The Tampa Bay Lightning moved another step closer to clinching the Presidents' Trophy on Saturday, a night when one of their forwards picked up his first-career hat-trick.
The Lightning's 6-3 victory over the Washington Capitals was their 55th win of the 2018-19 NHL season, and it kept them 19 points ahead of their closest competition.
The Boston Bruins won't catch the Lightning in the Atlantic Division, but they are still playing solid hockey and did so Saturday night in front of UFC star Conor McGregor.
Over in the Western Conference, Corey Crawford turned in one of his best performances in net for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators earned a road win over the San Jose Sharks.
Saturday's NHL Scores
St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 1
Detroit 2, New York Islanders 1
Florida 4, Los Angeles 3
Winnipeg 2, Calgary 1
Boston 2, Columbus 1 (Final/OT)
Chicago 2, Montreal 0
Ottawa 6, Toronto 2
Tampa Bay 6, Washington 3
Carolina 4, Buffalo 2
Minnesota 5, New York Rangers 2
Edmonton 3, Arizona 2 (Final/OT)
Nashville 4, San Jose 2
Killorn's 1st-Career Hat-Trick
Marchand Honors McGregor with GW Goal Celebration
Crawford's Double Denial
Casual robbery by Crow. pic.twitter.com/GJuIbGQn5X— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 17, 2019
McDavid's OT Game-Winner
Jordan Staal's 500th Point
Jordan Staal joins the 5️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ point club! pic.twitter.com/KRAm2vUpvW— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 17, 2019
Paajarvi Scores Twice in 2nd for Ottawa
Gibbons Scores While Falling Down
Tavares' 40th Toronto Goal
Dunn Becomes 3rd Blues Defenseman to Hit 10 Goals
Vince Dunn joined Alex Pietrangelo (12) and Colton Parayko (10) to mark the first time in @StLouisBlues franchise history to witness three defensemen reaching the 10-goal mark in a season. https://t.co/JT0BnkIvAJ #NHLStats #STLvsPIT pic.twitter.com/Up3ktrtyAJ— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 16, 2019
Forsberg, Johansen Hit Milestones on Nashville's Game-Winner
Killorn Powers Lighting to 55th Win
Alex Killorn stole the spotlight away from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos for a night, as he recorded his first-career hat-trick against the Washington Capitals.
Killorn had to wait to complete his three-goal performance until the latter stages of the third period after he scored twice in the first stanza.
The third goal sealed the victory, as it put the Lightning up by two goals late in third. Killorn revealed it felt good to earn the hat-trick and finish off the win, per the team's official Twitter account:
Killorn on his first career hat trick: “Felt good. Especially when the third goal kind of seals the victory a bit.” #WSHvsTBL— x - Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 17, 2019
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper heaped plenty of praise on Killorn after the game, as he praised his work rate and physical play, per the team's Twitter account:
Cooper on Killorn: “Take the goals away, he was still one of the top players on the ice. How physical he was, he wanted the puck.” #WSHvsTBL— x - Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 17, 2019
With the victory, Tampa Bay set new franchise records for wins and points in a single season, and it became the fourth team in the past 22 years—and 12th overall—to record 55 wins, per NHL Public Relations:
The @TBLightning collected their 55th win and 114th point to establish single-season franchise marks, after also doing so in 2017-18 (54-23-5, 113 points). #NHLStats #WSHvsTBL pic.twitter.com/MC9nnCXLNS— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 17, 2019
With 10 games left in the regular season, the Lightning are inching closer to hoisting the Presidents' Trophy with every win, and they should have it locked up before March is over.
Bruins Earn Big Win with McGregor in Attendance
Boston's victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets moved the Bruins five points from 100 while stopping Saturday's opponent from collecting the most points possible in a tight Eastern Conference wild-card race.
Brad Marchand's overtime game-winner triggered a celebration in honor of McGregor, who was in attendance at TD Garden. Marchand also set a career high in points on the game-winner, per the team's official Twitter account:
Boston's Twitter account shared a terrific photo of McGregor with the Bruins players in the locker room:
McGregor used the same photo to tweet out a message from his Twitter account:
When I say “Boston!”— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 17, 2019
You say “Strong”
Marchand later tweeted his thoughts on his re-enactment of McGregor's Octagon celebration:
The UFC star has had success inside TD Garden, as he defeated Max Holloway in 2013 and Dennis Siver in 2015 in the arena.
Crawford Shines in Chicago's Shutout Of Montreal
The Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens have been playing since the Original Six days, but only one player had earned the same achievement Corey Crawford hit before Saturday.
Crawford joined Tony Esposito in elite company as the only Blackhawks goalies to earn multiple road shutouts against the Canadiens, per NHL Public Relations:
Corey Crawford joined Tony Esposito as just the second netminder in @NHLBlackhawks franchise history to record multiple road shutouts against the Canadiens. #NHLStats #CHIvsMTL https://t.co/tJnxtqT0bj pic.twitter.com/JAPBKyFHzz— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 17, 2019
The result was extra special for Crawford, who is a Montreal native, as he improved his record in Quebec to 9-2-2, per the team's official Twitter account:
Saturday's victory also carried significance in the Western Conference playoff race, as the Blackhawks are trying to make a push for one of the two wild-card positions.
Entering Sunday, Chicago is fourth in the wild-card race and needs to make up five points on Arizona and six on Dallas to move into the playoff positions.
Sunday's NHL Schedule
New Jersey at Colorado (3 p.m. ET)
St. Louis at Buffalo (5 p.m. ET, NHL Network)
New York Islanders at Minnesota (6 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Vancouver at Dallas (7 p.m. ET)
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Florida at Anaheim (9 p.m. ET)
Edmonton at Vegas (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN)