NHL Morning Skate – April 18, 2022

NHL Morning Skate – April 18, 2022

* The highest-scoring weekend in NHL history included 153 goals (102 Saturday, 51 Sunday) and boosted the goals-per-game rate to 6.3 on the season. It has been 26 years since a season ended with a scoring rate that high (6.3 G/GP in 1995-96).

* The Wild and Capitals each clinched Stanley Cup Playoffs berths Sunday, with the former defeating the Sharks in a back-and-forth contest to secure their third consecutive postseason appearance.

* The Panthers (54-15-6, 114 points) netted six goals again Sunday to defeat the Red Wings and move just two points back of the Avalanche (55-14-6, 116 points) for the top spot in the NHL.

* Carolina will aim to maintain the No. 1 seed in the Metropolitan Division – a position they have held every day since Feb. 18 and for 69% of the season – when they visit Arizona. The Rangers would move into first place with a regulation loss by the Hurricanes.

In an exciting back-and-forth game at Xcel Energy Center, in which each club overcame a deficit, it was a tying goal in the third period by Kevin Fiala (1-3—4) that allowed Minnesota to clinch a playoff berth – with captain Jared Spurgeon (2-0—2) then notching the overtime winner for good measure. The Wild punched their ticket to the postseason for a third consecutive year, the ninth time in the past 10 campaigns and 12th time in franchise history. Click here to check out more clinching notes for Minnesota.

* Spurgeon boosted his career regular-season totals to 98-245—343 (767 GP). He is now just two goals shy of becoming the ninth skater – and first defenseman – to record 100 goals with the Wild.

* Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin each have played in 55 career playoff games, all with the Wild – trailing only longtime captain Mikko Koivu (59 GP) on the franchise list. Spurgeon, in his second season as captain, and Brodin are set to tie Koivu for the most years in the postseason for Minnesota (9). Only Marc-Andre Fleury (162 GP) – who claimed the victory Sunday – and Mats Zuccarello (84 GP) have more games of playoff experience on the Wild roster.

* The Wild (47-21-7, 101 points) earned 100 points for the fifth time in franchise history and are five shy of matching their franchise mark for the most in a season, set in 2016-17 (49-25-8, 106 points). Minnesota (75 GP) required the fewest games in franchise history to reach the mark, eclipsing their previous best which was also set in 2016-17 (79 GP).

The idle Capitals are headed to the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season and 32nd time in franchise history by virtue of a Maple Leafs regulation win against the Islanders. Washington’s run of eight consecutive playoff appearances – which includes a Stanley Cup win in 2018 – is the second longest in franchise history behind a stretch of 14 straight from 1983 to 1996. Click here to check out more clinching notes for the Capitals.

* Currently challenging for the most goals in a season by a player age 36 or older, Alex Ovechkin will try to follow that up with a strong playoff performance – the most goals in one playoff year by a player in that age range is 13, achieved by Joe Pavelski in 2020 at age 36. Among the five other players in NHL history who scored 40+ goals in a season at age 36 or older, four reached the playoffs that year: Teemu Selanne (5 G in 2007 SCP), Brendan Shanahan (1 G in 2006 SCP), Phil Esposito (8 G in 1979 SCP) and Johnny Bucyk (0 G in 1973 SCP); Gordie Howe did not make the postseason after notching 44 goals at age 40 in 1968-69.

The Panthers put up six goals again Sunday – despite leading scorer Jonathan Huberdeau having his point streak end at 13 games – as rookie Anton Lundell carried the offense with his fourth career multi-goal outing (including Florida’s 12th shorthanded goal of 2021-22). Lundell overtook Huberdeau and Kristian Huselius for the second-most multi-goal games in a season by a Panthers rookie.

* With a record of 54-15-6 (114 points), including a franchise-best 50 road points, the Panthers sit only two points back of the Avalanche (55-14-6, 116 points) in the Presidents’ Trophy race. Each club has seven games remaining.

* Lundell posted his 12th multi-point game of the season, third among rookies in 2021-22 and tied with Jesse Belanger (1993-94) for the most in one campaign by a rookie for Florida. Lundell overtook Belanger on the Panthers’ list for goals by a rookie (moving into fourth place) and climbed within seven points of equaling his single-season franchise rookie record of 50.

* The Panthers are averaging 5.3 goals-per-game over their 10-game winning streak – they are just the second team in the past 35 years to score at that rate over a stretch of 10 consecutive wins (also PIT in 1992-93).

Anthony Duclair and Sam Reinhart got things going for Florida by scoring goals 90 seconds apart in the middle frame, which Lundell and Maxim Mamin bested later in the period with tallies separated by only 28 seconds. A quick-strike offense has been a staple of Florida’s output this season as they have scored multiple goals in a span of 90 seconds or less on 28 occasions – the most in the NHL (ahead of PIT, TOR & CGY: 25x each).

The Blues erupted for seven goals in the middle frame to establish a franchise record for most in a single period en route to an eight-goal victory over the Predators – their highest total on the road in more than a decade. St. Louis (46-20-10, 102 points) earned its ninth straight win and extended its point streak to 12 games dating to March 28 (11-0-1), one shy of the longest in franchise history (12-0-1 in 2014-15).

* The Blues became the first team in more than eight years to score seven goals in a period on the road, following the Islanders who did so in the third period against the Canucks on March 10, 2014.

* The Blues scored at least four goals for the 12th straight game – the longest such streak since the 1992-93 Penguins (15 GP). It marked the 13th time in NHL history that a team has scored as many goals in a dozen or more consecutive contests.


Sunday edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates
Ducks players wait tables for ‘Dux In Tux’ charity event

Auston Matthews listed as day to day with “minor injury” for Maple Leafs

NHL Buzz: Tristan Jarry out week to week for Penguins with lower-body injury

J.T. Brown discusses Kraken inaugural season in sit-down with NHL.com


After putting nine on the board Saturday, the playoff-bound Flames will head to Chicago to open a doubleheader on Sportsnet, with the finale set to have a major impact on the Western Conference bracket.

Matthew Tkachuk, who factored on four of Calgary’s nine goals Saturday, is just four points shy of his first career 100-point season (39-57—96 in 75 GP). With Johnny Gaudreau (36-69—105 in 75 GP) already in the century club – and now one point shy of 600 in his career – this could mark the fourth season in franchise history to feature multiple 100-point scorers. Two of three instances to date have occurred in Calgary (1990-911987-88 & 1978-79).

* Tkachuk (Scottsdale, Ariz.) can become the third U.S.-born player to hit the century mark in 2021-22 and the fourth in the last 25 years. He would join Gaudreau (Salem, N.J.; 2021-22), Auston Matthews (San Ramon, Calif.; 2021-22) and Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.; 2018-19 & 2015-16).


A Western Conference Wild Card shuffle could be in the cards Monday, with the Stars (43-27-5, 91 points) visiting the Canucks (37-28-10, 84 points) and the Golden Knights (41-30-5, 87 points) also in action. Dallas holds the first Wild Card position, with four- and seven-point advantages over Vegas and Vancouver, respectively.

Jason Robertson (36-34—70 in 67 GP) can become the sixth player in Stars/North Stars history to score 37-plus goals in a single season at age 22 or younger and just the second since the club relocated to Dallas in 1993-94 – he would follow Dino Ciccarelli (55 in 1981-82), Steve Payne (42 in 1979-80), Brian Bellows (41 in 1983-84) and Neal Broten (38 in 1981-82) with the North Stars as well as Tyler Seguin (37 in 2013-14) with the Stars.

Quinn Hughes enters Monday two points shy of becoming the third defenseman in Canucks history to record 60 points in a season (6-52—58 in 69 GP), a feat last accomplished 35 years ago by Doug Lidster (1986-87: 12-51—63 in 80 GP). Hughes also sits three assists shy of matching the franchise record for most by a defenseman in a campaign, set 45 years ago by Dennis Kearns (55 in 1976-77).

Jonathan Marchessault (29-34—63 in 70 GP) can record his second career 30-goal season (30 in 2016-17 w/ FLA) when the Golden Knights welcome the Devils to T-Mobile Arena. He would become just the third player to record 30 goals in a season with the franchise, following William Karlsson (43 in 2017-18) and Max Pacioretty (32 in 2019-20), and could help Vegas move within one point of idle Los Angeles (40-27-10, 90 points) for third place in the Pacific Division.



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