The Pittsburgh Penguins used a three-goal third period to break open a 2-2 game and down the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3. Pascal Dupuis led the Penguins with a goal and two assists as they clinched the Atlantic Division title in the process.
SPIN: The Penguins continue to roll along and will now battle the Northeast Division winner for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh could still overtake Chicago for the top spot in the league so they still have something to play for. James Neal sat this game out with a concussion and will miss the team’s next couple games as well. Beau Bennett and Evgeni Malkin scored 13 seconds apart in the middle of the third period to break the deadlock.
Chicago blanked Minnesota 1-0 on a Marian Hossa goal and a 20-save effort from Ray Emery.
SPIN: Niklas Backstrom gets stuck with a hard-luck loss for the Wild despite turning away 30-of-31 shots in the game. Minnesota has dropped five of its last seven games but remains in playoff position for the time being.
The Islanders bumped off the Flyers 4-1 to move to 7th in the East and pick up their 20th win of the season.
SPIN: Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner and John Tarvares all scored for the Islanders after Jakub Voracek put Philly up 1-0 in the first period. The Isles look like a playoff team while Philly looks like they have a summer off coming up real soon.
Sergei Bobrvosky stopped 30 shots as Columbus shutout San Jose 4-0.
SPIN: Marian Gaborik seems to be comfortable as he tallied a goal and an assist in the win. Columbus is 12-5-5 at home this season but has just two home games left. If they want to be a playoff team they’ll have to get wins on the road.
Washington downed Montreal 3-2 as Alex Ovechkin scored his 26th goal of the season. Lars Eller had both goals for Montreal.
SPIN: The Caps are surging going 6-0-1 in their last seven. Might as well get the hot hands in your lineups now. Ovechkin is redeeming himself after a poor start to the season that had many owners questioning picking him. Nicklas Backstrom has also enjoyed a rejuvenation of his fantasy value at the same time and had a pair of assists against Montreal.
Tampa Bay edged Ottawa 3-2 with Steven Stamkos’ 26th goal of the season being the difference maker.
SPIN: Vincent Lecavalier scored for the second straight game for the Bolts. Ben Bishop made 31 saves for Tampa Bay in his first start against his former team. Kyle Turris racked up assists on both Ottawa goals and has been quietly producing for the Senators.
Winnipeg beat Buffalo 4-1 as the Jets scored three second-period goals. Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler each scored their 15th goal of the season in the win.
SPIN: The Jets need the wins to try and keep up with Washington for the #3 seed while Buffalo is getting closer to booking tee times for May.
St. Louis won its fifth straight game with a 1-0 victory over Nashville. Alexander Steen had the lone goal and Brian Elliott had a 15-save shutout.
SPIN: Nashville has dropped four in a row and seven of its last eight. It’s hard to trust the Predators at this point in the season.
Ray Whitney and Vernon Fiddler each scored twice and the Dallas Stars knocked off Los Angeles 5-1. The Stars scored four times in the third to break a 1-1 tie.
SPIN: Whitney’s had a tough season with a good start and then missing a significant amount of time with injury. Fiddler has seven points in his last four games and could be worth a roster spot to bulk up depth with a hot hand. Be careful in doing so as he had one goal in his prior 36 games.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Eller-MTL, Fiddler-DAL, Whitney-DAL
Stat of the Night-Tropical Depression
Carolina started the season 15-9-1 in the first half. Since then, they’ve gone a pathetic 1-12-1 to drop out of the Southeast Division lead and likely out of the playoffs altogether.
Three Stars of the Night
Wednesday’s Games (all times ET)
Toronto at NY Rangers 7pm
Boston at New Jersey 730pm Can the Devils right the ship?
Phoenix at Edmonton 930pm Both teams really need the win.
Vancouver at Calgary 930pm The Flames limp to the finish.
Colorado at Anaheim 10pm It looks like an easy two points on paper for the Ducks.