Boston Bruins tie wins record; Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid hits 150-point milestone

Saturday was already a record day because 16 games were being played for the first time in NHL history.

But with all 32 teams playing and the rapidly approaching end of the regular season adding urgency to the day, the action on the ice provided an exclamation point.

The Boston Bruins tied the NHL record for most wins in a season, Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid hit a milestone last reached 27 years ago, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby achieved a career milestone, an emergency backup goaltender got into a game and another team dropped to 32nd place, which comes with the best draft lottery odds for generational talent Connor Bedard.

Boston Bruins tie NHL record for wins

The Bruins' 2-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils gave them 62 wins this season, tying the record held by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning.

They can break the record Sunday at Philadelphia.

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Pavel Zacha, acquired from the Devils in the offseason, provided the offense with both goals. Goalie Linus Ullmark made 29 saves for his 39th victory of the season. He even tried to score, as he did in February, but his shot went wide.

The Bruins enter next week's playoffs as favorites and are getting healthy. Taylor Hall returned from an injury on Saturday.

The Devils missed an opportunity to move into first place after the Carolina Hurricanes had lost earlier in the day. But Jack Hughes picked up his 96th point to tie Patrik Elias' franchise record for most in a season.

New Jersey signed Hughes' younger brother, Luke, a defenseman who was drafted fourth overall in 2021, to a three-year entry-level contract earlier Saturday. He had played at the University of Michigan the past two seasons.

Boston Bruins goalies Linus Ullmark (35) and Jeremy Swayman celebrate after the victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Boston Bruins goalies Linus Ullmark (35) and Jeremy Swayman celebrate after the victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid passes 150 points

McDavid had a goal and assist in the first period against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday afternoon to reach 150 points this season. He added a goal in the third period in Edmonton's 6-1 Edmonton.

The last player to hit 150 points was Mario Lemieux, who had 161 points in the 1995-96 season. McDavid joins Wayne Gretzky (nine times), Lemieux (four), Steve Yzerman, Phil Esposito and Bernie Nicholls as the league's only players who have had 150-point seasons.

McDavid drew an assist on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' opening goal, then scored with 1:44 left in the first period. His second goal gave him 64 goals and 87 assists on the season.

The Oilers' win kept alive their chance of winning the Pacific Division. The Vegas Golden Knights lost to the Dallas Stars in a shootout and lead by two points. Vegas and Edmonton have two games left.

McDavid needs one goal to match the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin for most goals in a season since 2000. Ovechkin, who had 65 goals in 2007-08, sat out Saturday's game with an injury.

San Jose's Erik Karlsson was held off the scoreboard Saturday and still needs two points to become the first NHL defenseman since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 to score 100 points in a season. He has three games left.

Penguins' Sidney Crosby scores 1,500th career point

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby also hit a milestone Saturday, picking up his 1,500th career point with two goals and an assist in a 5-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings. He's the 15th NHL player to hit that milestone and the sixth fastest (1,188 games).

It was an important win for the Penguins, who are trying to keep their 16-season playoff streak alive. They briefly moved into a playoff spot but fell out again Saturday night when the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders won. Pittsburgh is one point back with two games left.

Emergency backup goalie gets into Maple Leafs-Canadiens game

The Toronto Maple Leafs' 7-1 rout of the Montreal Canadiens had little impact on the standings.

But it was important for University of Toronto goaltender Jett Alexander, who made his NHL debut. He had been signed to an amateur tryout agreement because Matt Murray is injured and the Leafs didn't call up Joseph Woll for salary-cap reasons.

With Toronto up by six goals, the Maple Leafs pulled starter Ilya Samsonov late in the third period and gave Alexander a chance. He ended up facing no shots.

Alexander is the second emergency backup goalie to get into a game this season. In January, the Oilers gave University of Alberta goalie Matt Berlin a chance late in a win against the Chicago Blackhawks and he stopped the only shot he faced.

The most famous EBUG situation was when Zamboni driver and Maple Leafs practice goalie David Ayres, then 42, got the call in 2020 after injuries to both Carolina Hurricanes goaltenders. He played 29 minutes, stopped eight of 10 shots and was credited with the win in Toronto.

Columbus Blue Jackets drop to last place

The last-place Anaheim Ducks' losing streak hit 10 games, though it happened in the wrong way. The point the Ducks (57 points) gained in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes moved them from 32nd to 30th place. They were replaced by the Blue Jackets (56), who fell 4-0 to the New York Rangers. The Chicago, who lost to the Seattle Kraken, are 31st.

The Blue Jackets have held the final spot for much of the latter part of the season, but the Sharks, Blackhawks and Ducks also have occupied the cellar recently.

Playoff picture unchanged

The Winnipeg Jets (91 points) held onto the Western Conference's final playoff spot with a victory against thNashville Predators (88). The Calgary Flames (90) fell one point back with a shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks. In the Central Division, the Colorado Avalanche (102), Dallas Stars (102) and Minnesota Wild (100) remained 1-2-3 with victories. The Kraken pulled within two points of the third-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division with their victory. Seattle has a game in hand.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bruins tie record for wins; Oilers' Connor McDavid scores 150th point