NHL Three Stars: Oilers, Ducks, Sharks, Rangers clinch playoff spots

No. 1 Star: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Ovechkin loves playing against Devan Dubnyk. In six games against the netminder, Ovi has 17 points! He had a hat trick on Tuesday night and added an assist for four points total.

No. 2 Star: Cam Talbot, Edmonton Oilers

In his 68th start of the season, Talbot made 34 saves in the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. The win gives Talbot 38 on the year. It also snaps a 10 season long playoff drought by the Oilers who punched their ticket to the post season against the Kings.

No. 3 Star: Curtis McElhinney, Toronto Maple Leafs

Going into the game, the Leafs’ backup netminder said he needed to play the best game of his career in a ‘must win’ game for the club. He did just that with 25 saves in Toronto’s 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.

Honorable Mention: The Winnipeg Jets came back from a two goal deficit to tie the New Jersey Devils. Patrik Laine scored the lone goal in the shootout to give the Jets the win … Patrice Bergeron scored his 17 goal of the season and had 7 shots on goal. Noel Acciari earned his first NHL goal, fight and misconduct for the Boston Bruins in the team’s 4-1 shellacking of the Preds. Zdeno Chara earned his 600 point in the NHL assisting on Bergeron’s goal:

… The Ottawa Senators picked up one point against the Philadelphia Flyers as they try to keep pace with the Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic. The Flyers beat the Sens in the shootout on the lone goal by Jordan Weal … For the first time in his career, Sergei Bobrovsky hits the 41 win plateau. He made 41 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat Buffalo, 3-1 … Connor McDavid scored his 27 goal, 89 points of the season as he leads his charges to the promised land:

… In the battle for their mother’s love, Jordie Benn and Jamie Benn squared off for the first time against each other on the ice. Jordie’s team came out on top, beating the Dallas Stars 4-1. Max Paccioretty scored his 34 goal of the season in the Montreal Canadiens win. Andrei Markov tied Guy Lapointe for second in franchise history points by a defenseman … Auston Matthews set a new rookie record for the Leafs at 35 goals … The Minnesota Wild came back and tied the Washington Capitals at 4-4 with 26.2 left in the third on a goal by Jared Spurgeon. Then T.J. Oshie happened in overtime:

Oshie’s OT goal was his second of the game. Marcus Johansson assisted on four of five Washington goals. Braden Holtby picked up his 40th win of the season … Corey Perry and Patrick Eaves scored goals within 1:14 of each other as the Ducks went on to beat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1. In his first home game as a Vancouver Canucks, Brock Boeser netted the lone goal for the Vancouver … The New York Rangers scored three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead on the San Jose Sharks. With 2:15 to go, Chris Tierney ties it at 4-4. Brent Burns snapped a 16 game goal-less drought in overtime to clinch a playoff spot for the Sharks.

Did You Know? Per Mirtle: At 87 points in the standings, the Leafs have their highest total in a decade.

Dishonorable Mention: Cody McLeod accumulated 25 of the Nashville Predators 35 penalty minutes against the Boston Bruins. Vern Fiddler came in second with 14 PIMs … The Detroit Red Wings had their playoff streak snapped at 25 straight seasons after losing to the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1 … Scary moment for Zach Parise as he took an inadvertent high stick across the chin and did not return.

… Ryan Getzlaf took the warmup for the Anaheim Ducks, but could not play due to a lower body injury … Marian Gaborik was a healthy scratch for the Kings … Sam Reinhart dressed for the game against Columbus, but was benched the entire match for violating a team rule … James Reimer left the game after colliding with Brian Boyle. He did not return due to an upper-body injury: