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Scott Cullen

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Hat tricks for Kadri and Couture; Haula, Boucher, Burns, fantasy and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

HEROS

Nazem Kadri - His third goal went into an empty net, but the Maple Leafs centre had a hat trick in a 5-2 win at Florida. He has seven points (5 G, 2 A) in the past four games, and has lifted his point production to 44 points in 74 games this season.

Logan Couture - Like Kadri, Couture's third goal was into an empty net, but he still finished with his first career hat trick in a 4-1 win at Vancouver. He had zero goals and two assists in his previous 10 games.

Erik Haula - The Wild centre had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over Chicago, giving him 10 points (4 G, 6 A) during a nine-game point streak.

Reid Boucher - Quietly making his mark as a scorer late in the season, the Devils winger had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win over Boston, giving him seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past seven games.

ZEROS

Reid Boucher, Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri - How about Boucher fitting on both sides of the ledger? At even strength, the Devils trio was pinned in the defensive zone (3 for, 26 against, 10.3 SAT%) in a 2-1 win against Boston.

Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane - The Blackhawks winger were on the ice for three goals against in a 4-1 loss at Minnesota.

Petr Mrazek - Was yanked from the Detroit net after allowing two goals on seven shots at Montreal. He has a .874 save percentage in his past five appearances.

VITAL SIGNS

Ryan Ellis - He scored a goal at Dallas, but the Predators D suffered an upper-body injury and left the game after playing just 4:43.

Alexander Steen - Playing his first game in more than five weeks, the Blues forward picked up a pair of assists and had stellar possession stats (16 for, 3 against, 84.2 SAT%) in a 4-1 win against Chicago.

Greg Pateryn - With injuries hitting the Habs blueline, the 25-year-old defenceman played a career-high 22:37 in a 4-3 win against Detroit. He's played 20 minutes or more in eight of the past 12 games.

Duncan Keith - The Blackhawks workhorse defenceman is facing a possible (likely) suspension for high-sticking Wild RW Charlie Coyle.

Evander Kane - The Sabres winger was held out of the lineup against Pittsburgh due to an upper-body injury.

FIRSTS

Greg McKegg - The 23-year-old forward, a third-round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2010 now playing for Florida, scored his first career goal in his 17th career game, a 5-2 loss to Toronto.

SHORT SHIFTS

Sharks D Brent Burns is having a great finish to his campaign. With two assists in a 4-1 win at Vancouver, he has 20 points (6 G, 14 A) in the past 16 games…Stars LW Jamie Benn scored a pair of goals in a 5-2 win over Nashville, giving him 14 points (7 G, 7 A) in the past 11 games…Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk had a couple of assists in a 4-3 loss at Montreal; he has nine points (3 G, 6 A) in the past eight games…Canadiens RW Sven Andrighetto contributed a goal and an assist, and has seven points (1 G, 6 A) in his past eight games…Canadiens C Alex Galchenyuk had a pair of assists against Detroit, and has 18 points (13 G, 5 A) in the past 17 games…Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty had a couple of goals in the win and has 16 points (6 G, 10 A) in the past 17 games…Devils C Travis Zajac had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win vs. Boston, and has seven points (2 G, 5 A) in the past seven games…Sabres rookie D Casey Nelson had two assists in a 5-4 shootout loss to Pittsburgh, and has four assists in his first three NHL games…Sabres C Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and an assist, giving him 15 points (1 G, 14 A) in his past 16 games…Penguins LW Tom Kuhnhackl had a goal and an assist vs. Buffalo, giving him five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past five games…Maple Leafs rookie RW Connor Brown recorded three assists at Florida, and has six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past five games…Maple Leafs D Jake Gardiner added a couple of assists, giving him five assists in the past six games…Wild RW Nino Niederreiter put up a goal and an assist against Chicago, and has 10 points (6 G, 4 A) in the past nine games.

Boston's line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Lee Stempniak was dominant (22 for, 2 against, 91.7 SAT%) in a 2-1 loss at New Jersey…Red Wings D Mike Green delivered strong possession stats (25 for, 6 against, 80.7 SAT%) in a 4-3 loss at Montreal…Canucks rookie C Brendan Gaunce had a good possession showing (14 for, 2 against, 87.5 SAT%) in a 4-1 loss to San Jose.

Maple Leafs G Jonathan Bernier had 32 saves on 34 shots in a 5-2 win at Florida, giving him a .952 save percentage in his past six starts…Devils G Keith Kinkaid stopped a career-high 39 of 40 shots in a 2-1 win over Boston…Blues G Brian Elliott turned away 20 of 21 shots in a 3-1 win vs. Colorado. He's stopped 91 of 92 shots (.989 SV%) in four starts since returning from injury…Stars G Kari Lehtonen turned away 28 of 30 shots against Nashville, and has a .941 save percentage in his past four starts.

FANTASY FOCUS

Three centres being added a lot late in the season, yet still available in more than half of TSN leagues:

Sean Couturier - The Flyers pivot isn't just playing a shutdown defensive game. He has 11 points (1 G, 10 A) in the past 12 games. Owned: 49.4%

Victor Rask - Carolina's second-year centre has four goals in the past four games, and has played more than 20 minutes in each of the past three. Owned: 40.6%

Nick Bonino - Getting a good opportunity with Evgeni Malkin injured, the Penguins centre has nine points (3 G, 6 A) in the past seven games. Owned: 19.0%

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

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