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28.01.2019 03:43
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TORONTO (AP) The Toronto Maple Leafs know they’ve just completed the best statistical season in franchise history.And Frederik Andersen knows he now holds the team’s all-time record for goalie wins in a season.What remains a mystery for the Leafs is their first-round playoff opponent.Andersen made 31 saves to pick up his 38th victory of the season Saturday and Toronto closed out its schedule by defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-2.The Leafs finished with a club-record 105 points – bettering the 103 earned in the pre-lockout 2003-04 season before the shootout was introduced to break ties – but will have to wait until the Boston Bruins play the Florida Panthers on Sunday to see where they open their next playoff chapter.A win for the Bruins over the Panthers Custom New York Rangers Jerseys , who have been eliminated from postseason contention, would see Boston move into first in the Atlantic Division and set up a meeting between Tampa Bay and Toronto.A victory in regulation for the Panthers, meanwhile, would see the Leafs and Bruins square off.Asked if he would be watching Sunday’s finale, a makeup game after Boston and Florida were snowed out in January, Andersen indicated he has other plans.”No,” he said. ”I’m going to watch the Masters.”Auston Matthews scored his 34th goal of the season to match his jersey number and added an assist for Toronto (49-26-7), which also set club records for overall victories and home wins (29).Zach Hyman, Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau had the other goals for the Leafs , who are going to the playoffs for the second consecutive spring. Jake Gardiner added two assists.Andersen’s 37 victories coming in saw him sit tied with Ed Belfour (2002-03) and Andrew Raycroft (2006-07) for the most by a Toronto goalie in a season.Now he sits alone in first.”It’s fun when you set goals at the beginning of the year and then you achieve some of them,” Andersen said. ”It goes without saying that there are bigger goals.”Leafs coach Mike Babcock was pleased to see his team come through for its goalie in a game that didn’t mean anything in the standings.”He’s been a huge part of our team,” Babcock said. ”That record is a special, special thing.”Daniel Carr and Jeff Petry scored for Montreal (29-40-13). Carey Price stopped 26 shots for the visitors as the Canadiens wrapped up a disappointing season.The players observed a moment of silence before the game to honor the victims of Friday’s horrific crash in Saskatchewan that saw a tractor-trailer collide with a bus carrying a junior hockey team, killing 15 people and injuring 14 others.The Leafs and Canadiens also sported Broncos decals on their helmets.Tied 1-1 through 40 minutes, Hyman chipped a rebound past Price just 37 seconds into the third for his 15th goal and 40th point of the season after Matthews took the initial shot.Andersen made a good stop on Brendan Gallagher’s one-timer with four minutes to go, before the Leafs went to the power play with 3:45 left when Michael McCarron hacked Matthews to the ice with the center bearing down on what could have been his 35th goal.But Kadri wouldn’t be denied with 2:50 left when he backhanded his 32nd over Price before Petry then scored his 12th with 40.2 seconds left in regulation.Marleau put things to bed with his 27th on a Price mistake with 9.8 seconds still on the clock as the Canadiens limped to the finish line after topping the Atlantic with 103 points last season.”We’re still playing the game we love,” Gallagher said. ”But the games haven’t been meaningful.”Just never want to feel this (way) or go through this ever again.”Down 1-0 after Matthews extended his point streak to 10 games – he now has seven goals and seven assists over that span – late in the first, the Canadiens came close when Andersen denied Gallagher twice on a power play in the second.”He’s been unbelievable for us Ottawa Senators T-Shirts Authentic , probably our best player all year,” Matthews said the Leafs goalie. ”He’s kept us in games, won us games all throughout the year and been a brick wall.”Montreal got even with 3:56 left in the second when Carr scored his sixth on a rebound.Matthews struck on the power play with 1:55 left in the first when William Nylander wheeled down from the point, froze Price and delivered a sweet cross-ice feed for a wide-open net to get the ball rolling on a milestone night.Now all the Leafs can do is sit and wait to find out where they’ll open the playoffs next week as the Atlantic’s No. 3 seed – either Boston or Tampa.”We don’t know who we’re playing,” Babcock said. ”Both teams are very good hockey clubs.”We’re in for a great test and it should be a lot of fun.”UP NEXT:Canadiens: Season over.Maple Leafs: first round of the playoffs.— DALLAS — On Thursday night at American Airlines Center, the Central Division rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars will renew.Chicago (11-19-6) occupies the Central cellar, but thanks to a 2-1 win against suddenly struggling Nashville Tuesday at United Center, the Blackhawks at least head into their first meeting of the season with the Stars on a positive note.The Blackhawks are 4-12-2 on the road and last won away from home November 24 at Florida, a 5-4 overtime victory. Chicago has lost its last four road games Ottawa Senators Hoodies Authentic , but two of those defeats have been by one goal.Article continues below ...Wednesday’s win against the reigning Western Conference champion Predators was just Chicago’s second win in its past 12 games.“Really liked the response of the team,” Blackhawks interim coach Jeremy Colliton said postgame on Tuesday. “We had a good start. Second period was excellent. Third period, obviously they got a little push against us. Would have liked to spend a little more time in their end. You don’t want to put yourself under so much pressure you’re at the mercy of the bounce, but credit to the guys, they played really hard. And when we do that, we’re really competitive.”Longtime Chicago captain Jonathan Toews needs just three assists to reach 400 helpers for his career.On Wednesday morning, the Blackhawks recalled forward Luke Johnson from AHL Rockford.Johnson had four goals and seven points with in 10 games with Rockford.Chicago also placed veteran forward Marcus Kruger on injured reserve with a concussion, which was revealed by Colliton after the win against Nashville.Dallas (17-14-3) was 4-0-0 against Chicago last season, and on Tuesday the Stars snapped their four-game losing streak with a 2-0 shutout of Calgary.The Stars are now 11-3-1 at home and will get a nice boost from the return of defenseman John Klingberg Ottawa Senators Hats Authentic , who last played November 8 against San Jose.And Klingberg, a 2018 NHL All-Star who missed the past 18 games with a hand injury that required surgery, is excited about returning to the ice on Thursday.“My first year, I had four games (I missed) with a shoulder. My second year, I had six games with a groin,” Klingberg said after practice Wednesday. “Six weeks, that’s a long time for me (to be out). I’ve been skating the last two weeks, though, which helps. My conditioning I feel is really good. It’s going to be for me like starting the season over.”To make room for Klingberg on the active roster Custom Ottawa Senators Jerseys , Dallas sent rookie defenseman Joel Hanley, who had appeared in 16 NHL games, to AHL Texas.According to Stars first-year coach Jim Montgomery after practice on Wednesday, Klingberg will be paired with Esa Lindell against Chicago and also will see minutes with the power play.Dallas has gone 8-9-1 without Klingberg on the ice.“He’s really important. We’ve been .500 since he’s been out and we’re not a .500 team when he’s in, so that speaks to his importance to our team,” Montgomery said.

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