1. Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild. The Minnesota Wild just keep on winning. They dramatically improved their playoff chances on Thursday night with a 3-0 win over the NHL’s best team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, thanks to huge games from Jason Zucker and and starting goalie Devan Dubnyk. Zucker scored all three goals for the Wild who now find themselves three points up on a playoff spot in the Western Conference. It is an incredible run for a Wild team that has been ripped apart by trades and injuries over the past few weeks.
2. Alexander Radulov, Dallas Stars. This was a huge win for the Dallas Stars, not only because it was two points in the standings as they look to secure a playoff spot, but because it was two points in a head-to-head game with a team they are competing with for one of those spots. By defeating the Colorado Avalanche, 4-0, they now find themselves five points ahead of the Avalanche and four points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes. Alexander Radulov had the big night in the Stars’ win with three goals to give him 20 on the season.
3. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes. With Dallas and Minnesota both winning on Thursday night this was a game the Arizona Coyotes absolutely had to have to keep pace. They got it, and in rather impressive fashion, by beating the top team in the Western Conference, the Calgary Flames. Darcy Kuemper continued his incredible play by stopping all 30 shots he faced in a 2-0 win.
Highlights of the Night
The Boston Bruins scored two goals in 30 seconds to come from behind against the Florida Panthers.
Somehow the Edmonton Oilers are going to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time in four years with Connor McDavid on their team.
The St. Louis Blues kept rolling with a win over the Los Angeles Kings, and it was Vladimir Tarasenko getting things going early.
- This was the second time in franchise history the Boston Bruins have erased a deficit in the final minute of a game then won in regulation. [NHL PR]
- Patrick Kane passed Steve Larmer for fourth place on the Chicago Blackhawks’ all-time points list. [NHL PR]
- Henrik Lundqvist appeared in his 850th game for the New York Rangers on Thursday night, which is a pretty big deal. [NHL PR]
Boston Bruins 4, Florida Panthers 3
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 0
New York Islanders 4, Ottawa Senators 2
Detroit Red Wings 3, New York Rangers 2 (SO)
Minnesota Wild 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 0
Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres 4 (SO)
Dallas Stars 4, Colorado Avalanche 0
Edmonton Oilers 3, Vancouver Canucks 2
Arizona Coyotes 2, Calgary Flames 0
St. Louis Blues 4, Los Angeles Kings 0
San Jose Sharks 5, Montreal Canadiens 2
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.