The NHL playoffs are shortly approaching, and the depth has picked up on the ice. This previous weekend featured some entertaining video games and a few enjoyable highlights.
The Boston Bruins grew to become the fourth crew in NHL historical past to win 60 video games whereas additionally clinching the President’s Trophy. They are actually inside attain of the all-time file for many factors in a single season.
In the Western Conference playoff race, the Calgary Flames stored their hopes alive with a pair of comeback wins. In the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins held their floor whereas additionally honoring Kris Letang.
Take a take a look at the perfect highlights and largest storylines from this previous weekend within the NHL.
Goal of the weekend: Alexis Laffreniere posterizes Rasmus Sandin
Look, Rasmus Sandin will in all probability have an extended and profitable profession, however he might be on the mistaken finish of this spotlight for years. Alexis Lafreniere caught Sandin on his again foot and made him look silly.
In the New York Rangers’ win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday, Lafreniere took a pleasant feed from Filip Chytil, and he had a full head of steam getting into the offensive zone. As Lafreniere approached Sandin, he put the puck via his legs, side-stepped Sandin, and fired a backhand shot previous the glove of Darcy Kuemper.
That purpose was Lafreniere’s sixteenth of the season, and if the Rangers are getting that type of efficiency from him within the playoffs, they are going to be extremely robust to beat.
Robbery of the weekend: Devon Levi slides to cease Kaapo Kakko
Former seventh-round decide Devon Levi made his first profession begin with the Buffalo Sabres on Friday evening, and it was a memorable one. Levi confronted the Rangers, and he did not seem like a rookie towards probably the greatest offensive groups within the NHL. The spotlight of his first profession begin got here within the second interval when Levi robbed Kaapo Kakko of a purpose.
Late within the interval, the Rangers received an odd-man rush, and Kakko was left on their lonesome on the backdoor. Chytil slid a cross-ice cross to Kakko, and Levi went side-to-side for a spectacular glove save.
Levi completed the sport with 1.66 saves above common, based on Natural Stat Trick. Debuts do not get rather more spectacular than that.
Bruins win sixtieth sport, clinch President’s Trophy
The Boston Bruins have not missed a beat all season, and so they continued that over the weekend by setting a brand new franchise file for wins in a single season. On Thursday evening, the Bruins had been sitting at 57 wins forward of their sport towards the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Thanks to a beautiful additional time purpose from David Pastrnak, Boston picked up its 58th win and the franchise file.
The Bruins defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday for his or her 59th win of the season, and that put them in place to win their sixtieth of the season towards the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
St. Louis pushed Boston to a shootout, however Charlie Coyle and Linus Ullmark delivered with the sport on the road. Coyle beat Jordan Binnington on one finish, and Ullmark made a flashy save on the opposite to select up two extra factors for the Bruins.
The Bruins are actually one in all 4 groups to win 60 video games in a single season, and are simply seven factors behind the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens for the all-time file. You can observe the Bruins’ quest for NHL historical past right here.
Kris Letang performs his 1,000th NHL sport
Kris Letang performed his 1,000th NHL sport on Sunday towards the Philadelphia Flyers. Now in his seventeenth season, Letang has solely performed for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he’ll finally retire as one of many biggest gamers in franchise historical past. He has been an integral a part of three Stanley Cups for the Penguins, and he has amassed 154 targets, 532 assists, and 686 factors all through his profession.
Before puck drop towards the Flyers, the Penguins held a ceremony for Letang, and his son received to announce the beginning lineup for Pittsburgh.
The Penguins managed to select up an essential 4-2 win over their in-state rivals, and so they had been capable of maintain their floor within the remaining playoff place. The Penguins are at present hanging onto the ultimate wild card spot within the Eastern Conference, and Pittsburgh has some work to do if it desires to verify Letang makes one more postseason run.
Carter Verhaeghe nets 4 towards the Blue Jackets
The Florida Panthers haven’t had the season they anticipated, and there may be loads of blame to go round, however Carter Verhaeghe has greater than pulled his weight. Verhaeghe, who’s having a profession 12 months, went off towards the Blue Jackets on Saturday.
Verhaeghe entered the sport with 36 targets, already a profession excessive by a large margin. By the tip of the 7-0 blowout, he had 40 targets.
Verhaeghe received his day began late within the first interval when he completed off a cross from Gustav Forsling to provide the Panthers a 2-0 lead getting into the intermission.
Just 18 seconds into the second interval, Verhaeghe picked up a rebound and deposited it into the again of the web for his second of the sport.
Verhaeghe accomplished the hat trick with an ideal shot from the left circle. He received the puck, circled, and ripped a laser of a shot over the shoulder of Michael Hutchinson.
Not happy with the hat trick, Verhaeghe hit the 40-goal mark together with his fourth of the sport within the third interval. With Florida on the frenzy, Verhaeghe crashed the backdoor, and Anthony Duclair put a cross proper on his stick for a tap-in purpose.
The Panthers are nonetheless preventing for a playoff spot, and Verhaeghe is doing all he can to verify their season does not finish in disappointment. Just a few extra video games like that, and Florida might be competing for a Stanley Cup this spring.
Calgary Flames keep alive with comeback wins
Speaking of groups nonetheless preventing for playoff positioning, the Calgary Flames had been capable of hold their postseason hopes alive with a pair of third-period comebacks.
On Friday evening, Calgary trailed the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 heading into the third interval, and it was beginning to seem like the Flames would not get any factors in any respect. But with underneath three minutes remaining, the much-maligned Jonathan Huberdeau tallied an influence play purpose to even the rating.
In additional time, Tyler Toffoli completed off a 2-on-1 to provide the Flames an enormous two factors within the standings.
Two days later, the Flames as soon as once more discovered themselves trailing 4-3 within the third interval, this time towards the Anaheim Ducks. Just over six minutes into the interval, Milan Lucic wired a shot over the shoulder of Lukas Dostal to tie the sport at 4-4. The excellent news for Flames followers is that the crew did not make them endure additional time towards Anaheim. Michael Stone let some extent shot fly with lower than three minutes left in regulation, and it discovered the again of the web for the game-winning purpose.
The Flames are actually simply two factors out of a playoff spot with 5 video games remaining, and Calgary has an enormous matchup towards the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.
Appointment viewing this week
Oilers at Kings | Tuesday, April 4: The struggle for playoff positioning within the Pacific Division might be heated over the following two weeks, and this sport is a part of that. The Oilers are only one level behind the second-place Kings, and this sport might be key in figuring out home-ice benefit or the division winner.
Flames at Jets | Wednesday, April 5: Thanks to a four-game successful streak, the Flames are actually simply two factors behind the Jets for the ultimate wild card spot within the Western Conference. The winner of this sport might be within the driver’s seat to succeed in the playoffs.
Kings at Golden Knights | Thursday, April 6: Once once more, Pacific Division playoff positioning is on the road. The Kings have a giant alternative to realize floor on the Golden Knights for the highest spot within the division and the Western Conference.
Lightning at Islanders | Thursday, April 6: The Islanders discover themselves in a battle for an Eastern Conference wild card spot, and this sport towards the instantly surging Lightning might be a serious check. The Isles have a small margin of error.
Avalanche at Kings | Saturday, April 7: This is a giant week for the Kings, as you may see. On Saturday, the Kings will go head-to-head with the Avalanche. Two massive factors are on the road for every crew as they contend for home-ice benefit via the convention finals.
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