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NHL Weekly: Regular-season records tumble as all eyes turn to the playoffs

Jeremy Lauzon set a new record for hits this season
Jeremy Lauzon set a new record for hits this seasonProfimedia
Another full week of NHL is behind us but who picked up the most points? Which goaltender stood out? What has been trending on social media? And what caught the attention of former player and Flashscore expert Ladislav Smid? All that and more is in our regular NHL Weekly.

Most productive player

The last - significantly shortened - week of the regular season had an unconventional winner, Detroit defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.

His club was pushing hard for the playoffs, but the last spot in the Stanley Cup fight went to Washington, who had the same number of points. The American notched five assists in two games last week.

Goaltender of the week

Staying with the Capitals, they finished among the top 16 teams thanks largely to their fantastic goaltender Charlie Lindgren. Originally a backup, he gained more and more confidence during the season and shone in the last matches of the regular season, which were very important for Washington.

Against Boston, he kept his sixth clean sheet of the season and only conceded one goal against Philadelphia. In total, he stopped 43 shot attempts. Funnily enough, in the playoffs, he will face his brother Ryan.

Highlight of the week

Nikita Kucherov (144) led the regular-season points tally for the first time in five years. His tug-of-war at the top with Nathan MacKinnon (140) and Connor McDavid (132) was fascinating.

The Oilers captain, who has played only two of the team's last six games due to injury, managed to surpass the 100-assist mark for the season. He was only the fourth player in history after Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr to do so. "It really means a lot to me, they're three of the best hockey players to ever play," McDavid told NHL.com.

Kucherov soon matched him, however, making it the first time since 1989 that the league saw two players reach the magic mark.

"It's an unreal accomplishment. When you think that the NHL is over 100 years old and in all those years two players have only managed to rack up 100 assists in one season once before, that's just something," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Stat of the week

He hasn't scored a point in the last ten regular season games, but that's okay because Jeremy Lauzon excels at something else entirely. Nashville's Canadian defenceman registered 388 hits for the season - a new NHL record.

Before Lauzon, the record was held by Matt Martin of the NY Islanders, who had six fewer.

Social media highlight

Czech defenceman Filip Hronek of Vancouver can definitely get under his opponent's skin. "You have holidays in two days, I feel sorry for you," he uttered while tip-toeing past the Calgary bench.

We'll see if anyone remembers that next season...

Photo of the week

After twenty-eight years in the NHL, the Arizona Coyotes are saying goodbye as the club moves to Utah. In the team's final game, they defeated Edmonton 5-2 and the last shot came off the stick of defenseman Sean Durzi.

Ladislav Smid's hot take

"I already reviewed the regular season in the last issue, so now I'll try to make some playoff picks here. Although I don't like predictions of this type as it's not so easy.

"The first round of the knockout stage is often rated as the best. The players are excited and full of energy, they leave everything on the ice in every shift, young players all over the world should watch this hockey to see what this sport looks like. That's just for starters, now for the predictions...

"On paper, the New York Rangers look the best in the Eastern Conference, with a balanced offence, a very strong defence, and a perfect goaltender in Igor Shestorkin. This team doesn't have many weaknesses.

"You can't count Tampa Bay out. Admittedly, they had an up-and-down season but now it seems to me that goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is in better shape. The Lightning know how to win, so although Florida are very strong, there could be a surprise here.

"Elsewhere, I think Carolina will beat the NY Islanders and Boston will beat Toronto.

"As a whole, though, I think the Rangers have the best chance for the Stanley Cup from the East. They won the regular season and they are a strong and well-constructed team that I trust.

The Rangers have never scored as many points as they did this year's regular season
The Rangers have never scored as many points as they did this year's regular seasonFlashscore

"The Western Conference is a bit tougher than the Eastern Conference for me and I expect close battles. I've said since the beginning of the year that I trust Edmonton and nothing has changed now. I think they will go to at least the conference finals. Standing in their way are Los Angeles, a team they have eliminated in the previous two playoffs.

"But the strongest team from this side of the league are Dallas, I don't see any weaknesses there. The Stars have one of the best defences in the NHL, plus an excellent goalie and four balanced attackers. It's going to be tough to play against them.

"I don't know what to expect from Vegas, they have basically the same team they had a year ago, but even better. On the other hand, they've had a lot of injuries and their performances have been erratic at times. But they're the current champions, they're a force to be reckoned with.

"Colorado is also strong, they are a team that can win, but I think the last two teams in the West will be Edmonton and Dallas."

The Stars are in great shape
The Stars are in great shapeFlashscore

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