It looks like Auston Matthews will return to the Toronto lineup Thursday after missing the last 10 games with a shoulder injury. The Calder Trophy winner of a year ago has missed 20 games this season but the injuries could be good for the Maple Leafs as he will be well-rested and healthy heading into the playoffs.
Brett Pesce and Victor Rask are out of action for the remainder of the season as the Carolina Hurricanes are on the verge of being eliminated from the post-season. They are nine points out of the second wild card with only nine games left and while it will still take a few more games, they are not going anywhere.
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ARIZONA 4 BUFFALO 1
The win gave the Coyotes a three-point lead over the bottom-dwelling Sabres who have 58 points, one in arrears over the Vancouver Canucks who are now the second worst team in the league.
Strome returned to the NHL this week when the Coyotes recalled him from Tucson of the AHL where he had 50 points in 47 games. He scored on the power play for his second of the season as he gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.
Derek Stepan made it 2-1 with his 13th to end the first period and after a scoreless second, Richard Panik and Max Domi completed the scoring for Arizona. Domi has three goals in his last two games after scoring only five in his first 71 contests.
Clayton Keller had a pair of assists to set a Coyotes rookie record for points with 55, one better than Peter Mueller in the 2007-08 season. Of course, the franchise record was set in 1992-93 by Teemu Selanne when the franchise was in Winnipeg as he had 76 goals and 132 points. That was some rookie season.
PITTSBURGH 5 MONTREAL 3
What an unbelievable goal by Sidney Crosby! You have to watch it here as he took a bounce pass, never let it touch the ice and swatted it home to tie the game at 3 as the Penguins scored twice more to win going away 5-3 over Montreal.
Crosby also picked up an assist on the clinching goal by Jake Guentzel and it was the 700th of his impressive NHL career.
Guentzel led the way for Pittsburgh with a goal and two assists while Evgeni Malkin had a goal and a helper to give him 91 points this season, tied for second in the NHL with Nathan MacKinnon, three behind Nikita Kucherov and one ahead of Connor McDavid.
After the Penguins got off to a 2-0 lead, the Habs struck for three in a row with Jonathan Drouin, Nikita Scherbak and Jacob de la Rose replying for Montreal. The Canadiens gave up a lot when they dealt Mikhail Sergachev to the Lightning for Drouin and considering he scored only his 12th of the season in his 69th game with Montreal.
Casey DeSmith made 27 saves for the win as he improved his record to 5-4-1 with a 2.62 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
Carey Price returned to action on Wednesday after missing the last four weeks with a concussion. He stopped 34-of-39 shots in taking the loss and running his record to 15-23-6 with a 3.03 GAA and a .903 save percentage. Those are not Carey Price type numbers and with his long-term contract worth $84.5 million set to kick in next season, the Canadiens could be in trouble.
ST. LOUIS 2 BOSTON 1 (Overtime)
Jaden Schwartz scored twice to lead the Blues to a 2-1 overtime win over Boston. Schwartz scored at the 9:36 mark of the third to tie it and then scored 30 seconds into overtime to win it. He has 22 goals this season and 53 points in 53 games as he has been the Blues top offensive force in 2017-18.
This week’s rookie sensation, Ryan Donato, opened the scoring for the Bruins with a power play goal. Since signing with Boston after a three-year career with Harvard, the talented forward has two goals and four points in a pair of contests. The Bruins have themselves one talented player!
Jake Allen stopped 21 shots for his 24th win of the season. His peripherals are nothing to write home about as he has a 2.75 GAA and a .906 save percentage. His mediocre play all season is the reason that Carter Hutton has played so much in the Blues net. Hutton has taken full advantage as he has a 2.02 GAA and a .934 save percentage in addition to his 16-7-3 record.
Anton Khudobin took the overtime loss as he gave up the pair of goals on 20 shots.
Brayden Schenn assisted on both goals to give him 37 this season.
ANAHEIM 4 CALGARY 0
John Gibson stopped all 29 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the Ducks put another nail in the coffin of the Calgary Flames playoff hopes with a 4-0 win.
Gibson has won four straight and is 29-17-6 this season for Anaheim as the Ducks leapfrogged over the Los Angeles Kings into third place of the Pacific Division.
It was a tough night for Mike Smith as the Flames netminder was pulled after two periods, giving up three goals on only 11 shots. David Rittich came on in relief and stopped four-of-five shots as the Ducks were out-shot 29-16.
Dougie Hamilton was a minus-three on the night while Getzlaf and Lindholm were each a plus-three.