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NHL: 3 things to know for Thursday night

03/19/2015 12:52 EDT | Updated 05/19/2015 05:59 EDT
Senators goalie Andrew Hammond can make more history against the Bruins, the Hurricanes should be easy prey for the Habs, while the Leafs are simply playing out the string.

Here are three things to know for tonight's games:

Hamburglar eyes history

In one game, Senators goalie Andrew “the Hamburglar” Hammond can break another record while cutting into the Bruins’ hold on the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Hammond backstopped the Senators to the 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. With the victory, the White Rock, B.C., native earned at least a point in each of his first 12 starts (11-0-1), leapfrogging five other goaltenders to set the milestone.

But the records don’t stop there.

During this remarkable stretch, the 27-year-old netminder has allowed two goals or fewer in his first 12 starts. If Hammond, whose story has been well chronicled, continues on this path against the Bruins, he would break a 76-year record set by Frank Brimsek, the Bruins' netminder who had a 12-game run from Nov. 3 to Dec. 27, 1938.     

The Senators (34-24-11) also face a crucial home game against the Bruins (36-23-11) Thursday night. A win moves Ottawa to within two points of Boston in the race for the final wild-card spot.

The Bruins are one of the NHL’s hottest teams in March, winning six of their last seven games, and are the only team to hand Ottawa a regulation loss this month, skating to a 3-1 victory nine days ago at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Hurricanes welcomed sight for Habs

The Montreal Canadiens (44-20-7) are having a bad month. Things are so bad that the Habs, winners of only three games in March, saw their star player Max Pacioretty actually set up Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos for a goal in Montreal’s 4-2 loss on Monday.

But it may get better for the Canadiens, who beat Florida 3-2 one night later, as they welcome the woeful Hurricanes (26-34-9) at the Bell Centre.

Montreal has won 12 of 16 in the series, including four straight by a 14-3 margin. This might be a game Habs coach Michel Therrien might consider resting all-star goaltender Carey Price but he likely won’t for two reasons.

First, Montreal needs to put together a winning streak down the stretch if it hopes to contend for top spot in the East. Second, Price has started each of the last four victories, improving to 8-1-1 with a 1.78 goals-against average over a 10-game stretch against Carolina.

Montreal also has outscored Carolina 32-12 during a 7-1-0 run at home.

No relief for Leafs

The end of the regular season can’t get here fast enough for the Leafs. The team was official eliminated from the playoffs when the Bruins earned a point in Tuesday night. The Leafs then learned a day later that the NHL was suspending forward NazemKadri for four games for his hit to the head of the Oilers' Matt Fraser.

Kadri received a two-minute minor penalty for the hit, which happened during Monday's 4-1 loss in Edmonton.

Fraser was diagnosed with a concussion.

Toronto hosts the San Jose at Air Canada centre, a place that has been anything but home against the Sharks.

The Leafs (27-38-6) have dropped eight of their last nine games to San Jose, including the last four at the ACC.

While Toronto is simply playing out the string, the Sharks (34-28-8) are in a battle for their playoff lives.

San Jose is 10th in the Western Conference with 76 points, six behind Winnipeg, which currently holds the last wild-card position.

The Sharks have made the post-season in 15 of the last 16 seasons, with 2002-03 being the last time they missed the playoffs.

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