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NHL Morning Skate – March 8, 2024

Filip Forsberg scored the Predators’ second hat trick in three games and helped his club extend their point streak to 10 – the NHL’s longest active run.

Connor McDavid joined Nathan MacKinnon and Nikita Kucherov as the third 100-point scorer this season and became the only active player to record seven 100-point campaigns.

* Today at 3 p.m. ET is the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline – it’s been a busy lead up with three straight days of deals resulting in 21 trades involving 33 different players and 27 draft picks.  



WILD WILD WESTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD RACE
The Western Conference Wild Card race tightened Thursday as the Predators (36-25-3, 75 points) leapfrogged the Golden Knights (33-23-7, 73 points) and the Flames (31-26-5, 67 points) earned a victory to keep pace.
 

Filip Forsberg scored his ninth career hat trick and Gustav Nyquist assisted on all three tallies to help Nashville extend its point streak to 10 games (9-0-1 dating to Feb. 17) – the eighth run of at least that length in club history and first since a franchise-record 15-game stretch in 2017-18. Forsberg now has the third-most hat tricks by a Swedish-born player in NHL history behind Kent Nilsson (14) and Markus Naslund (11).

Yegor Sharangovich (2-2—4) scored his 24th and 25th goals while setting a career high for points in a game with four – the most by a Flames player in a game since Tyler Toffoli (2-2—4 on March 16, 2023) – as Calgary defeated Tampa Bay at Amalie Arena. Sharangovich is one of two players with 25-plus goals for a new team this season, alongside Toffoli (26 w/ NJD) – whom he was traded for in June.

MCDAVID RECORDS SEVENTH CAREER 100-POINT SEASON

Connor McDavid (23-77—100 in 59 GP) collected an assist to reach the 100-point mark for the seventh time in his career, tied for the fourth most in NHL history with Mike Bossy and Peter Stastny. The only players with more: Wayne Gretzky (15), Mario Lemieux (10) and Marcel Dionne (8).

* McDavid, whose Oilers contested the NHL’s 995th game of 2023-24, joined Nathan MacKinnon (40-69—109 in 64 GP) and Nikita Kucherov (38-68—106 in 63 GP) as the third player with 100 points. Over the past 30 years, only two other seasons have featured three or more players with 100 points through the first 1,000 games: 1993-94 (6) and 1995-96 (11).
 

* McDavid’s seventh 100-point season allowed him to become the third player in NHL history with as many before age 28, joining Gretzky (10) and Lemieux (8).

* On a franchise level, McDavid’s seventh 100-point season trails only Gretzky (9) for the most, while his four consecutive 100-point campaigns is the third longest run in franchise history behind Gretzky (9 from 1979-80 – 1987-88) and Jari Kurri (5 from 1982-83 – 1986-87).
 


FIVE METROPOLITAN CLUBS SKATE TO WINS THURSDAY

Five teams in the Metropolitan Division collected wins Thursday, including the Hurricanes (37-19-6, 80 points), Flyers (33-23-8, 74 points), Islanders (28-20-14, 70 points), Capitals (29-23-9, 67 points) and Devils (31-28-4, 66 points):

Frederik Andersen made 24 saves in his first appearance in more than four months to help the Hurricanes move within four points of the idle Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division. His .915 save percentage with the Hurricanes is among the top 10 in the NHL since he joined the club in 2021-22.

Ryan Poehling found the back of the net 10 seconds into the second frame to pull the Flyers even and set the stage for Garnet Hathaway’s go-ahead goal in the final 22 seconds of regulation as Philadelphia snapped Florida’s winning streak at six games. Hathaway (59:38) scored the latest go-ahead goal for the Flyers since Brayden Schenn (59:57) on April 7, 2015 versus the Islanders.


Noah Dobson opened the scoring just 19 seconds into his 300th career game while Bo Horvat (1-2—3) and Brock Nelson (0-3—3) had three points apiece as New York matched its season high with seven goals. The Islanders extended their winning streak to five games and moved within two points of the “playoff line” in the Eastern Conference.
 

Ivan Miroshnichenko scored his first NHL goal and Tom Wilson opened the scoring 1:51 into the contest after he addressed the team with a pre-game speech with a message about believing they are still in the playoffs – the speech came after his grandfather and huge supporter passed away Thursday afternoon. Miroshnichenko’s first career goal came after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year – he said that his drive to play hockey again helped him throughout his treatment.

