Jaden Schwartz, Nicklas Backstrom, Top Highlights from Mar. 19March 20, 2019
Every point and every bit of momentum gained with it is important as the Stanley Cup playoffs draw nearer.
By putting seven goals past the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night, the St. Louis Blues set themselves up for the rest of their four-game home stand, as they try to remain above the wild-card positions in the Western Conference.
Jaden Schwartz was the star of the night for the Blues after recording a hat trick in St. Louis' 38th victory of the season.
Elsewhere in the NHL, San Jose became the third team to clinch a playoff berth on its night off, and Nicklas Backstrom etched his spot among the best passers in league history.
Tuesday's NHL Scores
Boston 5, New York Islanders 0
Detroit 3, New York Rangers 2
Montreal 3, Philadelphia 1
Carolina 3, Pittsburgh 2 (Final/Shootout)
Washington 4, New Jersey 1
St. Louis 7, Edmonton 2
Nashville 3, Toronto 0
Colorado 3, Minnesota 1
Dallas 4, Florida 2
Calgary 4, Columbus 2
Schwartz Records Hat Trick in St. Louis' Blowout Win
Hurricanes Defeat Penguins In Shootout
Frolik's Fancy Stick Work In Tight Space
Rinne Lays Out For Denial
Wilson's Long Assist Sets Up Jost
Boyle Finishes Off Nashville Give-And-Go
Weber's Blast From the Paint
Burakovsky Picks Out Top Corner
Debrusk Scores Right Out of Penalty Box
Gaudreau Nets 35th Goal
Blues Kick Off Home Stand With 7-Goal Outburst
The Blues showed just how dangerous they can be in the postseason Tuesday by putting seven goals past the Oilers.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said after the game that when the team is clicking as it did Tuesday, it's hard to stop, per the team's official Twitter account:
Schwartz, who scored three times to help open the four-game home stand with a bang, echoed the sentiment, per Fox Sports Midwest:
"Things aren't always going to go as smooth as you want but we stuck with it. Our team's been playing great. Everyone's been chipping in and it's another big win tonight. We're happy to be on home ice for a week and it's a good start for us."
The Blues, who are 18-15-2 at home, have an opportunity to move closer to securing one of the three playoff spots in the Central Division with three wins at Enterprise Center in the next week.
Those wins won't be as easy to earn as Tuesday's victory, though, as the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights come to St. Louis Saturday and Monday after the Detroit Red Wings stop in Thursday.
Backstrom Hits 50 Assists For 6th Straight Year
Nicklas Backstrom reached an historic mark as he helped the Washington Capitals open up a two-point lead on the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.
With his assist on Tom Wilson's goal, the Swede became the 26th player in NHL history to record 50 assists in six straight seasons, per NHL Public Relations:
As NBC Sports Washington's Rob Carlin noted, all the players who hit that mark and are eligible for the Hall of Fame have been enshrined in Toronto:
Rob Carlin @RobCarlinNBCS
That's Wilson's goal.. But Backstrom gets his 50th assist.. That's 6 straight 50 assist seasons.. 25 guys have had 6-straight 50-assist seasons.. 23 are in HOF.. The other 2, Henrik Sedin & Joe Thornton, aren't eligible yet.. It's now 4-1.. #Caps have taken control.. #ALLCAPS
Backstrom now has nine 50-assist seasons in his career, as the first three came at the start of his time with the Washington Capitals.
Not only was Tuesday a celebratory night for the 31-year-old, but the Capitals as a whole also had something to cheer after the Islanders fell 5-0 at home to the Boston Bruins.
The Capitals now have a two-point lead over the Islanders for the top spot in the Metropolitan, which comes with home-ice advantage for the first two rounds of the postseason.
Sharks Clinch Playoff Berth
The San Jose Sharks joined the Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames as teams officially entered into the postseason Tuesday.
San Jose secured the second playoff berth in the Western Conference after Minnesota lost to Colorado.
The postseason has become a regular destination for the franchise, as it's qualified for the playoffs in 21 of its 27 seasons, per NHL Public Relations:
The Sharks, who are second to Calgary in the Pacific Division, should have plenty of motivation to perform well in the playoffs after being eliminated in the second round a year ago and dropping out in the first round in 2017.
Wednesday's NHL Schedule
Toronto at Buffalo (7 p.m. ET)
Tampa Bay at Washington (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Ottawa at Vancouver (10 p.m. ET)
Winnipeg at Anaheim (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from NHL.com.