Jokinen’s big night helps Kiprusoff claim 300th win

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Miikka Kiprusoff became the first Finnish netminder to collect 300 NHL wins, so it makes plenty of thematic sense that fellow Finn Olli Jokinen played a big role in that victory.

Jokinen scored a hat trick and added an assist while Kipper made 34 saves to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3.

The victory wasn’t just fitting for the Finnish connection alone, as tonight ranks as a genuine full-circle moment for Kiprusoff. The Sharks drafted him in the fifth round in 1995, so it had to feel extra special to accomplish the task against the only other NHL team he’s ever played for.*

Putting it in historical perspective

Kipper is the 27th goalie to earn at least 300 career wins, but if you ask me, the most interesting peer is Evgeni Nabokov. The Sharks decided to go with the Russian instead of him years ago, as they opted to trade Kiprusoff to the Flames on Nov. 16, 2003. Check out how close those two are right now in career wins:

22nd all time: Billy Smith and Nabokov tied at 305 wins
24th: Olaf Kolzig – 303 wins
25th: Turk Broda – 302 wins
26th: Mike Richter – 301 wins
27th: Kiprusoff – 300 wins

Kiprusoff’s career record now stands at 299-194-7-60 thanks to the funky extra column for trades. (Hockey records used to be the worst, right?)

Flames franchise record breakers

As Mike Halford points out, this has been a milestone-happy run for Kipper, who recently became the Flames’ franchise leader in games played for a goalie. Considering the fact that Jarome Iginla recently took some all-time marks of his own, the duo of stars have made a big impact on the history of the Calgary Flames – even if they fell just short of a Stanley Cup.

It’s anyone’s guess how much longer Iginla and Kiprusoff will remain with the team, but they’ve left an indelible mark on the franchise. (Jokinen might have bought himself another year with his recent play, too, by the way.)

* – Interestingly enough, Kipper earned 14 wins with the Sharks franchise and 14 more against San Jose.

No mic? No problem: Oilers fans sing American, Canadian national anthems

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There was apparently an issue with a microphone used for the national anthems prior to Game 3 between the Ducks and Oilers in Edmonton.

Canadian country music star Brett Kissel was supposed to perform the anthems, however, as he stepped up to the mic, he soon discovered that there seemed to be a malfunction.

With some quick encouragement from Kissel, fans at Rogers Place stole the show with stirring renditions of both the American and Canadian national anthems.

Here is the Star Spangled Banner:

Here is O Canada:

Sami Vatanen returns to Ducks lineup vs. Oilers

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Good news for the Anaheim Ducks, who trail the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 in their second round series.

Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen returns to the lineup Sunday for Game 3 — his first game since April 13, which was the opener of Anaheim’s first-round series with Calgary, because of an upper-body injury.

However, the Ducks will be without Kevin Bieksa, who is dealing with a lower-body injury.

Predators stifle Blues to take back series lead

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The Nashville Predators have snapped their one-game funk in these Stanley Cup playoffs, taking back the series lead over the St. Louis Blues.

For long stretches of Sunday’s contest, the Predators kept the puck away from and stifled the Blues, including a stretch of almost nine minutes at the beginning of the second period in which St. Louis failed to register a shot attempt.

The Predators’ 3-1 victory in Game 3 was eventually secured on an unbelievably dominant shift late in the third period.

Joel Edmundson‘s (costly) turnover led to a dizzying attack from Predators, who had sustained puck possession inside the St. Louis zone for about 1:10.

By the end, Edmundson and Colton Parayko had exhausted themselves as the Predators tossed the puck around with increasing ease before Roman Josi halted the madness with a slap shot to the top corner, giving Nashville a two-goal lead.

That continues an impressive trend for the Predators.

They have scored nine goals in this series, with at least one defenseman contributing directly with either a goal or an assist on eight of those goals. Nashville’s group of blueliners — including Ryan Ellis, who has been on quite a productive roll throughout these playoffs — have combined for 11 points through three games in this series.

This series resumes Tuesday in Nashville, with the Predators leading 2-1.

VIDEO: Ryan Ellis continues his incredible postseason run for Predators

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Playing in Nashville over the years it has been easy for Ryan Ellis to get overlooked, always playing in the shadow of bigger name stars on the team’s blue line.

Shea Weber (before he was traded). Roman Josi. P.K. Subban.

But Ellis has been a major part of the Predators’ blue line and he had a career-year in 2016-17, setting new personal bests in goals (16) and points (38) while matching his previous career high in assists (22).

He has continued that strong play in the postseason and is currently the team’s leading scorer after he netted his third goal of the playoffs (and eighth total point) on Sunday afternoon to give the Predators a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues.

You can see it in the video above.

After being held without a point in the Predators’ first playoff game, Ellis has now picked up at least one point in every playoff game since them and is now riding a six-game point streak.

The first half of Sunday’s game has been a defensive clinic by the Predators, by the way, limiting St. Louis to just 10 shots on goal through the first 34 minutes, and none through the first 14 minutes of the second period.

The Predators extended their lead to 2-0 in the second period when Cody McLeod deflected in his first goal of the playoffs to give the Predators some unexpected scoring depth. He had just five goals in 59 games during the regular season between the Predators and Colorado Avalanche.