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NHL: 3 stories from Wednesday night

03/05/2015 01:44 EST | Updated 05/04/2015 05:59 EDT
Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau could be the first Flames' rookie to eclipse Jarome Iginla's debut season and the Toronto Maple Leafs picked up two points to possibly distance themselves from a potential franchise-building forward.

Here are three stories from Wednesday night:

Johnny Hockey matches Iggy

​Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau is on pace to eclipse former captain Jarome Iginla's first NHL season. 

In a 6-3 trouncing of the Anaheim Ducks, the 21-year-old scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season to put him at 50 points with 15 games remaining.

The last Flames rookie to accomplish that feat was Iginla, who did it in 82 games way back in the 1996-97 season. 

It may have taken 18 years, but it looks like Calgary has nabbed a player that has the potential to be nearly as effective as their beloved nine-year captain, Iggy. Gaudreau was only three when Iginla made his NHL debut.

With the win, the Flames inched within a point of the Vancouver Canucks for second place in the Pacific division. It also gave them a precarious two-point lead on the Los Angeles Kings, who are still keeping in step with Calgary in the heated playoff race. 

Tank nation?

The Buffalo Sabres gained some ground in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes thanks to a 4-3 shootout victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

That's the major takeaway from their penultimate meeting (they play on April Fool's evening in Buffalo) between two teams vying for the potential franchise-building forward. With exactly a month remaining in the regular season, the Leafs jumped over the Carolina Hurricanes to take 26th place with their two-point night. 

Buffalo also picked up a point, but sits somewhat securely in 30th, as Edmonton is three points ahead of them in the standings.

Of course, the last place spot in the league carries a 20 per cent chance of claiming the first overall draft pick, while the 26th gives the Leafs 8.5 per cent odds. 

Some still show up

Toronto's roster didn't at all resemble their top squad. Injuries and Nazem Kadri's team suspension forced the Leafs to continue to rely on some fresh talent. 

Defenceman Andrew MacWilliam earned his first point in his NHL debut by assisting on Brandon Kozun's first period goal. Newly acquired forward Joakim Lindstrom got the primary assist on the same goal for his first point in a Leafs' uniform. 

Forward Tyler Bozak was another Leaf that came to play. He scored the late third period game-tying goal, matching his career-high of 19, to send the game to extra time and followed that up with the only successful shootout attempt.

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