones who has been a star for the Jackets tied the game with 29 ticks on the clock and his goalie Elvis Merzlikins did the rest. The 3-2 shootout win over the Hurricanes was a huge one for the Jackets who many thought would be sellers at this deadline. Looks like Nick Foligno isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

“We put really a lot of effort and love into these (past) two games,” Merzlikins said. “We are fighting for each other. We’re blocking a lot of shots, we’re playing good defensively. I’m really happy we are getting on the right track.”

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The Lightning picked up a 4-1 over the struggling Blackhawks and put themselves back into sole possession of first place in the Central. Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his 11th straight win and a firm grip on winning the Vezina this season. The Panthers got a 21 save shutout from Chris Driedger to defeat the Predators 2-0 and take sole possession of second. Lastly, the Stars also got a shutout from Anton Khudobin for defeat the Red Wings 3-0.

NHL Scores: Avalanche still rolling as they pick up 6th straight win

It was shutout night in the NHL as the Avalanche’s Phillip Grubauer stopped 31 Wild shots for their 6th straight win. The 6-0 trouncing has the Avs just 3 points out of first place in the West. Nathan MacKinnon dished out three helpers to lead the offense as his line remains red-hot. Gabriel Landeskog picked up a goal and two assists himself with Mikko Rantanen scoring his 17th.

“This entire homestand we’ve been real competitive and worked real hard and really paid attention to all the little things that we talk about all the time,” Landeskog said. “As a group, we’ve done a good job of stepping up and realizing how big this homestand was, what an opportunity it was for us and to make a push in the standings.”

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The Blues also picked up a pick win last night against the over the Sharks 4-2 to hold on to 4th place. And to complete the action the Coyotes defeated the Ducks 5-1.