There were only 5 games on the schedule in the NHL Wednesday night, with only 2 of them having major playoff implications, both in the Eastern Conference. Here is a quick tour around the league.
- The Rangers pulled into a logjam for the 6th playoff spot with a 3-2 shootout win over the Maple Leafs. Mats Zuccarello had the shootout winner for the Blueshirts, who pulled even with the Senators and Islanders for the 6-8 spots. The single point earned by a pair of Phil Kessel goals moves Toronto up 5 points on that bunch, and solidifies what appears to be a first round matchup with either Montreal or Boston. Carl Hagelin and Ryan McDonagh scored for the Rangers in regulation.
- Boston jumped past Montreal with a 5-4 win over the Devils. Boston jumped out to a 4-0 lead just after the 3 minute mark of the second, as Gregory Campbell had a pair of first period goals along with Daniel Paille and Zdeno Chara scoring. However, the Devils came back with three straight before Tyler Seguin scored the winner 7:33 into the third. New Jersey added one more in the last minute to make it close, but the loss keeps the Devils 4 points back of 8th place. Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Andy Greene and Matt D’Agostini had the New Jersey goals.
- Roberto Luongo turned aside 40 Flames shots in Vancouver’s 4-1 win in Calgary. Curtis Glencross gave the Flames a brief lead in the first period before Alexandre Burrows tied it up 64 second later. That is how it remained until Maxim Lapierre, Mason Raymond and Daniel Sedin scored in a span of less than 5 minutes in the third to turn it into an ice-tilter. The Canucks opened up a healthy 6 point lead on the Wild and seem to have the third seed locked up, while the Flames continue to play out the string.
- The Coyotes moved within a point of 8th place with a 3-1 win over the Oilers, who remain 4 points back with 4 teams to pass and see their playoff hopes fading. Boyd Gordon, Antoine Vermette and David Moss scored for Phoenix, while Nail Yakupov had the Edmonton goal.
- Colorado downed Anaheim 4-1 on goals from John Mitchell, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Jamie McGinn. The Ducks missed an opportunity to close some ground on the first place Blackhawks, but it seems they will be slotted at #2 when the playoffs begin.
That concludes our tour around the league. Thursday night will be important with both the Senators (at Philly) and Islanders (at Boston) play important road games, while Winnipeg plays a vital home game against the Panthers, among the 9 games on the schedule. Check back tomorrow for a full recap.