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TORONTO — The Tampa Bay Lightning became the seventh team in NHL history with 110 points through 70 games when they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2 at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

“Our consistency throughout the season has been phenomenal, but we’re not patting ourselves on the shoulders,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. “We are looking at the big picture, we have 11 games here before the fun starts, so we have to keep going and keep playing games like these and have that in the back of our head, like today, of how good we are when we play the right way.”

Tyler Johnson and Cedric Paquette each scored two goals, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 saves for the Lightning (53-13-4), who have won four of their past five games. Tampa Bay has clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and leads the Boston Bruins by 17 points for first place in the Eastern Conference.

“I thought we played a much better game in the neutral zone, not giving them chances off the rush,” Johnson said. “They have a lot of high-skilled guys who are able to create things. I thought we skated well, got above them, and just played the right way and took our chances when we got them.”

Clutch Performance of the Night
03:06 • 11:27 AM

Auston Matthews and Connor Brown scored for the Maple Leafs (42-22-5), who are 3-1-1 in their past five games and trail the Bruins by four points for second in the Atlantic Division. Frederik Andersen allowed four goals on 19 shots before being pulled. Garret Sparks made 21 saves.

“The effort kind of just wasn’t there at times,” Matthews said. “I mean, I think in the third period we pretty much just quit. That’s on us as players. We’ve got to wake up and do a much better job and hold each other accountable. Not let [Andersen] or [Sparks] out to dry.”

Johnson put the Lightning up 1-0 at 10:07 of the first period when Ryan McDonagh’s shot deflected off his skate.

Anthony Cirelli made it 2-0 at 18:38 when Mikael Sergachev’s point shot deflected off his leg in the slot.

Vasilevskiy’s back-to-back saves
00:15 • 7:00 AM

“You can look at those goals as fluky, but we were in the right spots for those to be able to happen,” Johnson said. “That’s kind of what happens at the end of the season and playoffs, where a lot of times it’s the garbage goals that go in.”

Johnson scored his second of the game to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead at 4:20 of the second. Andersen made a left-pad save on McDonagh’s shot from the left face-off dot on the rush, and Point kicked the puck across to Johnson, who swept it in on his backhand.

Ondrej Palat scored 30 seconds later when Braydon Coburn’s point shot deflected off him in the right face-off circle and went in off Matthews in the slot to make it 4-0 at 4:50.

Matthews made it 4-1 at 11:49 when he got around Point at the top of the right circle and shot between Vasilevskiy’s pads.

Paquette put the Lightning back up by four goals with a shorthanded goal. He one-timed a pass from Victor Hedman on a 3-on-1 to make it 5-1 at 18:16.

Matthews scores after slick move
00:49 • 7:00 AM

Paquette scored his second of the game at 5:59 of the third period to put Tampa Bay up 6-1.

Brown made it 6-2 with five seconds left.

“They had some bounces early, and I don’t think we responded that well and I think that can go for the third period as well,” Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said. “We came out with the attitude that we were going to play right, and that’s not necessarily what happened. It’s important that we go over things and fix things we need to fix moving forward.”

They said it
“We’ve had a good season so far, but we really haven’t done anything yet. Our team is a bunch of competitors who work extremely hard. We continue to get better every single day. We don’t rely on our wins, our losses, our record, we just want to be better tomorrow than we were today, and I think we’ve been doing that.” — Lightning forward Tyler Johnson

“We have to do a lot better, this was a good wake up call for us. It was a measuring stick game, that’s the best team in the League. We didn’t come ready to play and they pretty much just slapped us.” — Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews

Need to know
The Montreal Canadiens reached 110 points in fewer than 70 games in three seasons (67 in 1976-77, 69 in 1975-76 and 69 in 1977-78); the Bruins did it in 70 games or fewer twice (69 in 1970-71 and 70 in 1971-72); and the Detroit Red Wings did it in 69 games in 1995-96. … McDonagh played his 600th NHL game. … Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen was a late scratch because he was ill.

What’s next
Lightning: At the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-D, SUN, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS)

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DENVER — The low-key Carl Soderberg was thinking one overriding thought on his shootout attempt.

“A great opportunity to get the game done,” he said.

Soderberg scored in the sixth round of the shootout, Semyon Varlamov came up with big saves all night long and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Wednesday.

Soderberg knocked in the winner off the glove of Jacob Markstrom as the Avalanche improved to 2-12 in games beyond regulation.

Another memorable moment in what’s been a career-best goal scoring season for Soderberg.

“He deserves all the opportunities he’s getting,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “He’s playing a big man’s game and is helping us in a lot of different ways on a nightly basis, a very consistent player for us.”

Right after Soderberg’s goal, Markstrom dropped his head. He thought he had it.

“I got my glove back and it goes off my glove and it goes crossbar and just inside the post,” Markstrom explained. “That’s frustrating.”

Varlamov made 30 saves through overtime and five more in the shootout. He’s now 30-15 over his career in shootouts with a .750 save percentage.

Mikko Rantanen had a power-play goal and Nathan MacKinnon added his 33rd goal of the season to tie captain Gabriel Landeskog for the team lead. The Avalanche have gone 5-0-1 over their last six games to climb back into the thick of the playoff chase.

