NHL Scores: Patrick Marleau ties Gordie Howe record, Pavel Buchnevich’s birthday hat-trick lifts Rangers, Alex Ovechkin goal machine, and more
San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau has tied Gordie Howe’s record for most regular season games played at 1767. On Monday, Marleau will be at the top of the list while commanding respect and admiration from around the league.
Patrick Marleau ties Gordie Howe
The Sharks are highly unlikely to make the playoffs as they lost their fifth straight, this time to the Minnesota Wild by a 5-2 score. However, Marleau’s record breaking run has been the highlight of their season and deserves top billing on any hockey publication. The 41 year-old was saluted by the knowledgeable hockey fans in Minnesota and when the game ended a handshake line was formed by the Wild to show their respect.
“When you get recognized like that, not only your team standing up for you but the other building’s fans cheering for you, the other team doing it, it hits home. It’s definitely humbling for them to show their support for me.”NHL.com
Also in the only other game out West, the Arizona Coyotes regained possession of the last playoff spot by beating the St. Louis Blues 3-2. Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves in his return from injury.
Alex Ovechkin scores twice; hits career goals 730
The Washington Capitals doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers by a 6-3 score. As Philly falls further out of the playoff picture in the East with changes on the horizon, Alex Ovechkin moves up the all-time goal list. By scoring twice, Ovechkin hits 730 for his career and is just one shy of tying Marcel Dionne for fifth. He also widened the Caps first place lead to three points over the Pittsburgh Penguins who beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2, and four points over the idle Islanders.
Ovechkin finished the game with three points in total but his teammates understand the magnitude of his record goal scoring run. “We all know the importance of it,” defenseman John Carlson explained. “At the end of the day, that’s what means the most, and it seemed to carry us here through the last 10 or 12 games or so and we have to keep it clicking like it has been.”
Meanwhile the Rangers rolled to another victory over the Devils; their third straight against the bitter cross-river rivals. Pavel Buchnevich is the team’s leading goal scorer and completed the set with an empty-netter. Chris Kreider would add a second empty net goal as well and the Blueshirts skated out of MSG with a 6-3.
After the game Buchnevich was asked if a hat-trick was the best birthday present he ever gave himself. “Yes. Too bad it’s only one per year,” he said while laughing. The newly minted 26 year-old is the first Ranger to score a hat-trick on his birthday.
Hurricanes maintain top spot in Central; top three separated by one point each
The Carolina Hurricanes took out the Nashville Predators by a 3-1 score. Andrei Svechnikov scored his 12th goal of the year to keep the Canes at the top of the Central with 62 points. Meanwhile two new Panthers made their mark in Florida’s 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brandon Montour scored his first goal and Sam Bennett picked up two assists in his debut. Florida now has 61 points and takes over sole possession of second place, one point over Tampa.
In the race for fourth place, the Blackhawks picked up the big win with a 4-0 shutout of the Red Wings. Malcolm Subban made 29 stops to bring Chicago to within two points of the Predators with a game in hand. Also the Dallas Stars beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 to close out the division action.
Oilers shut out Jets as North Division races tighten
Mike Smith made 26 saves and Connor McDavid picked up two assists to hit the 70 point mark as the Oilers blanked the Jets 3-0. The victory tightens the North’s playoff race with Edmonton now at 54 points, three points behind Winnipeg for second place with two games in hand. Toronto remains at the top with 60 points.
Finally, the Ottawa Senators spoiled Carey Price’s return with a 4-0 blanking of the Montreal Canadiens. Matt Murray made 23 saves in the game to notch his first shutout with the Senators since the trade with Pittsburgh.