NHL Rewind: Bruins make history by reaching 50 wins in just 64 games

Another NHL weekend is in the books, and it was a fun one — especially for the Boston Bruins.

With a win over the Red Wings, the Bruins became the fastest team to 50 wins in NHL history. It took them just 64 games to accomplish the feat, and they can make more history before the regular season ends.

Elsewhere in the league, the Winnipeg Jets picked up some big wins in the playoff race and the Buffalo Sabers kept their playoff hopes alive with a comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Here are the biggest headlines and highlights from last weekend in the NHL.

Goal of the Weekend: Mitch Marner dropped jaws in Toronto

Trailing the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in the second period, the Toronto Maple Leafs needed a spark. They got one from Mitch Marner.

Oilers forward Ryan McLeod made a misplaced pass in front of his net and Marner knocked it out of the air. Suddenly, he came face to face with goalkeeper Stuart Skinner and Marner made the most of his chance. With so much time and space, Marner set up a clinic that left Skinner at his mercy.

Marner fired the puck into the net and sent a jolt of energy into the Air Canada Centre.

That Marner goal sparked a surge for the Maple Leafs and they scored six of the next seven goals to win the game, 7-4.

Weekend heist: Casey DeSmith uses the paddle

Casey DeSmith started in a very important game for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff hopes on Saturday, and he did it in a big way. Not only did DeSmith hold the Philadelphia Flyers to just one goal on 32 shots, but he also had one of the saves of the year.

In the third period, the Penguins were protecting a 2-1 lead when the Flyers got a power play opportunity. Philadelphia aimed to tie the game, and almost did, except DeSmith made a superhuman stop to deny a goal. Flyers defenseman Cam York took a shot from the point and DeSmith blocked it. The rebound bounced right to Owen Tippett in the corner, and all he had to do was fire it into an empty cage.

That’s when DeSmith reached back with his paddle and got enough of the puck to deflect it up and out of play.

Pittsburgh won the game 5-1 and the team gained two very important points in the standings. If the Penguins keep scoring like this, their playoff chances will be much safer.

The Boston Bruins continue to make NHL history

The Boston Bruins have had a lot of wins this season — a winning record in fact. With their 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, the Bruins became the fastest team to 50 wins in NHL history.

After the first period, it looked like the Bruins would have to wait another game to reach 50 wins. Detroit had a 2-0 lead, but Boston came out with purpose in the second frame. The Bruins finally broke through when Hambus Lindholm let loose a laser fly through traffic and into the net.

Moments later, Jake DeBrusk found Patrice Begeron at the guard post on the power play. He delivered the pass between the legs of Magnus Helberg and into the back of the net. Then, late in the third period, Garnett Hathaway picked a good time to score his first goal as a Bruin. Hathaway crashed the next one off the rush and coughed up a bad rebound from Helberg.

The Bruins needed just 64 games to reach 50 wins and, with 105 points, are on pace for at least two other major records:

The Jets keep beating the Panthers

The Winnipeg Jets have been going in the wrong direction lately, but they managed to get a big road win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

At first, it looked like the Jets were going to let another opportunity slip away. They went into the third period with a 4-2 lead and it didn’t take long for that to evaporate. Marc Staal, with some help from his brother Eric, beat Connor Hellebuyck on a freak rush to pull the Panthers within one.

About five minutes later, the Panthers went on a power play and made the Jets pay. Matthew Tkachuk battled to the front of the net and grabbed a rebound to tie the game at 4-4.

After letting a multi-goal lead slip from their hands, the Jets were able to regain their composure and were able to take the game to overtime. That’s when Kyle Connor found Mark Scheifele in front of the net for the game-winning goal.

This was a very important win for the Jets, and they get another one against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. With those four points, Winnipeg managed to keep the Nashville Predators within striking distance of the Western Conference playoff race.

Pavel Dorofeyev uses his noodle for the first NHL goal

Pavel Dorofeyev, a 2019 third-round pick, scored his first NHL goal on Sunday. As big as this was for Dorofeyev, it wouldn’t normally make headlines, but the way he scored was enough to feature in any Monday morning highlight package.

In the third period, the Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues were held to a 3-3 draw when a face-off took place in front of the St. Louis net. Vegas forward William Carlson found the loose puck in the slot and put a shot on goal, but Jordan Binnington made a big save.

The problem for Binnington was that the rebound went in the air, hit Dorofeyev in the head and went into the net.

It wasn’t exactly the prettiest goal, but few players can say they channeled Doug Glatt in their first NHL game, and Dorofeyev has an incredible story to tell for the rest of his life.

The Sabers are erasing a two-goal deficit on top of the Maple Leafs

For a team that had lost six of its last seven games, the Buffalo Sabers desperately needed a win on Monday. Despite falling behind early, the Sabers rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3.

Winger Alex Tuch, who was activated from injured reserve before the game, scored two goals to lead the Sabres’ comeback.

Tuch’s game-winning goal was also a milestone for the 26-year-old as he recorded his 30th goal of the 2022-23 season. It was the first time in Tuch’s career that he reached that plateau and he now has 64 points (30 goals & 34 assists) on the season.

With the win, the Sabers now have a record of 33-28-5 (71 points) and moved within five points of the New York Islanders for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Sabers also face the Florida Panthers, who have 73 points with a game in hand against Buffalo.

View appointments this week

Islanders at Kings | Tuesday, March 14: This should be an intense matchup between two teams with a lot to play for in the playoff race. The Islanders are just trying to secure their playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and the Kings are still within striking distance of first place in the Pacific Division.

Avalanche on Maple Leafs | Wednesday March 15: Both of these teams are on very solid footing in the NHL playoff race, but this will be a good measure for both sides. The Avalanche are looking to hit their stride as the playoffs approach and the Leafs can pull off a big win against the defending champs.

Penguins at Rangers | Thursday March 16: The Rangers have been a little inconsistent lately, and that’s opened the door for the Penguins to move up to third in the Metro. Playing the Devils or Hurricanes might not seem as appealing, but it beats falling into a wild card spot and possibly playing the Bruins.

Hurricanes at Maple Leafs | Friday March 17: This is just a marquee matchup of the Eastern Conference juggernauts. The Hurricanes are still fighting for first place in the Metro Division, and this will be another chance for Toronto to prove they can turn the tide and make a deep postseason run this year.

Blackhawks at Coyotes | Saturday March 18: You may have to review the rosters of the two teams in this game, but it is just as important as the matchup of the two teams in the playoff game. In fact, it may be even more important, as the odds of winning lottery tickets hang in the balance.

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