There were 4 games around the NHL as the final weekend of the season kicked off with a couple of important games with playoff implications. Here is a quick tour around the league.
- The Islanders got a single point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Sabres. Keith Aucoin capitalized on a Ryan Miller stumble to even the score at 1 just over 7 minutes into the third to lift the Islanders, at least temporarily, out of the 8th seed and into 6th, a point ahead of the Senators and Rangers. Brian Flynn had put the Sabres up a goal in the second period, and Thomas Vanek had the lone goal in the shootout to end the Sabres season on a winning note.
- The Minnesota Wild, needing a win in one of their final two games, got booed off home ice after falling to the Oilers 6-1. Nikolai Khabibulin made 38 saves to get the win, with Corey Potter and Nail Yakupov each scoring twice. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle each added a goal and two assists to play spoiler and keep three teams in the race for the final two playoff spots. Minnesota must win its final game in Colorado or have Columbus lose against Nashville to make the playoffs.
- Calgary closed out their season with a 3-1 loss to the Blackhawks. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marcus Kruger scored for the Hawks, with Chris Butler notching his first of the season in the loss. Chicago has one more game, but expect a skeleton NHL lineup as they travel to St. Louis to play the Blues.
- Matt Duchene and P.A. Parenteau scored in the shootout to give the Avalanche a 5-4 win over the Coyotes. Stefan Elliott, Parenteau, Patrick Bordeleau and Ryan O’Reilly scored for Colorado, while Antoine Vermette scored twice along with Rob Klinkhammer and David Schlemko for Phoenix. Colorado can play spoiler for the Wild on Saturday while the Coyotes have one more stop in Anaheim.
That concludes our tour around the NHL. Saturday is the de-facto final day of the season, and the league goes out with a bang, with 13 games on the schedule. Every team but Boston and Ottawa will conclude their season, so most playoff matchups will be determined Saturday, and 9 games have some playoff implication. Check back tomorrow for a full recap of the action.