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Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness breaks Scotty Bowman’s record for most games coached in NHL

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When the Tampa Bay Lightning visited the Minnesota Wild on Friday night their associate coach, Rick Bowness, made a little bit of history.

When he took his spot behind the Lightning bench it was the 2,165th game that he coached in the NHL (as either an assistant or a head coach), breaking the record that had previously been held by Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman.

Bowness tied Bowman’s mark earlier this week in the Lightning’s 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Bowness talked about the record on Friday before the game against Minnesota.

“It’s just worked out that I have been able to survive this long and this many games and in different roles. I have always said my main motivation in this is to win the Stanley cup. I don’t care what the job description is, assistant coach, head trainer, I don’t care about that. I just want to win a Stanley cup, so the drive of trying to win a Stanley Cup is still there. I have never worried about the job description, I just want to go somewhere where you have a legitimate chance to win, to win that cup. I’ve been blessed. I’ve spent my whole life around the National Hockey League, very few people can say that. I’ve never had to look for another job outside of hockey. I’ve had other opportunities when I was released as a coach, I’ve been offered management assistant general manager jobs, I never wanted to pursue that. It’s the coaching I love, the practices, the Guys, the games. Everything involved with coaching. I was never drawn to management and still not drawn to management. I’ve been very fortunate to play for a little bit, and then I have been able to coach every day of my life and that is what I am very happy with.”

Most of those games over his 35-year coaching career have come as an assistant, but he has been a head coach for 463 games with five different teams in his career, including the Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes.

When he became the head coach of the Senators during the 1992-93 season he was the very first coach in franchise history. They were his longest stop as an NHL head coach, spending three-and-a-half years behind their bench.

Before his coaching career began Bowness spent parts of six seasons in the NHL as a forward with the Atlanta Flames, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets, playing in 173 games and scoring 18 goals to go with 37 assists.

Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers

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Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.

McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.

With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:

1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP

As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.

Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.

The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.

Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

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Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

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The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

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Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

via Getty Images

The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.