The Buzzer: Pavelski hits 35; Kuemper wins fourth straight

Associated Press
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Three stars

1. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

Pavelski cares little about being 34, he’s just going to score and score and score some more.

Pavelski notched his first hat trick of the season, and goals No. 33, 34 and 35 in a 5-3 win for the San Jose Sharks at the Detroit Red Wings.

With 19 games remaining for the Sharks in the regular season, it appears that Pavelski will reach his career-high mark of 41 sent during the 2013-14 season. The way he’s been scoring this season, he might just set a new career mark.

This is a dirty tip, by the way:

2. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes

Kuemper was solid against the Winnipeg Jets in a 4-1 win, allowing a single, unstoppable shot from Patrik Laine as he stopped 34 of 35 shots.

The Coyotes took advantage of the Jets, and Kuemper made sure they had all the confidence on the back end, stopping 11 shots on the power play, including a couple from Laine, who has returned to picking his spots again.

The win was huge for the Coyotes, who are now three points back of the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference. They’re right there, along with several other teams in a remarkably tight race.

Kuemper has won his past four starts now, allowing two goals or fewer in each of them.

3. Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild 

Dubnyk had some pretty atrocious outings prior to his current three-game heater.

But the formidable Devan Dubnyk appears to be back between the pipes in Minnesota, and not a moment too soon.

Dubnyk turned aside 27 shots in a 2-1 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues, giving the Wild their third-straight win (and first on home ice in six tries). The Wild are in the thick of it in the race for a wildcard spot in the Western Conference, so Minnesota is going to need a lot more of this down the stretch drive. Dubnyk is capable of playing this week, and for extended periods. This will need to be one of those.

Highlights of the night

Sure, it was an empty-net goal, but that’s as good as those get off a backhand from behind the center line:

Well-deserved:

Here’s the tribute video for Doan:

Behind many of Patrik Laine’s goals is an elite pass from Blake Wheeler:

Donato’d

Sweet hands:

Factoids

Scores

Capitals 6, Rangers 5 (OT)
Stars 4, Blackhawks 3
Sharks 5, Red Wings 3
Wild 2, Blues 1 (OT)
Flames 2, Senators 1
Coyotes 4, Jets 1


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck