* The Bruins became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the fastest club in NHL history to reach the 50-win mark in a season.
* Auston Matthews scored his 30th goal of the season and Mitchell Marner tallied a four-point outing as the Maple Leafs outdueled the Oilers and the NHL’s top two scorers: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
* Dawson Mercer stretched his point streak to a dozen games to help the Devils move within two points of the top-seeded Hurricanes and set up a must-watch game Sunday between the two clubs.
* Sunday’s eight-game slate opens with an NHL on TNT doubleheader and features several teams looking to “Spring Forward” in the League standings.
BRUINS HISTORIC SEASON CONTINUES WITH PLAYOFF CLINCH IN 64TH GAME
Hampus Lindholm and Patrice Bergeron scored second-period goals 1:28 apart and Garnet Hathaway had the go-ahead marker with 6:06 remaining in regulation as Boston (50-9-5, 105 points) became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as the fastest club in NHL history to reach the 50-win mark in a season.
* The Bruins, who clinched a postseason berth by virtue of their victory and the Capitals defeating the Islanders on Saturday, became the third team to do so in 64 games or fewer during an 82-game season. They joined the 1995-96 Red Wings (59 GP) and 1998-99 Stars (63 GP).
* Click here to read more #NHLStats about Boston, which is headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a seventh straight year and 76th time in franchise history.
MATTHEWS, MARNER AND MAPLE LEAFS OUTDUEL McDAVID, DRAISAITL
Auston Matthews (1-1—2) reached the 30-goal mark for the seventh consecutive season to begin his career and Mitchell Marner (1-3—4) notched his 13th career four-point game as the Maple Leafs (40-17-8, 88 points) defeated Connor McDavid (1-2—3) and Leon Draisaitl (1-0—1) for their 40th win of 2022-23.
* Matthews, who became just the third player in Maple Leafs history with at least seven consecutive 30-goal seasons, also joined elite company among U.S.-born players in NHL history to register a stretch of at least that length (Pat LaFontaine: 8 from 1985-86 – 1992-93 & Joe Mullen: 7 from 1983-84 – 1989-90).
* Marner (24-59—83 in 65 GP), who initiated Toronto’s multi-goal comeback with a highlight-reel individual effort, potted his 13th career four-point game – tied with Borje Salming and Lanny McDonald for the third most in Maple Leafs history. Darryl Sittler (26 GP) and Frank Mahovlich (15 GP) rank first and second, respectively.
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN: MERCER EXTENDS POINT STREAK TO 12 CONTESTS
Dawson Mercer and Dougie Hamilton each collected assists to help the Devils (43-16-6, 92 points) earn their 25th road win of the season – the second most in a campaign behind only 1998-99 (28). New Jersey moved within two points of Carolina (43-13-8, 94 points) for top spot in the Metropolitan Division to set up a must-watch game for Sunday when the two teams face off.
* Mercer (21 years, 135 days) extended his point streak to 12 games (11-9—20) and surpassed Brendan Shanahan (11 GP from March 8-29, 1990) for the longest run by a player at age 21 or younger in Devils/Rockies/Scouts history.
* Hamilton improved his season totals to 18-44—62 (65 GP) and tied Rob Ramage (20-42—62 in 79 GP) for the third-most points by a defenseman in a season in Devils/Rockies/Scouts history. He trails Scott Stevens (18-60—78 in 83 GP; 1993-94) and Tom Kurvers (16-50—66 in 74 GP; 1988-89).
SCHEIFELE NETS OVERTIME WINNER AS JETS HOLD OFF PANTHERS
The Jets built a 4-2 lead through 40 minutes and the Panthers rallied back to force overtime in search of their second multi-goal, third-period comeback win in as many days, but Mark Scheifele (2-0—2) scored with 29 seconds remaining in the extra frame to help Winnipeg (37-26-3, 77 points) stay within a point of Colorado (36-22-6, 78 points) in their race for third place in the Central Division.
* Scheifele’s overtime winner was the 13th of his career – the most in Jets/Thrashers history and four more than Ilya Kovalchuk (9) who sits second.
* At the other end of the rink, Matthew Tkachuk (2-1—3) recorded his 10th three-point outing of 2022-23 and tied Pavel Bure (10 GP in 1999-00) for the second most by a Panthers skater in a single season behind Jonathan Huberdeau (13 GP in 2021-22). Tkachuk’s 29 multi-point games this season trail only Connor McDavid (37 GP) for the most among all players.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM SATURDAY’S #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES
A jam-packed Saturday featured notes from 30 teams, here are some of the highlights:
* Erik Karlsson continued his case toward a third Norris Trophy as he recorded his 84th point of 2022-23, surpassing Brent Burns (83 in 2018-19) for the most in a season by Sharks defenseman. Karlsson also recorded the 744th point of his career to overtake Mathieu Schneider for sole possession of 22nd place on the NHL’s all-time points list among defensemen.
* After Nathan MacKinnon tied the game to extend his home goal streak to a franchise-record nine games, Cale Makar ended the night with his fifth career overtime goal, surpassing Tyson Barrie for the most by an Avalanche/Nordiques defenseman.
* The second-seeded Wild (38-21-7, 83 points) earned a win to keep pace with the Stars (36-17-13, 85 points), who top the Central Division and also collected two points Saturday via a comeback win. Minnesota improved to 10-0-2 in its past 12 games and have posted a 12-game point streak for the second time in franchise history. The franchise-record, 13-game run was set in 2016-17 (12-0-1 from Dec. 2-29, 2016).
* Jonathan Quick blanked the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes to record his first shutout with Vegas and the 58th of his career, tying John Ross Roach for 21st place on the NHL’s all-time list. Quick also earned his 373rd career win, surpassing Andy Moog for sole possession of 18th most in NHL’s history.
* WWE superstar Big E takes in Blue Jackets game, rides Zamboni
* Sonny Milano‘s dad reads starting lineup before game against Islanders
* Jordan Kyrou gets hat trick, Blues defeat Blue Jackets
*Jordan Binnington poses with young Blues fan 4 years apart
* Kraft Hockeyville 2023 community finalists named
SUNDAY FEATURES NHL ON TNT DOUBLEHEADER, HURRICANES-DEVILS AT “THE ROCK”
Sunday’s eight-game slate is highlighted by an NHL on TNT doubleheader and the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division squaring off at Prudential Center.