There were 3 games on the NHL schedule outside of Ottawa’s 4-1 win over Winnipeg on a light St. Patrick’s Day. The Pens won the battle of the Big 2 in the East (with apologies to Montreal fans) and the Predators dropped yet another one. Here is a tour around the league.
- The Penguins got first period goals from Sidney Crosby and Joe Vitale sandwiched around a Tyler Seguin response to win the battle for first in the East against the Boston Bruins 2-1. It was the 9th win in a row for the Penguins, who have a 12 point cushion in the Atlantic division, while Boston sticks in 4th place in the Eastern Conference and a point behind Montreal in the Northeast.
- Washington kept their very slim playoff hopes alive with a 5-3 win over the Sabres. The Caps are 6 points out of 8th, with 6 teams to pass, so as doubtful as it is, there is a glimmer of hope remaining. Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera, Marcus Johanssen and Mathieu Perreault scored for Washington. Cody Hodgson had a pair for the Sabres with Brian Flynn adding the other. Ryan Miller allowed 5 goals on just 25 shots in the losing effort.
- Jordan Eberle had the game winner with just over 4 minutes remaining adding to his earlier assist to lead the Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Predators. Magnus Paajarvi and Lennart Petrell also scored for Edmonton. Roman Josi had a goal and an assist for Nashville, with Shea Weber netting the other. Edmonton jumped into a tie with the Predators for 10th in the West, just 2 points behind the 8th & 9th seeds. The big story in this one was Nashville’s Sergei Kostitsyn releasing his check and going for a change while on the power play, allowing Sam Gagner and Petrell to go in 2 on 1 shorthanded, resulting in Petrell’s goal that broke a 1-1 tie.