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NHL Morning Skate – March 25, 2024

* The League-leading Canucks can become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a little help from the reigning champions Monday.

Zach Hyman and Sam Reinhart each hit the 50-goal mark for the first time in their careers and became the first pair of players to reach the plateau on the same day in over two decades.

* The Avalanche earned a four-goal comeback win less than 24 hours after the Blackhawks completed one of their own Saturday. The NHL had a four-goal comeback victory on consecutive days for the second time in League history (also DET on Feb. 22, 1972 & BOS on Feb. 23, 1972).

Zach Hyman (1-0—1) and Sam Reinhart (2-0—2) joined Auston Matthews as the second and third 50-goal scorers this season and became the first pair of players to reach the plateau on the same day since April 4, 2001, when Jaromir Jagr and Joe Sakic did so.

* Hyman (50-19—69 in 68 GP) became the seventh player in Oilers history to score 50 goals in a season. Hyman, who was selected by the Panthers in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Draft, also became the third player in the past 20 years to net as many in a campaign after being taken in the second round or later. He joined Brayden Point (51 in 2022-23; 3rd round in 2014) and Jonathan Cheechoo (56 in 2005-06; 2nd round in 1998).

* Reinhart (50-33—83 in 71 GP) joined Pavel Bure (59 in 2000-01 & 58 in 1999-00) as the second player in Panthers history to record 50 goals in a single season and helped Florida (46-20-5, 97 points) move past idle Boston (41-16-15, 97 points) for top spot in the Atlantic Division. Reinhart hit the 50-goal mark via his 11th multi-goal game of the season – just one shy of Bure’s franchise record (12 in 2000-01 & 1999-00).


Jonathan Drouin (2-1—3) scored the overtime winner as the Central Division-leading Avalanche (46-20-5, 97 points) completed their third four-goal comeback victory in franchise history (also March 3, 1999 & Oct. 16, 2007) and extended their winning streak to nine games.

* Drouin was one of two Colorado players to record three points Sunday, with the other being Nathan MacKinnon (1-2—3), who extended his overall and historic home point streak to 18 and 34 games, respectively. MacKinnon (44-78—122 in 71 GP), who won a QMJHL and Memorial Cup championship alongside Drouin with the Halifax Mooseheads in 2013, reached 122 points to surpass Joe Sakic (120 in 1995-96) for sole possession of the highest single-season total in Avalanche team history.


Alex Ovechkin (26-32—58 in 67 GP) tallied twice to become the third player in NHL history with 18 career 25-goal seasons (also Gordie Howe & Jaromir Jagr) and Charlie Lindgren turned aside all 27 shots he faced as the Capitals (35-26-9, 79 points) leapfrogged the idle Red Wings (36-29-6, 78 points) for the Eastern Conference’s final Wild Card spot.

* Ovechkin (848-695—1,543 in 1,414 GP), whose two-tally afternoon came one day after the 30-year anniversary of “The Great One” getting his League record-setting 802nd career goal, has 8-1—9 over his last five games and sits just 46 back of Wayne Gretzky (894-1,963—2,857 in 1,487 GP) on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin’s latest multi-goal game was witnessed first-hand by his sons, Sergei and Ilya.

The latest edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured several noteworthy performances from across Sunday’s busy 10-game slate, including Matt Duchene posting a three-point outing, Jack Hughes putting up multiple points in his 300th NHL game, Sebastian Aho hitting the 80-point mark and Frederik Andersen extending his winning streak.

* Duchene (1-2—3) factored on three of his team’s five goals to help the Stars (44-19-9, 97 points) keep pace with the Avalanche (46-20-5, 97 points) in the race for first place in the Central Division standings. Duchene boosted his 2023-24 totals to 24-38—62 – his 62 points trail only Gustav Nyquist (19-44—63) for the most among skaters in their first season with a new franchise in 2023-24.

* Hughes (111-165—276 in 300 GP) had 1-1—2 while skating in the 300th game of his NHL career and Kaapo Kahkonen (36 saves) blanked the Islanders to record his first win for the Devils (35-33-4, 74 points), who kept pace with the Capitals in the Eastern Conference’s Wild Card race. Hughes’ 276 points marked the most by a player through 300 career NHL games in franchise history, besting Kirk Muller (96-167—263 in 300 GP).

* With the help of Andersen’s 32-save performance and Aho’s game-winning goal, the Hurricanes (45-20-7, 97 points) came out victorious and moved within one point of the idle Rangers (47-20-4, 98 points) for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Andersen extended his winning streak to six games – tied for the fifth longest in franchise history – while Aho boosted his 2023-24 totals to 31-49—80 (69 GP) with his 60th career power-play goal and tied Rod Brind’Amour for the eighth most in Hurricanes/Whalers history.


T.J. Oshie joined by family, teammates for 1,000th NHL game ceremony
Color of Hockey: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare rode character, work ethic approaching 700 NHL game
Macklin Celebrini, top prospect for 2024 NHL Draft, ‘special player,’ Connor Bedard says
Matthew ‘Gren’ Grenier captures EA Sports NHL 24 North American Championship


The League-leading Canucks (45-18-8, 98 points) will clinch a berth in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the Kings (37-22-11, 85 points) in any fashion AND the Blues (38-30-3, 79 points) lose to the Golden Knights (38-25-7, 83 points) in any fashion OR if Vancouver gets one point against Los Angeles AND St. Louis loses to Vegas in regulation. The Kings-Canucks game is available on Sportsnet, while the Golden Knights-Blues contest is carried on NHL Network and TVA Sports.

More notable national broadcasts to keep an eye out for this week as the Rush to the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues:

Tuesday, March 26: Devils at Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, Hulu)
Auston Matthews (58-34—92 in 69 GP) can record the second 60-goal season of his NHL career after scoring exactly 60 in 73 games en route to winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2021-22. Click here to read more as Matthews approaches the milestone.

Wednesday, March 27: Bruins at Lightning (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Max, TVA Sports)
David Pastrnak and the Bruins will conclude their four-game season series against Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning in a potential 2024 First Round matchup. Boston and Tampa Bay have met in three all-time playoff series, with the Bruins earning a seven-game win in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final and the Lightning logging five-game victories in both the 2018 and 2020 Second Round.

Saturday, March 30: Golden Knights at Wild (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, Hulu)
Kirill Kaprizov and the Wild face the reigning Stanley Cup champions twice during their final 10 games (also April 12) as Minnesota vies for the Western Conference’s final Wild Card spot, which is currently occupied by Vegas. Wild Card teams have combined for 17 series wins since the current playoff format was introduced in 2013-14, while three have reached the Conference Finals or further (2023 FLA2019 CAR & 2017 NSH).

Saturday, March 30: Maple Leafs at Sabres (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+, Hulu, Sportsnet)
Tage Thompson and the Sabres (34-33-5, 73) sit six points back of the “playoff line” in the Eastern Conference as Buffalo looks to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011.

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