The Buzzer: Kane’s hat trick; Staal’s milestone night
1) Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane surpassed Sidney Crosby for the scoring lead this decade with 16 days left in the 2010s. Since Jan. 1, 2010, Kane has 791 points (311G, 480A), while Crosby has 788 points (296G, 492A). No. 88 recorded his sixth NHL hat trick in Chicago’s 5-3 victory over Minnesota. The Blackhawks have a long way to go if they want to have a realistic shot at the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but a victory against a surging division rival is a good place to start.
2) Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets
On a football Sunday, the Jets scored a touchdown in their 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Scheifele played a huge part with his three-point performance featuring a goal and two assists as he extended his individual point streak to six games. Neal Pionk added three assists, including two power-play helpers. The top four teams in the Western Conference (Blues, Avalanche, Jets, Stars) currently reside in the Central Division and playoff positioning will be crucial as each team eyes a lengthy postseason run.
3) Eric Staal, Minnesota Wild
Staal became the 89th player in NHL history to have 1,000 career points when he tallied a power-play goal against Chicago Sunday. After a dreadful 4-9 start to the season, the Wild have climbed up the standings with a 12-4-5 record in their past 21 games. The alternate captain leads Minnesota with 26 points, including four goals in the previous three games.
Other notable performances from Sunday:
- Anze Kopitar’s two-goal performance in the Kings’ 4-2 victory against the Red Wings helped him surpass the iconic Wayne Gretzky for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. Kopitar picked up his 918th and 919th point in his 1038th game.
- Blake Wheeler finished with three points, including a goal and an assist during a four-goal barrage spanning 4:17.
Highlights of the Night
Staal etched his name in the NHL record books with this one-time blast
William Karlsson won an important foot race before Reilly Smith slid a cross-ice pass over to Jonathan Marchessault
- A total of 33 goals were scored across four contests Sunday for an average of 8.25 per game [NHL PR].
- The Jets scored four goals in a span of five minutes or less for the fourth time in franchise history [NHL PR].
- The Jets’ four goals in a span of 4:17 are their second-fastest scored in a game in franchise history, behind the mark of 3:50 set on Nov. 18, 2017 [NHL PR].
- Canucks’ Bo Horvat has won an NHL-high 414 faceoffs this season [Sportsnet Stats].
Winnipeg Jets 7, Philadelphia Flyers 3
Chicago Blackhawks 5, Minnesota Wild 3
Los Angeles Kings 4, Detroit Red Wings 2
Vegas Golden Knights 6, Vancouver Canucks 3