There were 7 games in the NHL on the eve of the trade deadline (6 outside of Ottawa’s 3-2 loss to the Bruins) and the playoff picture is no clearer today than it was yesterday. The Penguins’ winning streak was ended by an unlikely source, while there is a new contender in the Southeast. Here is a quick tour around the league:
- The Islanders jumped past the Rangers into 8th place (tied for 7th with the Devils acutally) and in doing so made the Southeast Division very interesting with a 5-2 win over the Jets. Anders Lee opened the scoring for the Isles with his first career goal in the first period. Paul Postma scored later in the first and early in the second to give the Jets a brief lead, but the Isles responded with 4 unanswered goals from Colin McDonald, Frans Nielsen in the second and then Matt Moulson and John Tavares (into the empty net) in the last 2 minutes of the third to seal the win.
- Washington jumped past the Hurricanes by downing Carolina 5-3 despite a hat trick from the Canes’ Jiri Tlusty. Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green each had a pair and Joel Ward had the insurance markers for the Caps, who are now just 2 points behind the Jets with 2 games in hand and just 3 points behind the 8th place Islanders.
- Jarome Iginla scored his first goal as a Penguin, but it wasn’t enough to continue the 15 game wining streak as the Sabres scored 4 times to end the roll. Kevin Porter scored the first and last goals for Buffalo, with Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson also scoring.
- In the battle of the Eastern Conference basement, the Panthers beat the Lightning 3-2 in the shootout on Peter Mueller‘s winner. Tomas Kopecky put the Panthers on the board in the first, and Greg Rallo‘s first career goal in the second put Florida up 2-0, but Tom Pyatt and Alex Killorn scored in the third to get the Lightning a point.
- Nashville scored 3 unanswered third period goals to beat the Avalanche 3-1 and move into an 8th place tie with the Blues (although the Preds have played 3 more games). All of the scoring was actually done in the thrid, with Matt Duchene getting the Avs on the board first, a minute in. That lead lasted over 7 minutes, until Patrik Hornqvist’s power play goal evened it up. David Legwand scored the winner with 1:14 left and Paul Gaustad put it in the empty net with 15 seconds remaining to seal the deal.
- Keith Yandle scored twice and Matthew Lombardi had the other as the Coyotes kept the playoffs within sight with a 3-1 win over the Kings. Justin Williams had the lone LA goal. Phoenix sits two points behind the Blues and Predators, but are in 12th place and have 5 teams to climb over to make the post-season.
That concludes our tour around the NHL for Tuesday night. With trade deadline coming at 3PM Wednesday, there could be a lot of faces in new places when the puck drops for the 5 games on Wednesday night. Check back tomorrow for a full recap.