NHL Scores: Patrick Marleau passes Gordie Howe, Carey Price injured again, and Central races tighten

patrick marleau
Apr 19, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) reacts after an NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Marleau passed Gordie Howe for most NHL games played on Monday. Mandatory Credit: John Locher/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Marleau set history last night at the opening face-off in Vegas. His dedication to the game of hockey culminated in game 1768 of his NHL career passing the great Gordie Howe for most games played.

Marleau makes history

The San Jose Sharks lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in a shootout 3-2, but it would not takeaway from the incredible moment for Patrick Marleau. After the first whistle, the league stopped the game and payed homage to Marleau’s history breaking moment which took him and his teammates by surprise. What made it all the more special was having his family in attendance and setting the record in the jersey of the team that drafted him.

“I think it’s very meaningful. It’s huge, having played most of my games here in San Jose, being drafted by them,” Marleau said. “It’s been a great organization for me and my family. My family’s grown up being part of it. it’s the right thing that happened, being in a Sharks uniform.”

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The victory puts the Golden Knights in first place in the West by two as the Avalanche remain idle due to COVID. Also the Minnesota Wild defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. The St. Louis Blues remain just one point back of the Yotes with three games in hand to get back the last playoff spot.

Connor McDavid lifts Oilers over Canadiens, Carey Price injured again

carey price injury
Apr 19, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) makes a save on Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers got by the Canadiens by a 4-1 score thanks to the Connor McDavid’s goal and two assist evening. Unfortunately for the Habs they lost Carey Price after the first period. According to head coach Dominique Ducharme he sustained an upper-body injury after being bumped on a disallowed goal for interference.

Montreal got some help from the Ottawa Senators who beat the closest threat to their playoff spot. They took out the Calgary Flames 4-2. The Habs are up six points and have two games in hand on Calgary.

Central Division tightens further

See-saw.

That’s the best way to describe the shifts in the standing every time the top teams play. Last night saw the Florida Panthers move into a tie with the Carolina Hurricanes after they beat the Blue Jackets 4-2. They each have 63 points and the Tampa Bay Lightning are one point behind them. Thanks to Tampa’s Yanni Gourde’s 16th of the season in OT over the Canes, we have an incredibly tight race for first in the division.

“There were two good teams out there,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We had a game plan in place and they executed it. The guys did a good job.”

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Another interesting race is developing for the final playoff berth in the Central. The Nashville Predators picked up a huge win over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Matt Duchene’s first goal since February 11th gave the Preds a lead and increased their margin over the Hawks to four points. However, the Dallas Stars are a bigger threat as they beat the Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout. Dallas is just three points behind Nashville and has three games in hand.