There were 4 games outside of the Senators loss to the Penguins, with the most important one to Sens fans being the Jets-Sabres. With the Jets breathing down their necks the gap shrunk even tighter. Here is a quick tour around the league:
- Antti Miettinen scored with just over 7 minutes left to give the Jets a 2-1 lead and a huge save by Ondrej Pavelec off Thomas Vanek kept the lead and the Jets held on for the win, moving within a point of Ottawa and the Rangers for a playoff spot. Aaron Gagnon had given the Jets a 1-0 lead in the second and Vanek scored on the power play to even it up, setting the stage for Miettinen’s winner in the third.
- Detroit needed a big game and they got one from Jimmy Howard as the goalie make 34 saves in shutting out the Coyotes 4-0. Johan Franzen had 2 goals, with Damien Brunner adding a goal and an assist and Valtteri Filppula adding a goal. Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall had two assists each for the Wings, who moved within a point of 7th and 8th place. Phoenix is 5 points out with 3 to play, meaning they now need to run the table and get a ton of help, in other words, a miracle to make the playoffs.
- Viktor Fasth posted a 24 save shutout to help the Ducks clinch the Pacific Division with a 3-0 win over the Oilers. Ryan Getlzaf, Radek Dvorak and Sami Vatanen scored for the Ducks, who swept their 2 game mini-series in Edmonton.
- Vancouver used a 3-1 win over the rival Blackhawks to clinch the Northwest Division and the third seed in the West. Jannik Hansen, Zack Kassian and Daniel Sedin did the honors for the Canucks, while Daniel Carcillo broke Cory Schneider‘s shutout bid with just over 8 minutes left as the Hawks seemed to just go through the motions for most of the game.
That concludes our tour around the NHL for Monday. All eyes will be on Washington where the Capitals host the Jets with first place in the southeast on the line as well as the 8th seed. The Islanders and Rangers also play against the Canes and Panthers respectively as they will attempt to create a cushion between themselves and the Senators/Jets battle. Check back tomorrow for a recap of all 10 games.