By virtue of a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Boston Bruins have officially secured their playoff berth.
Bruce Cassidy’s team only needed one point to confirm what seemed like a formality.
The Bruins opened the scoring in the 49th second through Trent Frederic who scored his sixth of the season. Frederic scored from the backhand on a return throw.
Just 72 seconds later, Erik Haula doubled the Bruins lead with his 15th. Haula had luck when his shot from the circles deflected off Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson at 2:01.
The Penguins stayed in the game when Danton Heinen found the back of the net to cut the home side’s lead in half.
Goaltender Jeremy Swayman bounced back from a tough outing, making 23 saves in the Bruins net. He had lost his last three games after allowing a few weak goals.
Casey DeSmith stopped 27 shots for the Penguins, who will host the Bruins on Thursday.
The Bruins failed to score on two power plays to extend their powerplay scoreless streak to 25.
The Penguins had already confirmed their place in the playoffs since Thursday following a victory against the Islanders. It’s their 16th straight appearance, the longest active streak among sports teams in North America.
Sidney Crosby stayed one goal away from a 10th season with 30 goals. Only Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr have had as many such seasons in Penguins history.
David Pastrnak missed a sixth game in a row with an unspecified injury.
Team record for Kaprizov, but the Wild lose to the Blues
Kirill Kaprizov set a new team mark with his 43rd goal of the season, but the St. Louis Blues got the last laugh with a 6-5 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild. This victory, an eighth consecutive, allows the Blues to get their ticket to the playoffs.
Brayden Schenn played the heroes in overtime with a good wrist shot that got the better of Cam Talbot. Schenn finished the game with three points, as did Pavel Buchnevich.
Wild 5 – Blues 6 (Extension)
The Blues’ offense is working at full speed, as St. Louis has scored at least four goals in each of its last 11 games. This is the longest streak of its kind in the NHL for 30 years, when the Pittsburgh Penguins of Mario Lemieux and company had scored at least four goals in 15 consecutive games.
David Perron, Ivan Barbashev, Vladimir Tarasenko and Brandon Saad were the other scorers
With two assists, Mats Zuccarello took his tally to 52 this season, which is a new team record. The previous mark of 50 belonged to Quebecer Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Ryan Hartman led the team with two goals and an assist. He reached the 30-goal mark for the very first time in his career.
Ville Husso took the win with 31 saves. Opposite Talbot got off to a rocky start stopping just 24 of 30 pucks aimed at him.
The Flames make short work of the Coyotes
Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had two goals and two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 9-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. The Flames confirmed their presence in the playoffs even before the initial puck drop.
Their Alberta rivals, the Edmonton Oilers, secured the Flames a playoff berth with a 4-0 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights earlier in the evening.
The Pacific Division-leading Flames (46-20-9) became the third Western Conference team to earn their playoff berth after the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Blues. St. Louis.
Dillon Dube also scored twice for the Flames and Elias Lindholm had a goal and three assists.
Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman were the other Flames scorers. Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots for the victory. The doorman had been chased in the Flames’ two most recent games.
Nick Ritchie was the Coyotes’ lone scorer (22-48-5).
Coyotes starting goaltender Harri Sateri was replaced by Karel Vejmelka after allowing four goals on four shots to open the middle period. However, he finished the game and stopped 24 of 31 shots aimed at the Coyotes net.
Vejmelka allowed two goals on 10 shots in 16 minutes and 49 seconds of work.
The Predators have the upper hand over the Blackhawks
Mikael Granlund had a goal and an assist, Matt Duchene approached the 40-goal mark with his 39and and the Nashville Predators defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3.
It was the Finn’s goal that made the difference at 3:14 of the third period. Filip Forsberg also did well with two assists.
It’s a big win for Nashville, which now sits two points ahead of the Dallas Stars for the top pick in the West.
Roman Josi took advantage of this game to hit the target for the 20th time this season. He reached this mark for the very first time in his career and became the second defenseman in franchise history to score at least 20 goals, after Shea Weber.
Filip Forsberg had two assists as Juuse Saros saved 28 pucks for the Predators, who started the day first of the two teams drafted in the Western Conference.
For the Hawks, Patrick Kane stood out with a goal and an assist. Kane’s goal was his 25th of the campaign. Alex DeBrincat also had two points with two assists. The Blackhawks lost for the ninth time in their last ten games.
Dominik Kubalik and Riley Stillman both moved the ropes on one occasion.
