After moving into second place on the NHL career wins list for a coach, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville had good news for the list’s leader, Scotty Bowman.
”Scotty’s safe,” Quenneville quipped.
He’s the only one. Quenneville won his 783rd game, Corey Crawford made 39 saves in his Montreal hometown, and the Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Thursday for their ninth straight win.
Quenneville broke a tie with Al Arbour, but was still far from Bowman’s record of 1,244 wins.
”It’s pretty amazing,” said Toews, who has won three Stanley Cups under Quenneville in Chicago. ”There’s been a lot of great coaches, and the amount of wins he has is so rare.
”To be part of it is something special. I’ve played for him pretty much my entire career and it means a lot to be part of something like that. The success we’ve had in the playoffs goes with it.”
Crawford starred in front of family and friends. The goalie is from nearby Chateauguay, Quebec, and is 4-2-0 in six career meetings with the Canadiens.
The Blackhawks haven’t lost since Dec. 27, against Carolina, and will try to make it 10 straight in Toronto on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals won their fifth straight game, the Islanders beat the Rangers 3-1 in the New York derby, and the Carolina Hurricanes won their season-high fourth game.
On the night Alex Ovechkin was honored for his 500th goal, fellow Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov had two goals and an assist as Washington beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1.
Kuznetsov scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season and set up Tom Wilson on a night the Capitals got a rare goal from defenseman Karl Alzner and 29 saves from Braden Holtby.
Brock Nelson and Nick Leddy scored 2:24 apart early in the third period to rally the Islanders past the Rangers 3-1.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 shots to beat Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist for the eighth straight time, including five wins with the Islanders.
Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist as Carolina beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1.
Calvin Pickard stopped 27 shots for his first NHL shutout, and Matt Duchene scored 51 seconds in as Colorado beat New Jersey 3-0. The Devils haven’t won at the Pepsi Center since March 2008.
Danny DeKeyser scored in overtime as the Detroit Red Wings used two third-period power-play goals to rally from 2-0 down and beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. Detroit finished with five wins during a six-game trip.
The Winnipeg Jets also won in overtime, when Blake Wheeler scored 51 seconds in for them to overcome a three-goal third-period collapse to beat Nashville 5-4.
Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored for San Jose in the shootout and Martin Jones stopped both Edmonton attempts for the San Jose Sharks to win 2-1 at home, and their fourth straight game. The Oilers fell to 0-3-4 in their last seven road games.