It being the third last day of the regular season, there were a lot of big moments tonight. The New Jersey Devils have officially clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2012 and simultaneously put Taylor Hall into the postseason for the first time in his career, the Nashville Predators secured the Presidents Trophy for the first time in their franchise’s history, and Dustin Brown had a four-goal game while setting a new career-high in points to punctuate a tremendous rebound story.
And yet that all pales in comparison to what happened in Vancouver because for the final time, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin played at home. That alone is historic, but they made it an even more storybook night as Henrik set up Daniel for the overtime-winner. The two had already combined for a goal earlier in the night.
While I never want to see elite players end their career, I always appreciate it when they announce their retirement in advance because it gives the fans a chance to say a proper goodbye. One of my favorite hockey moments in recent memory isn’t a milestone goal or a Stanley Cup championship, it’s Teemu Selanne getting all three stars in his final game, skating around, and then grabbing his former teammate Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who was also playing in his final season, and skating around the ice with him so that Giguere wouldn’t be forgotten in all the attention surrounding Selanne.
It was great to see Canucks fans get that moment to cheer the twins on as they skated around the ice after winning one last home game for them.
Of course, their careers aren’t over quite yet. They will play in one more game in Edmonton on Saturday.
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NEW JERSEY 2 TORONTO 1
Miles Wood scored the game-winning goal. It was his 18th marker and 30th point in 75 games in 2017-18.
Pavel Zacha accounted for the Devils’ other goal. He has eight goals and 23 points in 68 games.
Keith Kinkaid stopped 31 of 32 Maple Leafs shots. He’s on a four-game winning streak and has allowed just seven goals over that span. His strong play of late makes him a very real possibility to start in Game 1 of the first round.
William Nylander netted Toronto’s lone goal. He’s up to 20 goals and 60 points in 81 games. With that, Toronto’s three major sophomores have all reached the 60-point mark as Auston Matthews has 61 points in 61 games and Mitchell Marner has 69 points in 81 contests.
Frederik Andersen turned aside 37 of 39 shots last night. On the one hand, this ended his winning streak at just two games, but this also ended his run of four straight starts where he surrendered at least three goals.
NY ISLANDERS 2 NY RANGERS 1
Jaroslav Halak came up big by kicking out 34 of 35 Rangers shots. He’s 20-26-6 with a 3.19 GAA and .908 save percentage in 54 games this season.
At the other end of the ice, Ondrej Pavelec stopped 20 of 22 shots. You’d have to go back to Jan. 25 to find his last win, but to be fair to him, he’s only made three starts since that date so he’s hardly dealing with as serious a drought as the length of it implies. Still, he’s probably not going to get another chance to win a game this season.
Kevin Hayes scored the Rangers’ only goal. He’s up to 25 goals and 44 points in 75 games.
Anthony Beauvillier accounted for the game-winner. It was his 21st goal and 36th point in 70 games.
Thomas Hickey also scored a goal for the Islanders. He has five goals and 24 points in 68 contests.
PHILADELPHIA 4 CAROLINA 3
Jakub Voracek scored the game-winning goal at 14:15 of the third period. That gives him 20 goals and 84 points in 81 games.
Claude Giroux extended his goal scoring streak to four games. The Flyers forward is up to 31 goals and 98 points in 81 contests.
Sebastian Aho scored a goal for the Hurricanes. The sophomore forward is now just one goal away from 30 going into Carolina’s season finale against Tampa Bay on Saturday.
Scott Darling surrendered four goals on 34 shots. This has been a terrible campaign for him as he has a 13-21-7 record, 3.18 GAA, and .888 save percentage in 43 games.
Brian Elliott returned to the Flyers’ lineup after a nearly two-month absence and saved 19 of 22 shots. He’s 22-11-7 with a 2.73 GAA and .908 save percentage in 42 contests.
NASHVILLE 4 WASHINGTON 3
While the Capitals fell short, Evgeny Kuznetsov did all he could to get them the win tonight by scoring two goals and registering an assist. He’s up to 27 goals and 62 points in 78 games.
Ryan Johansen scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has 15 markers and 53 points in 78 games this season.
Craig Smith found the back of the net twice for Nashville. That gives him 25 goals and 50 points in 78 games.
Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 of 29 Predators shots. That brings his winning streak to an end at four games.
Juuse Saros turned aside 29 of 32 shots on Thursday. He has a 11-5-7 record, 2.44 GAA, and .925 save percentage in 25 contests.
PITTSBURGH 5 COLUMBUS 4 (OT)
Phil Kessel led the charge for Pittsburgh by scoring two goals, including the overtime winner, and registering an assist. With that, he has 33 goals and 90 points in 81 games. This is the first time in his career that he’s reached the 90-point milestone.
Patric Hornqvist scored a goal and registered an assist for the Penguins. He’s up to 28 goals and 48 points in 69 games.
Matt Murray surrendered four goals on 30 Blue Jackets shots. He’s won three of his last four games, but he’s also allowed a combined 12 goals over that span.
Cam Atkinson found the back of the net for Columbus. It was his 24th goal and 46th point in 65 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 38 of 43 shots to bring his three-game winning streak to an end. He’s 37-22-6 with a 2.42 GAA and .921 save percentage in 65 starts.