Kevin Lankinen blocked 30 shots for the Blackhawks, who have lost nine of their last 10 games.
Mike Smith signs a 2nd consecutive shutout on the Knights
Veteran Mike Smith became the seventh goaltender aged 40 or older to sign back-to-back shutouts in the Edmonton Oilers’ 4-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
Smith gave the Knights nothing by stopping 39 pucks. Kris Russell scored the goal that made the difference in the first period. It was Russell’s first goal since March 17, 2019, against the Golden Knights.
Cody Ceci, Warren Foegele and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins found the back of the net for the Oilers, who are 8-1-1 in their last ten games.
The Oilers are now six points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and seven points ahead of the Golden Knights, solidifying their hold on second place in the Pacific Division.
Logan Thompson was in front of the Knights cage. He finished the game with 32 saves.
Nevada goaltender Robin Lehner returned to Las Vegas on Friday due to family health issues. Jiri Patera was therefore recalled from the American League to assist Thompson.
The Lightning manhandle the Jets
Nikita Kucherov had two goals and two assists, Victor Hedman had four assists and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Winnipeg Jets 7-4 on Saturday.
The champions of the last two editions of the Stanley Cup currently occupy second place in the Atlantic Division. They have a three-point lead over the Boston Bruins.
Steven Stamkos and Nick Paul each had a goal and an assist. Mikhail Sergchev, Alex Killorn and Pierre-Édouard Bellemare also hit the mark for the Florida squad.
Brian Elliott stopped 14 shots for his 10th win of the season.
Kyle Connor, Paul Stastny, Josh Morrissey and Adam Lowry hit the target for the Jets. Nikolaj Ehlers extended his game streak with a career-high nine points.
Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves before being replaced by Eric Comrie, who blocked all four shots his way.
The Sabers score four goals in the second period
Tage Thompson capped a four-goal surge in the second period and the Buffalo Sabers came from behind to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3.
Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and an assist as Kyle Okposo and Vinnie Hinostroza added for the Sabers, who trailed 2-0 after less than four minutes of play.
Craig Anderson stopped 18 pitches. The Sabres’ four goals in one period tied a season high against those same Flyers on Jan. 22.
Joel Farabee, Owen Tippett and Travis Konecny hit the mark for the Philadelphia squad, which has lost nine of its last 11 games and its last four.
Martin Jones has blocked 25 shots in front of the Flyers goal and has allowed 19 goals in his last five appearances.
The Stars take another step towards the playoffs
Tyler Seguin scored early in the game, Michael Raffl scored shorthanded and the Dallas Stars continued their road to the playoffs with a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
The Stars remain tied with the Nashville Predators at 91 points. The two teams that share the two Western Conference draft spots are four points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights, their closest pursuer.
Jake Oettinger made 23 saves for the Stars, who have had at least one point in 13 of their last 17 games.
Timo Meier scored his 33rd goal of the season – a personal career high – to pull the Sharks to a one-goal deficit in the second period.
Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 24 shots for the Sharks, who have lost their last nine games (0-6-3).
Danault makes the difference for the Kings
Phillip Danault hit the target for the 24th time this season and the Los Angeles Kings won a key playoff game by defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Saturday.
Danault hit the target in a third straight game. Dustin Brown also scored in the first period for the Kings, who got 21 saves from Jonathan Quick.
Coupled with the loss of their closest pursuer earlier, the Vegas Golden Knights, the Kings now have a three-point lead over the Nevada roster.
Todd McLellan’s squad can end their three-year drought with no playoffs if they win their last five games, all of which will be played against teams currently out of the playoff picture.
Sean Kuraly was the visitors’ lone scorer and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 36 shots for the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets were officially eliminated from the playoffs earlier in the day following the Washington Capitals’ 8-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Kraken defeat Devils in shootout
Ryan Donato was the only winner in the shootout and the Seattle Kraken prevailed 4-3 at the expense of the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
Rookie Matty Beniers scored his first NHL goal to give the Kraken a 3-2 lead in the second period. The second overall pick in the 2021 draft pounced on a return to the slot to thread the needle.
Will Borgen and Carson Soucy also hit the target for the Kraken, which ended a two-game losing streak. Phillip Grubauer stopped 23 shots as well as all three Devils shooters in the shootout.
Jesper Bratt, Jesper Boqvist and Damon Severson shone the red light for the Devils, who have lost their last two games.
In the loss, Nico Daws also blocked 23 shots.