A red-hot Hab, a scary scene, another milestone for Jagr and more. Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Thursday night.
Boston takes the lead
Don’t look now, but the Boston Bruins are atop the Atlantic for the first time this season.
The surging Bruins needed just a single point to overtake the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top spot in the division, and they got exactly that in their overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night.
(Speaking of OT, the Bruins have now seen their last four matchups go to extra time, winning two of them.)
And while some Bruins had their eye on the top spot...
Others were... maybe a little surprised:
As valuable as that one point was for Boston, the the Hurricanes' two points might be even more valued to the surprisingly in-the-hunt squad. They now have 73 points (tied with the Philadelphia Flyers) and although they're still three points back of a wild card spot, they were able to keep pace with the Detroit Red Wings, who defeated the Winnipeg Jets.
Of course, the Bruins shouldn't get too comfortable — they'll have quite the task trying to maintain their top spot:
Galchenyuk's on fire
Odds are, if you've watched a Montreal Canadiens game lately, you've heard plenty about Alex Galchenyuk. Put simply, the guy is on fire these days — and Thursday was no exception.
Galchenyuk, whose recent placement at his preferred centre position has proved lucrative for the Habs, scored twice to propel his team to a 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres.
The 22-year-old now has 11 goals in his last eight games.
He came oh-so-close to notching a hat trick with an empty-net attempt, but the puck went just wide.
Perhaps the most remarkable part is how commonplace a Galchenyuk two-goal game has become in the month of March.
Here's the break down of his recent double-goal nights:
With tonight's two points, Galchenyuk has now tied his personal-best 46 points that he tallied in 80 games last season.
Late in the third period, Subban collided awkwardly with teammate Alexei Emelin in the Canadiens' zone. He appeared to injure his neck, and remained on the ice for a long period of time as medical staff attended to him.
The defenceman appeared to give the crowd a thumbs-up to signal that he was OK.
Following the game, the team confirmed that Subban suffered a neck injury, and that he was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
Prior to the game, the defenceman received the Jean Beliveau Trophy, which is awarded each year to the Canadiens player who shows the most commitment to the community.
Another milestone for Jagr
On Monday, Jaromir Jagr passed the legendary Gordie Howe to take over third place on the NHL's all-time points list. On Thursday, he met another career milestone by becoming just the fifth player to reach 50 points in 20 different seasons.
(The setup by Jonathan Huberdeau is as impressive as the goal itself, as Huberdeau freezes the Senators' defence — proof of just how much the Panthers missed the winger during his recent six-game absence.)
Jagr would end the game with two goals to his name.
As a whole, the Panthers' offence was firing on all cylinders Thursday, as evidenced by the 6-2 final score.
Not the kind of outcome the Senators can afford in their wild card race.
Though Jagr and the Panthers were the big story from this game, it's worth noting that Senators forward Zack Smith continued his surprising hot streak, and bumped his goal total up to a career-high 20 goals on the season. He's now scored in four straight games and has eight goals and 12 points in 11 games.
More McDavid magic
Another night, another Connor McDavid highlight. This kid is good.
It was his 14th of the season, and his fourth game-winning goal.
As Sporstnet's Stats department points out, McDavid on his way to history.
Of course, when asked about the highlight-reel goal, the level-headed teenager credited luck. Of course.