“All the teams around us, they’re not just going to sleep, they’re going to continue to play hard,” Varlamov said. “Everybody’s winning, so we’ve got to keep winning games.”

Trailing 2-1 after the first period, Josh Leivo tied the game with 3:02 remaining in regulation on a wrist shot. Antoine Roussel also scored for the Canucks.

Tanner Pearson made his debut with the team after being acquired Monday from Pittsburgh. He nearly had the winner in OT on a tip-in, but the officials ruled Varlamov made the save and was impaired by Pearson to defend the net. The play was upheld on review.

“It was a goal. I finished the goal,” Pearson said. “My stick moved the goalie to knock the puck loose. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Markstrom kept Vancouver close by turning back 43 shots, including a huge glove save early in overtime.

“We’re seeing a guy mature in front of our eyes, really,” Green said.

After breaking them up for a few games, the Avalanche reassembled their top line of Rantanen, MacKinnon and Landeskog, who had an assist on Rantanen’s goal. The Avalanche improved to 23-5-5 when each of them has a point.

The opening period didn’t start well for Rantanen with the right winger taking a high-stick penalty 11 seconds into the game. But it certainly ended well as he scored with 1:34 remaining in the first to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead. Rantanen’s 27th goal of the season was set up on a play by Landeskog, who stole the puck from Markus Granlund, moved into the zone and dished it over to Rantanen.

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It seems to happen just about every NHL draft season, usually around the World Junior Championship. The presumptive No. 1 pick for the following June’s draft almost always plays and that tournament becomes a referendum — at least among fans and media — on that player’s status as No. 1.

This year was probably one of the most intense post-WJC debates I’ve seen. Both Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko played at the World Junior Championship. Hughes played in only four of a possible seven games because of an injury and registered four assists. Kaapo Kakko saw his role only increase for Finland, appearing in all seven games and finishing with five points. Kakko also scored the gold-medal-winning goal in the final minutes of the championship game against Hughes and Team USA.

For many hockey fans, it was the first time they got to see Hughes and Kakko head-to-head, and the latter performed better. Hughes was playing through an upper-body injury sustained in pretournament play and aggravated during the team’s first game. Maybe it wasn’t a completely fair fight.

Either way, people saw what they saw, and suddenly Hughes’ grip on the No. 1 spot that has appeared inevitable since last season at least seemed to loosen. So just how close is it?

The case for Hughes
Hughes is a special talent, pure and simple. He has what many have referred to as the “wow factor.” He can make plays that most other players in this draft class cannot. Some of them might not even see the options that become available to Hughes, who not only has the vision, but also can make all of the plays at top speed.

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Welcome to a weekly feature where we have some fun with underlying numbers. We highlight a couple of trends, then dig beneath the surface to get a better sense of what these trends ultimately mean, what’s causing them and how likely it is that they’ll continue. Think of these analyses as bite-sized deep dives.

In the recent past, we’ve used this space to look at things like the best lines in hockey, the many advantages of riding shotgun alongside a true superstar and the effects of the Barry Trotz defensive system. This week, we’re going to focus in on defensemen by taking a look at the pros and cons of shooting the puck from the point, and the winners and losers of the Jake Muzzin trade. Any data referenced is mined from either Corsica or Natural Stat Trick.

Defensemen shooting the puck: Less is more
When Duncan Keith’s slap shot from the top of the left circle snuck past Casey DeSmith for a goal during a game against the Penguins a couple of weeks ago, it was a seemingly innocuous moment for the veteran Blackhawks defenseman.

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With Keith now in the final chapters of a career that’s been littered with epic triumphs and accolades — mostly notably including two Norris Trophies, a Conn Smythe Trophy, three Stanley Cup rings and well north of 1,000 games played — it’s quite understandable that a random goal in the middle of an otherwise completely forgettable season wouldn’t really register on his list of accomplishments. The thing is: these days, it does.

Though lighting the lamp isn’t a particularly common occurrence nor is it a necessary part of the job description for any defenseman, Keith’s struggles shooting the puck are now reaching a whole new level. During the past two seasons, he’s scored a grand total of three times in 133 games. If you stretch back to the 2016-17 campaign, that mark becomes three in 146.

What makes it particularly wild is that his scoring struggles haven’t been for a lack of trying, because his volume of attempts and opportunities are staggering. In that period of time, he’s played just south of 3,100 minutes, attempted 580 shots, 366 of which got past a shot blocker and 307 of which made their way onto net. He was eventually supplanted by Erik Gustafsson on the top power-play unit this season, but he’s been on the ice for nearly 300 minutes with the man advantage during that stretch.

That means that less than 1 percent of Keith’s shots on target have turned into goals, and 99.5 percent of his attempts have either been stopped or missed the target. Even if you factor in that the occasional puck coming off of his stick has resulted in a rebound or tip that eventually led to something, opposing teams must be breathing a sigh of relief every time he winds up for a shot. He’s fundamentally been a black hole offensively, where scoring chances have gone to die.