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Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau gets 600th career assist in rout of Devils

AP

Patrick Marleau celebrated a milestone on Hall of Fame night.

Marleau had his 600th NHL assist, John Tavares scored his ninth goal of the season and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New Jersey Devils 6-1 on Friday night.

Nazem Kadri, Connor Brown, Andreas Johnsson, Morgan Rielly and Tyler Ennis also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 38 saves. Toronto improved to 11-5-0 with its third straight victory.

Marleau was involved in Kadri’s goal, becoming the 88th NHL player to reach the 600 assist milestone. The only other active player with 600 assists is San Jose’s Joe Thornton with 1,032.

“It’s always nice when a milestone like that comes with a win,” Marleau said. “The guys played great tonight so it was fun.”

Asked if he remembered assist No. 1 of his career Marleau smiled and said: “Kind of.”

“I think (Andrei) Nazarov scored it,” he added, referencing the 1997-98 season.

The 39-year-old Marleau also has 538 goals.

Travis Zajac scored for New Jersey. Playing the sixth game on a seven-game trip, the Devils have won just two of their last 10 games. They are 1-5 on the trip and have been outscored 29-15.

The game was part of the lead up to the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Monday night.

Entering the Hall are former New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur, Martin St. Louis, Alexander Yakushev and Jayna Hefford in the players’ category, and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Willie O’Ree, the first black player in the NHL, in the builders category.

“It’s a club like no other,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said about the Hall of Fame.

The inductees were honored prior to the game as the Leafs and Devils starters watched from chairs on the ice.

“It’s definitely cool,” Andersen said. “It’s one of the great things about playing in the hockey capital of the world, probably, you get to see these things. You get a lot of legends of the game through these doors here. That’s extra special.”

Jets 5, Avalanche 2

In Winnipeg, Blake Wheeler had an empty-net goal and four assists in the Jets’ triumph over Colorado.

Wheeler extended his point streak to nine games. He has two goals and 15 assists during the run, and is second in the NHL with 18 assists overall — one behind Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen.

Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine had power-play goals, giving Winnipeg at least one power-play goal in 11 straight games to add to a franchise record.

Red Wings 3, Rangers 2 (OT)

In Detroit, Dylan Larkin scored with 5.1 seconds remaining in overtime as the hosts snapped New York’s four-game winning streak.

Larkin tapped a backhanded pass from Andreas Athanasiou over Henrik Lundqvist’s shoulder for his team-high seventh goal. Athanasiou scored the tying goal late in regulation as Detroit wiped out a 2-0 third-period deficit.

Blue Jackets 2, Capitals 1

In Washington, Anthony Duclair scored the tiebreaking power-play goal 5:09 into the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves as Columbus edged the hosts.

In the first meeting between the teams since the first round of last spring’s playoffs when Washington beat Columbus in six games, the Blue Jackets scored two power-play goals for the third time this season.

Blues 4, Sharks 0

In St. Louis, Chad Johnson stopped all 33 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and eighth of his career as the Blues pulled away over visiting San Jose.

Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen each had a goal and an assist to St. Louis.

Wild 5, Ducks 1

In Anaheim, Mikael Granlund had two goals and an assist, and Jason Zucker added a goal and two assists to lead visiting Minnesota to its ninth win in 11 games.

The Wild, who won at Los Angeles 3-1 on Thursday night, completed their first back-to-back road sweep of the Kings and Ducks since Dec. 14-15, 2007.

Alex Stalock had 20 saves for Minnesota, which improved to 4-2 after six games of a seven-game road trip that concludes on Sunday afternoon in St. Louis.

Pontus Aberg scored the lone goal for Anaheim.