Timo Meier (3-1—4) scored the fifth hat trick of his career to help the Devils defeat the Blues and keep pace with the Capitals. There has been at last one hat trick in each of the last six days and 89 overall this season – AstraZeneca, which is donating $5,000 to the Hockey Fights Cancer Fund of the V Foundation for each one up to $500,000, needs just 11 more three-goal performances to reach its donation goal. Click here for more information.  

CANUCKS, BRUINS INCHING CLOSER TO PANTHERS FEATURED IN LIVE UPDATES

Thursday’s edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured more notes from the 12-game slate, including Vancouver (41-17-7, 89 points) and Boston (37-13-15, 89 points) climbing within one point of League-leading Florida (43-17-4, 90 points):

* Elias Pettersson collected an assist to improve his career totals to 166-234—400 (390 GP) and became the first member of the 2017 NHL Draft class to reach the milestone. He required the second-fewest games by a Canucks player to reach 400 points, trailing only Pavel Bure (360 GP).

David Pastrnak moved one goal shy of 40 on the season and Brad Marchand (0-2—2) recorded the 100th multi-assist game of his NHL career. Boston swept its four-game season series with Toronto before things get animated when the Bruins host the Penguins in the “NHL Big City Greens Classic 2″ on Saturday (3 p.m. ET on ESPN+, Disney+, Disney Channel, Disney XD).


NHL, NHLPA COMMEMORATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

In recognition of Women’s History Month this March and International Women’s Day 2024, the NHL and NHLPA reaffirm their commitment to girls’ and women’s hockey on the ice and behind the bench with investments in all 32 NHL Club markets, new funding opportunities for nonprofits committed to girls hockey, special events and ongoing support of mentorship programs. Click here for full details.

* ICYMI: NHL Senior Executive Vice President Kim Davis took a moment to recognize the progress and potential of women in the business of hockey in an op-ed for Sportico.




QUICK CLICKS

‘NHL Big City Greens Classic 2’ will be ‘really cool’ Kevin Weekes says

NHL renews partnership with Caesars Sportsbook

Cam Talbot robs Tim Stützle with highlight-reel save
* Forwards Nick Cousins (FLA) and Oskar Sundqvist (STL) fined for embellishment
Referee Francois St. Laurent celebrates 1,000 regular-season games worked

BATTLE FOR CENTRAL CROWN TAKES OVER FRIDAY ACTION

The Stars (38-17-9, 85 points), Jets (39-17-5, 83 points) and Avalanche (39-20-5, 83 points), separated by two points atop the Central Division, will each take to the ice during a four-game Friday. After Chicago held the No. 1 seed with its win on opening night of 2023-24, the top spot in the Central Division has belonged to either Colorado (67 days), Dallas (53 days) or Winnipeg (29 days) the rest of the way. The difference between first place and third place in the Central has been five points or less for all but four days this season (97%).

BUZZ BUILDS AHEAD OF NHL DEADLINE TRADE DEADLINE

The trade winds have picked up ahead of the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline (today at 3 p.m. ET), with three straight days of deals resulting in 21 trades involving 33 different players and 27 draft picks.

* NHL Network will air 11 consecutive hours of live coverage, beginning with a simulcast of Sportsnet’s Hockey Central coverage at 10 a.m. ET, followed by a seven-hour trade deadline edition of NHL Tonight at 2 p.m. ET. Sportsnet will air a feature on Devils assistant GM Kate Madigan as part of its coverage, which happens to fall on International Women’s Day 2024. Click here to check out the NHL feature on Madigan published last March.


* On ESPN platforms, The Point: NHL Trade Deadline Special will air from 2-4 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN+. ESPN+ will also stream Deadline Day coverage from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET and again between 4-5 p.m. ET.

* Stanley Cup champion Jake Guentzel was acquired by the Hurricanes in a deal with the Penguins announced just before midnight ET. Forward Michael Bunting went the other way in a trade involving six players and two picks. Guentzel tallied eight goals in his most recent playoff appearance – a seven-game defeat in the 2022 First Round – to match the highest single-series total achieved by an active NHL player.

* Forward Anthony Duclair was acquired by the Lightning from the Sharks. Tampa Bay would be Duclair’s eighth NHL team – tied for the most among active players – and his second stint in the Sunshine State after helping the now-rival Panthers reach the Stanley Cup Final last year.

* Many players traded earlier this week made their team debuts Thursday, including Bowen Byram who scored less than five minutes into his Sabres debut and factored on both Buffalo goals. Check out Thursday’s Live Updates for more on Byram’s performance.

Click here for a full list of all deals on NHL.com’s Trade Tracker
Click here for #NHLStats Pack: 2023-24 NHL Trade Deadline

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