There were 8 games around the NHL last night, most of which had playoff implications for at least one team. Here is a quick tour around the league:
- Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for his 4th shutout of the season as the Bruins downed the Panthers 3-0. Jaromir Jagr, Dougie Hamilton and Brad Marchand did the scoring for Boston. The win moves the Bruins ahead of the Canadiens for first in the Northeast and the #2 seed, by virtue of having played fewer games.
- The New York Rangers moved into a tie for 7th with the Senators and officially ended New Jersey’s playoff hopes with a 4-1 win over the Devils. Ryan Callahan scored twice, with Derek Stepan and Taylor Pyatt adding singles, helping the Rangers move 3 points up on the 9th place Jets with 3 games each left to play.
- Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists and Jiri Tlusty scored twice, all in the first period as Carolina took a 3-0 lead and held on to beat the Lightning 3-2 in a pride game. Steven Stamkos scored in the second and Martin St. Louis in the third to make it close, but could not get the equalizer.
- Mark Cundari, acquired from Pittsburgh in the Jarome Iginla deal, scored a goal and added an assist in his first NHL game to lead the Flames to a 4-1 win over the Wild. Mikael Backlund, Michael Cammalleri and Jiri Hudler also scored for the Flames. Zach Parise scored the lone goal for the Wild, who fell into a 7th place tie with Columbus, just 3 points up on the Red Wings, who have a game in hand on Minnesota (and 2 on Columbus).
- St. Louis missed an opportunity to get one step closer to clinching a playoff spot, losing 5-3 ti the Avalanche. Jamie McGinn scored twice for Colorado, who also got goals from Cody McLeod, Matt Duchene and Chuck Kobasew. David Backes, Jaden Schwartz and Kevin Shattenkirk scored for the Blues, who remain 6 points up on 9th place Detroit.
- Ryan Johansen‘s goal with 1:37 remaining broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Blue Jackets a much needed 4-3 win over the Sharks in San Jose. Mark Letestu scored twice and assisted on Vinny Prospal‘s goal to lead the Blue Jackets, who also got 33 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky. Martin Havlat, Joe Pavelski and Andrew Desjardins scored for San Jose. The win gives Columbus a 3 point cushion on the Red Wings and Stars, but Detroit and Dallas have 2 and 1 games in hand respectively. However, the win also brought them into a tie in points with the struggling Wild.
- Taylor Hall opened the scoring for Edmonton a minute into the game, but they could not solve Jonas Hiller after that as the Ducks counted 3 times to beat the Oilers 3-1. Cam Fowler, Kyle Palmieri and Corey Perry did the damage for Anaheim, who are a win away from clinching the Pacific Division and the #2 seed in the West.
- Mike Richards scored once, and banked the overtime winner in off Jeff Carter as the Kings beat the Stars 4-3. Dustin Brown had the other 2 goals for LA, while Loui Eriksson, Antoine Roussel and Alex Goligoski replied for Dallas. The Stars single point moves them into a tie with Detroit for 9th, 3 points out of the playoffs but they have only 3 games left.
That concludes our tour around the NHL for Sunday night. There are 5 games on the card for Monday, and the Ottawa Senators have, for the first time, the opportunity to clinch a playoff spot. A win at home over the Penguins and a Winnipeg loss in regulation in Buffalo means Ottawa will be in the playoffs. Elsewhere, Detroit needs to win in Phoenix to move closer to the Jackets and Wild, while a loss for the Coyotes would all but end their playoff hopes. Anaheim plays in Edmonton for the second straight night, while the Hawks and Canucks square off in a matchup that is always interesting. Check back tomorrow for a full recap.
Topics: Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars. Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Nhl Recap April 21 2013, San Jose Sharks, St.Louis Blues, Tim Murray