It was a historic night in Chicago as Patrick Kane hit the 1,000th point mark with an assist on Brandon Saad’s 13th goal of the season as he became the youngest American-born player to hit the magical mark.
Kane is almost a full year younger than the previous record holder, Jeremy Roenick, who potted his 1,000th point at the age of 32 years and 13 days. Kane did it 317 days earlier as he is 31 years and 61 days.
With the assist, Kane has a nine-game points streak. He has not scored in his last seven games but has four goals and 14 points during the streak.
In other news, there were no power play goals scored on Sunday in any of the four games. There were a total of 17 power plays and one shorthanded goal by Jack Johnson of the Penguins.
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PITTSBURGH 4 BOSTON 3
Bryan Rust continued his unbelievable season as he scored the winner to give Pittsburgh a 4-3 come from behind win over Boston Sunday afternoon.
The Penguins trailed 3-0 just 15:07 into the first period but two third period goals, the shorthanded effort by Johnson to tie it up, and Rust’s 21st of the season gave Pittsburgh their 31st win of the season.
Dominik Simon and Teddy Blueger also scored for Pittsburgh while Sidney Crosby continued his great play since returning earlier in the week after missing over two months with a core muscle injury that required surgery, with a couple of assists. Crosby had three goals and five assists in four games this week and could be in line for one of the three stars of the week.
Matt Murray picked up the win despite giving up the three first period goals and is 15-6-4 with a 2.84 GAA and a .900 save percentage as he made 34 saves.
Patrice Bergeron opened the scoring just 11 seconds into the NBC game of the week, and Anders Bjork and David Pastrnak with his NHL-leading 37th goal of the season, made it 3-0 before the Penguins made their comeback.
Jaroslav Halak gave up four goals on only 22 shots in taking the loss. The Boston netminder is the starter for now as Tuukka Rask is out with a concussion. Halak is 11-6-6 with a 2.49 GAA and a .918 save percentage.
CAROLINA 2 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 1 (Shootout)
It was the perfect ending for a veteran making his seasonal debut. Justin Williams scored in the eighth round of the shootout in his first game since coming out of retirement, to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the tired New York Islanders.
Williams signed a contract with Carolina, the team he played for the last two seasons, on January 8 and needed the week-and-a-half to work himself into playing shape. It paid off in spades Sunday as he saw 13:06 of action before his heroics in the shootout.
It was the Islanders fifth game in seven days and it wasn’t a successful week as the New Yorkers went 1-3-1.
Both goaltenders were strong as James Reimer picked up the win and is 11-6-1 with a 2.47 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He has provided Carolina with the same great backup goaltending that Curtis McElhinney did last season, if not better.
Thomas Greiss was the hard-luck loser as Svechnikov’s goal was a tricky one in which his shot broke the stick of defenseman Noah Dobson and got past him. He is 13-7-1 with a 2.45 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
Josh Bailey left the game with an illness in the second period and was unable to return.
Lee had eight shots on net to lead both teams.
CHICAGO 5 WINNIPEG 2
As mentioned earlier, the big story of the night was Patrick Kane’s 1,000th career point but it was Erik Gustafsson and Alex Nylander each picking up a goal and an assist to lead the Blackhawks to their fifth straight win as they inched ever closer to a playoff spot with a 5-2 win over Winnipeg.
The Blackhawks are tied with Winnipeg for ninth overall in the West but the Jets do have a game in hand. Chicago is three points in arrears of Vegas and Arizona with the Blackhawks holding a game in hand.
Gustafsson looks like he is the offensive threat he was last season when he struck for 60 points. The defenseman has four points in his last two games after picking up only 18 in his first 47 games.
Brandon Saad, David Kampf and Dominik Kubalik also scored for Chicago. It was Kubalik’s 10th goal in his last eight games and has been held goalless in only one of the eight contests. It was his 21st goal of the season and he has 32 points 48 games.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 28-of-32 shots and took the loss. He is 21-15-4 as he gave up four goals Saturday to Tampa Bay, on only 12 shots.
Connor Murphy had a pair of assists and six blocked shots.
COLUMBUS 2 NEW YORK RANGERS 1
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored both Columbus goals, including the winner with just 26.5 seconds left in the third as the Blue Jackets won their fifth in a row with a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers. Columbus sits in the first wild card spot, and are just one point behind the New York Islanders for third in the Metropolitan Division.
It was Bjorkstrand’s first game after missing 13 contests with a rib/cartilage contusion.
Matiss Kivlenieks made his NHL debut in net for Columbus and it was a victorious one as he turned aside 31 shots for a well-deserved win.
Brady Skjei was the only Ranger to beat Kivlenieks as he scored his seventh of the season to give New York a 1-0 lead in the first, a lead they held into the third period when Bjorkstrand potted his 13th and 14th goals of the season.
Igor Shesterkin picked up his first NHL loss after opening his career with a pair of wins. Shesterkin, the Rangers goalie of the future, made 29 saves.
Bjorkstrand and Mika Zibanejad each had six shots on goal.
There was only one power play in the contest as the Rangers Skjei was sent off for high-sticking in the first. He came out of the penalty box and scored just eight seconds later.
Sidney Crosby – 2
Connor Murphy - 2
Shots on Goal
Patrick Kane – 6
Torey Krug – 5
Brady Skjei - 5
Nikolaj Ehlers - 5
Dmitry Kulikov – 9
Chris Wagner – 7
Andrew Copp - 6
Drake Caggiula – 8
Kris Letang - 4