NHL Morning Skate for April 12

* Sidney Crosby had a night to remember as he moved into the NHL’s top 10 for points, became the 14th player in League history to record 1,000 assists and helped boost his team back into the second Eastern Conference Wild Card position, marking the fifth time in the past seven days that spot has changed hands.

* The Kings guaranteed their place in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs as they extended their home winning streak to seven games, their longest run since 2012-13 (also 7-0-0).

* It was another night of noteworthy performances for the current leaders in both the Art Ross Trophy and Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy races as Nikita Kucherov surpassed 140 points and Auston Matthews hit 68 goals.

* The Rush to the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues Friday with 10 teams in action, including the Golden Knights who hold the final Wild Card spot and the Blues who are just three points outside the playoff picture.


Sidney Crosby (1-2—3) had a night to remember as he moved into the top 10 on the NHL’s all-time scoring list, recorded his 1,000th assist on Erik Karlsson’s overtime winner and moved into the Eastern Conference’s second Wild Card position for the first time since April 6. Both, their opponent Thursday – the Red Wings (38-32-9, 85 points), who earned a point in the loss – and the Capitals (37-31-11, 85 points) – who fell to the Sabres – have held the Wild Card seed in the five days since Pittsburgh last was in, with Washington the most-recent club to do so (April 9 & 10).

* Crosby collected his 1,589th, 1,590th and 1,591st career point to move past Phil Esposito (717-873—1,590 in 1,282 GP) for sole possession of 10th place on the NHL’s all-time list.

* His 1,591st career point also came as his 1,000th NHL assist, allowing him to become the 14th player in League history to achieve the feat. He became the seventh player to record 1,000 helpers with one franchise and required the seventh-fewest contests to reach the milestone (1,269 GP) behind Wayne Gretzky (645 GP), Mario Lemieux (856 GP), Paul Coffey (1,105 GP), Adam Oates (1,174 GP), Ron Francis (1,235) and Marcel Dionne (1,259 GP).

* More notes about Crosby moving into the top 10 on the NHL’s all-time scoring list can be found here, with all stats as of his second point of the night.

* Crosby has been an important part of the Penguins’ late surge towards the final Wild Card position – his 10 points since April 1 trail only Nikita Kucherov (15), Steven Stamkos (11) and Auston Matthews (11) for the most among all players. On Thursday, he helped his Penguins extend their point streak to 10 games (7-0-3), marking their longest run since Dec. 4, 2021 to Jan. 6, 2022 (10 GP). Pittsburgh will have an opportunity to extend its streak in the final game of an ABC tripleheader against Boston on Saturday (8 p.m. on ABC, ESPN+).

* The Penguins will finish the regular season on April 17 against the Islanders (37-27-15, 89 points), who won in overtime against the Canadiens on Thursday and currently hold third place in the Metropolitan Division. More notes on the final three games for all five clubs in the race for the final playoff spots in the East can be found in the #NHLStats Pack: The Final 10 Days of the 2023-24 Regular Season.


Anze Kopitar (0-2—2) and Drew Doughty (0-1—1) – two of the three players remaining for the Kings that were part of the franchise’s two Stanley Cup wins (2012 & 2014) – played a role in Los Angeles clinching a berth into the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings will be making their third straight postseason appearance – the club’s longest run since 2010-2014 (5). Click here for more notes on Los Angeles’ clinch.

* Kopitar (92 GP), Doughty (90 GP) and Trevor Lewis (79 GP) all can pass Luc Robitaille (94 GP) for the most playoff games in Kings history – Kopitar is now tied for second place with two other skaters and goaltender Jonathan Quick. Kopitar and Doughty sit in the top 10 for postseason goals, assists and points in franchise history.

* Kopitar (26-44—70 in 79 GP) also recorded his ninth career 70-point season – only two players in franchise history have more: Marcel Dionne (12x) and Robitaille (11x).


The Panthers and Jets, who both have already secured their spot in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs but continue to push for positioning, earned wins Thursday thanks to shutout performances:

* Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves for his League-leading (tied) sixth shutout of the season to help the Panthers (50-24-6, 106 points) record a 50-win campaign for just the second time in franchise history (58 in 2021-22). Florida has two contests left in 2023-24 and sits one point back of Boston (46-18-15, 107 points), which has one game in hand, for first in the Atlantic Division.

* Laurent Brossoit (24 saves) blanked the Western Conference-leading Stars as the Jets (49-24-6, 104 points) moved ahead of the idle Avalanche (49-24-6, 104 points) for second place in the Central Division by virtue of the regulation wins tiebreaker (WPG: 43, COL: 41). Winnipeg occupied third place for 20 consecutive days dating to March 22.


The latest edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured noteworthy performances by Art Ross Trophy race leader Nikita Kucherov (0-2—2) and Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy frontrunner Auston Matthews (2-0—2), who each added to their League leads.

* Kucherov boosted his 2023-24 totals to 43-98—141 and passed Peter Stastny (46-93—139 in 1981-82) for the second-most points in a single campaign by a player born outside of North America behind only Jaromir Jagr (62-87—149 in 1995-96). Kucherov also joined Connor McDavid (64-89—153 in 2022-23) as just the second active player to record 140-plus points in a single campaign, marking the first time the NHL has featured at least one 140-point scorer in consecutive seasons since a run of 11 straight from 1980-81 to 1990-91.

* Matthews’ first goal of the night was the 366th of his career – and 37th at home this season – as he passed Dave Keon (365) for third on the Maple Leafs’ all-time goals list. His next marker was his 274th at even strength, which passed Mats Sundin (273) for the franchise benchmark. The forward’s 18 multi-goal games in 2023-24 are the most in a campaign since Alexander Mogilny (24 in 1992-93). Matthews (68) is now two goals shy from becoming the first player since Teemu Selanne to score 70 in a season (76 in 1992-93 w/ WIN).


* Noah Hanifin signs 8-year, $58.8 million contract with Golden Knights
* Thatcher Demko returns to practice with Canucks, confident he’ll be ready for playoffs
* Jakob Silfverberg of Ducks to retire from NHL after season
* National Hockey Card Day to take place April 13
* Macklin Celebrini, projected No. 1 pick in 2024, ‘not too sure’ where he’ll play next season


The Rush to the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues when the Golden Knights (42-28-8, 92 points) and Blues (42-32-5, 89 points) return to the ice on a five-game Friday. Vegas holds the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference and a three-point edge on St. Louis, which eyes a third straight win and maintains the hope of becoming the sixth team in NHL history to overcome a standings deficit of three or more points in their final three games of a campaign to qualify for the postseason.


Cam Fowler and his wife, Jasmine, launched their own charitable programming, C4Kids, in 2018 to give back to the Southern California community and increase accessibility to hockey. The Fowlers continue to brainstorm new ideas for C4Kids and have found happiness in bringing grassroots hockey to kids in Southern California. Fowler and the Ducks will welcome the Flames on Sportsnet One as part of Friday’s slate.

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