There were 7 games around the NHL besides Ottawa’s 3-2 win over Carolina. The Islanders and Jets also won, while the Rangers dropped an important game in their quest for the postseason. Here is a recap of all the action:
- The Islanders, if only for a few minutes, leapfrogged the Senators into 6th place with a 5-2 win over the Panthers. Ottawa’s win knocked them back to 7th, but opened up a 3 point cushion over 8th & 9th. Michael Grabner had a pair for the Islanders, with Matt Moulson, Mark Streit and Radek Martinek adding singles. Dmitry Kulikov and Marcel Goc scored for the Panthers.
- Washington dismantled Toronto 5-1, winning their 8th straight game and maintaining their 4 point lead in the Southeast. Alex Ovechkin scored his league leading 28th goal, with Jack Hillen, Martin Erat, Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson also finding the back of the net for Washington. Mikhail Grabovski was the only Leafs to beat Braden Holtby in the Capitals net.
- The Flyers hung on to beat the Rangers 4-2 with Steve Mason stopping 40 shots to get the win. Brayden Schenn, Erik Gustafsson, Kimmo Timonen and Jakub Voracek scored for Philly, with Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan replying for New York. The loss drops the Rangers into a tie for 8th, 3 points behind the Islanders, although they have a game in hand on both Winnipeg and the Isles.
- The Jets moved into that tie for 8th by virtue of their 4-3 shootout win over Tampa. Captain Andrew Ladd led the Jets with two goals and an assist and also scored the shootout clincher. Blake Wheeler added a goal and two assists for Winnipeg. Steven Stamkos scored his 27th of the year, with Martin St. Louis and Pierre-Cedric Labrie also chipping in goals for the Lightning.
- In a potential first round matchup, the Blues downed the Canucks 2-1 in a shootout game that was nasty from start to finish. Alexander Edler scored for Vancouver in regulation, with Jay Bouwmeester scoring his first as a Blue for St. Louis to tie it up. Andy MacDonald and Alex Steen scored in the shootout to give the Blues the win, while Brian Elliott stopped both shooters.
- Minnesota extinguished what embers of hope remained in Edmonton’s playoff hopes with a 5-3 win over the Oilers. Kyle Brodziak scored twice for Minnesota, with Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise also lighting the lamp. Nail Yakupov scored early when it mattered for Edmonton, who then got goals from Shawn Horcoff and Magnus Paajarvi late to make the score respectable, but the game was essentially already over by that point.
- In another game that looks like a first round preview, Raffi Torres scored the only goal in the shootout, giving the Sharks a 3-2 win over the Kings. Brent Burns and TJ Galiardi scored less than a minute apart in the second to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead, but Jake Muzzin and Dustin Brown scored before the period was out to tie the game, and eventually force extra time.
That concludes our tour around the NHL for Tuesday night. Wednesday sees just 4 games hit the ice, but it will be an emotional night as the Bruins host the Sabres in the first game in Boston since the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Montreal will try to right a struggling ship in Pittsburgh, while Detroit (in Calgary) and Columbus (in Anaheim) both play vital road games in the battle for the last playoff spot in the West. Check back tomorrow for a recap of the action.