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Scott Cullen

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Backlund’s trick, Tarasenko scores late; Nylander, Cullen, Byfuglien and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

HEROES

Mikael Backlund – The 26-year-old Calgary pivot notched his first career hat trick in a 7-3 win over Vancouver. He has seven points (6 G, 1 A) in the past three games and has a career-high 21 goals and 46 points.

Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis’ sniper scored the tying goal late in the third and added the overtime winner in a 2-1 victory at Chicago. He has 18 points (9 G, 9 A) in the past 14 games.

William Nylander – Toronto’s prize rooie put up a goal and two assists in a 4-3 OT win at Philadelphia, and has 11 points (4 G, 7 A) in the past 11 games.

Matt Cullen – The veteran Penguins centre scored twice in a 4-3 overtime win at Washington, giving him 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in the past 10 games.

Dustin Byfuglien – Winnipeg’s playmaking blueliner had a goal and three assists in a 5-4 overtime win at San Jose. He has eight points (2 G, 6 A) in the past four games.

ZEROES

Jacob Josefson – Was on the ice for all four goals against in New Jersey’s 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

Sam Carrick, Byron Froese and Kasperi Kapanen – The young Leafs line was stuck in the defensive zone (3 for, 14 against, 17.7 SAT%) at Philadelphia.

Ryan Miller – Not all his fault, considering the Canucks allowed 43 shots, but Miller did allow all seven goals in a 7-3 loss at Calgary.

VITAL SIGNS

Jonathan Drouin – Back from exile, the Lightning winger scored a goal in his first NHL game since December 30. He scored nine goals in 10 AHL games after returning to pro hockey March 11.

Jay Bouwmeester – Returned to the Blues lineup after missing a couple of weeks with an upper-body injury.

Paul Stastny – The St. Louis centre played 24:04 at Chicago, his most in a game since February, 2013.

Bryan Bickell – Called up from the AHL, where he had 31 points (15 G, 16 A) and was plus-2 in 44 games, the veteran winger skated on the fourth line for Chicago against St. Louis.

FIRSTS

Jason Dickinson – The 29th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Dickinson made his NHL debut, and scored his first NHL goal, in a 4-2 win over Colorado. The 20-year-old, first-year pro had 50 points (20 G, 30 A) and was plus-11 in 69 AHL games.

Charlie Lindgren – Made his NHL debut, and stopped 26 of 28 shots, in Montreal’s 4-2 win at Carolina. The 22-year-old rookie, signed as a free agent out of St. Cloud State, had a .925 save percentage in 40 NCAA games this season.

Darren Dietz – The Motnreal defenceman scored his first NHL goal, in his 12th career game, a 4-2 win at Carolina.

Buddy Robinson – The lanky Senators winger tallied his first NHL goal, in his second career game, a 3-1 win over Florida.

Nikita Tryamkin – Vancouver’s rookie defenceman scored his first NHL goal, in his 12th career game, a 7-3 loss at Calgary.

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Mark Scheifele has 33 points in the past 25 games.

SHORT SHIFTS

Jets C Mark Scheifele scored two goals and added an assist in a 5-4 overtime win at San Jose. He has 14 points (6 G, 8 A) during a nine-game point streak…Jets RW Blake Wheeler extended his point streak (7 G, 7 A) to 10 games in the win at San Jose…Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist at Carolina, and has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past eight games…Bruins RW Loui Eriksson picked up a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win vs. Detroit, giving him 14 points (6 G, 8 A) in the past 13 games…Bruins C David Krejci earned a couple of assists, giving him nine points (2 G, 7 A) in the past six games…Bruins D Torey Krug put up a goal and two assists against Detroit, and has eight points (1 G, 7 A) in the past six games…Bruins LW Brad Marchand contributed a goal and an assist, giving him five points (3 G, 2 A) in the past five games…Lightning C Valtteri Filppula had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win at New Jersey; he had no goals and an assist in his previous 20 games…Devils LW Sergey Kalinin scored twice against Tampa Bay, after going 14 straight games without a point…Maple Leafs LW Colin Greening chipped in a goal and an assist in a 4-3 overtime win at Philadelphia, giving him five points (4 G, 1 A) in the past four games…Capitals LW Andre Burakovsky had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss to Pittsburgh; he had no points in his previous eight games…Capitals C Marcus Johansson had a pair of goals, giving him six points (2 G, 4 A) in the past four games…Senators D Cody Ceci produced a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win vs. Florida, and has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past five games…Coyotes D Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a couple of assists in a 3-2 loss at Nashville, giving him 21 points (7 G, 14 A) in his past 24 games…Predators LW Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist against Arizona, and has 33 points (19 G, 14 A) in the past 29 games…Predators C Ryan Johansen contributed a pair of assists, and has 15 points (3 G, 12 A) in the past 12 games…Predators D Roman Josi had a goal and an assist vs. Arizona, and has 14 points (3 G, 11 A) in the past 13 games…Stars rookie C Radek Faksa earned a pair of assists in a 4-2 win vs. Colorado, and has five points (3 G, 2 A) in the past five games…Stars RW Ales Hemsky also had a couple of assists, giving him 15 points (4 G, 11 A) in the past 15 games…Vancouver’s second-year C Bo Horvat is finishing the year strong. With a goal and an assist in a 7-3 loss at Calgary, he has seven points (4 G, 3 A) in the past five games…Flames RW Joe Colborne continues to pile up points late in the year. He put up a goal and two assists in a 7-3 win vs. Vancouver, giving him 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in the past six games…Flames D Dougie Hamilton contributed a goal and an assist, and has nine points (2 G, 7 A) in the past 10 games…Flames C Matt Stajan added three helpers, after managing three points (2 G, 1 A) in his previous 22 games…Jets rookie LW Nic Petan had a pair of assists at San Jose, and has four points (1 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Sharks C Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist vs. Winnipeg, and has six points (4 G, 2 A) in the past five games…Sharks C Joe Thornton also had a goal and an assist, giving him 65 points (15 G, 50 A) in the past 52 games...Flyers agitator Ryan White delivered a strong possession game (24 for, 6 against, 80.0 SAT%) in a 4-3 OT loss to Toronto…Panthers LW Jussi Jokinen had solid possession stats (16 for, 4 against, 80.0 SAT%) at Ottawa.

Blues G Brian Elliott turned aside 24 of 25 shots in a 2-1 overtime win at Chicago, and has a .946 save percentage in his past seven games…Maple Leafs G Jonathan Bernier continues to play well down the stretch. He stopped 41 of 44 shots at Philadelphia, and has a .940 save percentage in his past eight starts.

Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.comcorsica.hockey, stats.hockeyanalysis.com www.hockey-reference and www.naturalstattrick.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca