* For the first time in his NHL career, Connor McDavid is a 50-goal scorer! He had a fourth straight multi-goal game Monday and became the first player to reach the milestone this season.
* The Senators secured a 6-2 win to open their back-to-back set with the Red Wings and now sit just five points outside of the playoff picture.
* February is set to conclude with six teams either occupying or within five points of the Eastern Conference’s Wild Card spots in action, including the Sabres on HULU and ESPN+.
McDAVID REACHES 50-GOAL MARK IN 61ST GAME, WIDENS LEAD IN “ROCKET” RACE
Connor McDavid (50-65—115 in 61 GP) became the first player to reach the 50-goal mark this season and opened an eight-tally lead in the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race on David Pastrnak (42-38—80 in 59 GP), who only had an assist but skated away with a seventh straight victory Monday.
* McDavid became the ninth active player with at least one 50-goal season and required the fewest games to hit the milestone among all current skaters, eclipsing the previous mark set by Auston Matthews in 2021-22 (50-37—87 in 62 GP). McDavid became the first player to reach the 50-goal mark in 61 or fewer games since 1995-96, when three skaters did so.
OTTAWA HAS ENTERED THE EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD CHAT
Claude Giroux (1-3—4) got his first four-point game in over three years to help the Senators (29-26-4, 62 points) defeat the Red Wings (28-23-8, 64 points) and move within five points of the idle Penguins (29-21-9, 67 points), who occupy the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa faces Detroit again Tuesday and could move ahead of the Red Wings in the standings.
RANTANEN REACHING 40-GOAL MARK FEATURED IN #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES
Monday’s edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured more notes from the five-game slate, including Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen (40-31—71 in 58 GP) becoming the fastest player in team history to reach the 40-goal mark in a season as Colorado (34-19-5, 73 points) blanked Vegas and leapfrogged idle Minnesota (33-21-6, 72 points) for second place in the Central Division.
Monday marked the third consecutive day to feature at least one trade, with the Maple Leafs acquiring Sam Lafferty, Jake McCabe as well as conditional fifth-round picks in the 2024 and 2025 NHL Draft from the Blackhawks for Joey Anderson, Pavel Gogolev, a conditional first-round pick in 2025 and a second-round pick in 2026 followed by the Sabres acquiring Riley Stillman from the Canucks for Josh Bloom.
* Click here to read the #NHLStats Pack for the 2022-23 NHL Trade Deadline Presented by OFX, which is at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, March 3.
MORE 2022-23 NHL TRADE DEADLINE PRESENTED BY OFX COVERAGE
* Erik Karlsson not asked to waive no-move clause by Sharks ahead of deadline
* ‘Powerhouse’ East already in frenzy ahead of NHL Trade Deadline
* State Your Case: What should Oilers do before NHL Trade Deadline?
* NHL Trade Buzz: Derick Brassard says Senators should buy before Deadline
* Connor McDavid, Linus Ullmark, John Gibson named NHL ‘Three Stars’ of the Week
* Timo Meier arrival ‘big piece of the puzzle’ for Devils playoff push
* Barry Trotz ready for ‘challenge’ of replacing David Poile as Predators GM
* Maple Leafs hope new identity can end skid in playoffs
* Women in Hockey: Mari-Etta Parrish
EASTERN CONFERENCE CLUBS CONTINUE TIGHTLY-CONTESTED WILD CARD RACE
Tuesday’s 10-game slate features six teams either occupying or within five points of the Eastern Conference’s Wild Card spots in action as the Islanders (31-25-7, 69 points), Penguins (29-21-9, 67 points), Sabres (31-23-4, 66 points), Red Wings (28-23-8, 64 points), Panthers (29-26-6, 64 points) and Senators (29-26-4, 62 points) all take to the ice.
* The clash between Buffalo and Columbus on HULU and ESPN+ marks the Sabres’ final contest before a stretch of seven straight games against opponents currently occupying a playoff spot. Tage Thompson (5-5—10 in 6 GP), who became the third player to reach the 40-goal mark this season and is one point shy of 80 on the campaign, has found the score sheet in each of Buffalo’s last six contests and can establish the longest point streak of his NHL career.