The Florida Panthers earned a decisive win that places them among the clubs placed in the playoffs in the East with a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabers on Tuesday.
That victory coupled with a loss to Pittsburgh before New Jersey knocked the Penguins out of the playoffs picture and gave the Panthers a point lead who are level with the New York Islanders. The three clubs played 78 matches. Panthers and Islanders 87 points.
It was Matthew Tkachuk’s 39th goal of the season, 59 seconds into the third period that secured the victory for the Panthers.
Aaron Ekblad’s first-half goal tied Florida in the power play. The goal was the 49th by a Panthers defenseman, putting them second only to Carolina’s first appearance.
Dylan Cousins had put the Sabers ahead in the first period.
Montreal goaltender Devon Levy made his second career start. He faced 36 rounds.
Andreas Athanasio scored two goals, Peter Mrazek made 32 saves, and the Chicago Blackhawks sealed a 4-3 victory for the Calgary Flames.
This may have been Alberta’s last hope of making the playoffs.
The Flames have won their last four games to come within two points of the Winnipeg Jets and last playoff game in the West.
They finished their evening with the same gap, plus they had one less game than the team chasing them (78 vs. 77).
Jacob Markstrom was knocked down four times on 23 putouts by the Hawks, who are last in the overall standings, and who had previously lost eight straight games in regulation.
Besides Athanasio, Johar Khaira and Austin Wagner scored goals for Chicago.
The flame signal in the loss came from Tyler Tofoli, Noah Hanifen and Mikael Backlund.
Toffoli added 34H Net on his record, which he now has harvested 72 points in 78 games.
The Preds don’t give up
Cody Glass scored on the power play just after 3:30 of overtime as the Nashville Predators defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Tuesday.
This win allows the Predators to continue to believe in their chances of making the playoffs.
Jonathan Marchesault fumbled Philippe Tommasino into the hole to give the Predators power in overtime. The latter needed just 37 seconds before seeing Glass score his 14th goal of the season, beating goalkeeper Jonathan Quick.
Tommy Novak had his third game of the season with two goals, as well as getting an assist on the winning goal. Novak has had at least one point in 46 games with the Predators this season. Kevin Lankinen stopped 30 shots.
As the game began, the Predators were five points behind the Jets going into the final game, but they had played one game less.
Alex Pietrangelo equalized on a personal level with two goals in the second half. The Golden Knights snapped a two-game winning streak. Finished the game quickly with 24 saves.
Novak gave his team a 2-0 lead after 13:08 to play, and the latter beat Quick with a backhand kick after 6:50 to play, before scoring again, this time from a corner of the left circle on a power play deflection.
Igor Afanasyev nearly scored his first NHL goal to give the Predators a 3-0 lead, but the goal was disallowed after the ball was thrown out by defenseman Tyson Barry.
Pietrangelo took advantage of the puck, which bounced off opposition defender Kevin Gravel, to score his tenth goal of the season, at 6:00 from the start of the match.
He then tied the game with his second goal of the match, notching his eighth career goal after 13:39 into the game.
No problem with The Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs extended their lead to second place in the Atlantic Division with a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Zach Aston Reese led the offensive charge with two goals to help Toronto increase their lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning to six points.
Jet Graves had a busy NHL baptism with 46 saves for the Jackets.
Alexander Kerfoot and Auston Matthews, for their turns in empty nets, also scored for the Leafs in the win. Returning to action after missing two games with an upper body injury, Jack Roslovic flashed the red light.
Joseph Wall made 24 saves against the Maple Leafs.
The Kingsmen advance
Leon Draistel scored the game-winning goal at 12:40 of the third period, and the Edmonton Oilers held on to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1.
In the Pacific Division standings, Edmonton is one point behind the Kings, who may again be their opponent in the first round of the playoffs.
After a scoreless first twenty, the Oilers’ dreadful game generated the first goal of the game, a Ryan Nugent Hopkins touchdown, his 36th of the season.
That 1-0 lead lasted until halfway through third. As Stuart Skinner appeared to be heading for the close, Victor Arvidsson feinted his vigilance, courtesy of his 25th goal of the campaign.
The match did not last two minutes, however, and the Kings’ indiscipline again cost dearly. Draisaitl scored his 51st goal of the season, catching the puck into the mouth of the net.
Edmonton captain and NHL leading scorer Conor McDavid has his 85th assist of the season and his 147th point. The Albertines have four games left in the season.
McKinnon settles the debate over overtime
Nathan McKinnon’s second goal of the game, 3:13 into overtime, allowed the Colorado Avalanche to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3.
The Stanley Cup champions thus secured their spot in the playoffs.
Jack Johnson and Evan Rodrigues also scored for Colorado, while Devon Toews and Mikko Rantanen each had assists.
Alexander Georgiev made 28 saves for his 36th win of the season. He notably thwarted the Sharks when he went down twice against, in overtime.
Kevin LaBank scored twice on the backhand, while Jacob Peterson also scored, and Kaptu Kahkkonen finished with 38 tackles.
Kraken climbs the slope in Vancouver
Jordan Eberle scored a goal and added an assist in the Seattle Kraken’s 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
After losing their first six NHL games to the Canucks, they won their last two against rivals British Columbia.
Yanni Jord, Brandon Tanev, Jayden Schwartz and Matty Benyers scored in an empty net for the Kraken.
Martin Jones has stopped 14 previously-never Canucks shots on the net in a game this season.
Elias Peterson and Anthony Beauvilliers scored the goals for the Canucks, who have lost their last four games. Colin Delia blocked 23 pucks.
The Canucks took a 2-0 lead midway through the first half, but only had nine shots in the final 40 minutes.
Peterson opened the scoring in the match with less than five minutes left. Andriy Kuzmenko assisted Peterson’s 37th goal of the season.
Gord cut the Kraken’s lead to 2-1 midway through the first half. The equalizer then came shorthand, as Tanev took advantage of an extra count to unleash a fine wrist shot and beat Delia.
And it was Eberle who gave the Kraken the lead with 10:40 left to play in the second half. The striker’s shot hit the post before falling into the net, scoring his 18th goal this season.
Benners closed the books by making the final score 5-2 into an empty net.
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