MONTREAL 4 DETROIT 3
Nicolas Deslauriers found the back of the net twice for Montreal. That gives him 10 goals and 14 points in 57 contests.
Artturi Lehkonen netted the game-winning goal. It was his 12th marker and 21st point in 65 games.
Dylan Larkin scored a goal and registered an assist for the Red Wings. He’s up to 15 goals and 62 points in 81 games.
Jared Coreau kicked out 24 of 28 Canadiens shots. He’s made six starts this season and has a 0-5-0 record. He’s also surrendered at least three goals in every start.
At the other end of the ice, Antti Niemi saved 23 of 26 shots. He has a 7-9-4 record, 3.12 GAA, and .911 save percentage in 24 contests.
FLORIDA 3 BOSTON 2
Jared McCann netted the game-winning goal. It was his ninth goal and 25th point in 66 games.
Aleksander Barkov also found the back of the net for Florida. He’s up to 27 goals and 78 points in 79 contests.
Ryan Donato scored a goal for the Bruins. The 21-year-old rookie has five goals and eight points in 10 games.
Tuukka Rask stopped 32 of 35 Panthers shots. He’s 34-13-5 with a 2.33 GAA and .919 save percentage in 53 contests.
Roberto Luongo kicked out 26 of 28 shots to pick up his third straight win. He has a 18-11-2 record, 2.48 GAA, and .929 save percentage in 34 games.
WINNIPEG 2 CALGARY 1
Connor Hellebuyck extended his winning streak to eight games by stopping 31 of 32 shots. He’s improved to 43-11-9 with a 2.38 GAA and .923 save percentage in 66 games.
Blake Wheeler found the back of the net last night. He’s up to 23 goals and 90 points in 80 games.
Paul Stastny also scored a goal for the Jets. It was his 16th marker and 53rd point in 81 contests.
Spencer Foo found the back of the net for the Flames. It was his first career NHL goal in his third game.
Jon Gillies stopped 24 of 26 Jets shots. He has a 2-5-1 record, 3.08 GAA, and .889 save percentage in 10 games.
EDMONTON 4 VEGAS 3
Connor McDavid assisted on three of the Oilers’ four goals. That gives him 41 goals and 106 points in 81 games this season. He’s got an eight-point edge in the battle for the Art Ross Trophy, but the Oilers’ terrible play around him for much of the season might still keep the Hart Trophy away from him.
Ty Rattie found the back of the net and registered an assist. The Oilers forward has five goals and nine points in 13 games.
Brandon Pirri scored a goal for Vegas. He has three goals in two games since being summoned from the AHL.
Malcolm Subban stopped 29 of 33 Oilers shots. He’s left something to be desired lately, allowing a combined 11 goals over his last three starts.
Cam Talbot saved 30 of 33 shots to end his five-game losing streak. He has a 30-31-3 record, 3.05 GAA, and .907 save percentage in 66 starts.
VANCOUVER 4 ARIZONA 3 (OT)
This was the Sedins’ final home game and they made it even more memorable. Daniel scored two goals, including the overtime winner, and his brother Henrik assisted on both of the markers. Henrik to Daniel is something we’ve seen so much of over the years and we’ll see them play one last time on Saturday in Edmonton.
Alexander Edler assisted on two of Vancouver’s four goals. He has six goals and 34 points in 69 games.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 16 of 19 Coyotes shots. He didn’t face a single shot on goal in the third period.
Darcy Kuemper was far busier, turning aside 36 of 40 shots. He has a 12-7-5 record, 2.52 GAA, and .920 save percentage in 29 games this season.
Derek Stepan scored a goal for the Coyotes. It was his 14th goal and 56th point in 81 games.
LOS ANGELES 5 MINNESOTA 4 (OT)
Dustin Brown was incredible with a four-goal night. That propelled the Kings forward to 28 goals and 61 points in 80 games. This is the most goals he’s scored in a single season since 2010-2011 and he’s now established a new career-high in points.
Mikko Koivu assisted on three of the Wild’s four goals. That gives him 14 goals and 45 points in 81 games.
Alex Stalock allowed five goals on 28 Kings shots. He dropped to 10-10-4 with a 2.85 GAA and .910 save percentage in 28 games.
Blueliner Christian Folin assisted on two of Los Angeles’ five goals. He has three goals and 13 points in 64 games in 2017-18.
Jonathan Quick kicked out 23 of 27 shots to earn his third win in the span of four starts. He has a 33-27-3 record, 2.37 GAA, and .923 save percentage in 63 contests.
SAN JOSE 4 COLORADO 2
Mikko Rantanen scored a power-play goal for Colorado. That gives him 29 goals and 83 points in 80 games in 2017-18.
Logan Couture scored a goal and registered an assist for the Sharks. He’s up to 34 goals and 61 points in 77 games.
Joonas Donskoi accounted for the game-winning goal. It was his 14th goal and 32nd point in 65 games.
Martin Jones stopped 23 of 25 Avalanche shots. That ended his three-game losing streak and his run of four straight starts where he surrendered at least three goals.
Jonathan Bernier kicked out 32 of 35 shots Thursday night. He has an 18-13-3 record, 2.87 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 36 games.