NHL Playoffs Update: Calgary's hopes dwindle

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Huet3.jpgWhat a crazy, crazy night we had in the NHL. Seven teams that are not currently in the playoffs beat teams that will be (or should be) in the playoffs, with only Montreal and San Jose saving face against inferior teams. Another, Calgary, squandered a chance to inch closer to idle Detroit as they gave up a lead against the Islanders.

As such, we didn’t see much movement among the bubble teams but we did see some shuffling at the top of the Western Conference. Complete standings and game updates after the jump.


EAST3-26.jpgGames that mattered:

Boston Bruins 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 5 – Tuukka Rask had an uncommonly off night, and the Bruins missed a prime opportunity to pad their lead for the 8th spot in the East. It wasn’t all bad, because….

Atlanta Thrashers 1, Toronto Maple Leafs 2 (OT) – It was a great game by Ondrej Pavelec in net for the Thrashers, but his team couldn’t generate more than 20 shots on the Leafs. Heading to overtime got Atlanta at leas one important point, but with Boston losing this missed out on a good chance to get closer.

New Jersey Devils 3, NY Rangers 4 (SO) – Big win for the Rangers, who seem to have finally woken up and realized they’re in a playoff hunt. Meanwhile, the Devils picked up one point to temporarily grab the lead in the Atlantic division.

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Games that mattered:

New York Islanders 3, Calgary Flames 2 – One big, giant Calgary facepalm.

Nashville 4, Phoenix 3 (SO) – The Predators most likely won’t be able to move any higher than 5th, yet the Coyotes are still hanging on to the hope they can challenge the Sharks for the division title. At least they secured a point, because….

San Jose 3, Dallas Stars 0 – Marty Turco was great, but not good enough in what should be his final game at the Shark Tank in a Stars jersey. The Sharks, meanwhile, played a fairly decent and complete game. For once.

Columbus Blue Jackets 8, Chicago Blackhawks 3 – I wonder who Cristobal Huet is playing for next season…

Johansen is a ‘little disappointed’ the Blue Jackets didn’t recognize him in return to Columbus

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Johansen #92 of the Nashville Predators skates against Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on January 19, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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Ryan Johansen played 309 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets before a blockbuster trade to Nashville last January.

On Sunday, he finally made his return back to Columbus as a member of the Predators. However, he did not receive any sort of tribute whatsoever from the team that originally selected him fourth overall in the 2010 draft, and that is something that apparently bothered him.

“I am a little disappointed they didn’t put anything on the Jumbotron and say ‘thank you’ or anything like that,” Johansen told the Columbus Post-Dispatch. “I think we all know who made that call, but whatever.”

While Johansen enjoyed some productive seasons with the Blue Jackets, his time in Columbus, particularly his final months, were dogged with contentious headlines about his contract negotiations with the club and then his working relationship with coach John Tortorella.

Johansen, now 24 years old, has nine goals and 40 points in 58 games this season for Nashville. Currently in the final year of his three-year, $12 million contract, he’s a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Make that four straight wins for the Bruins

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Brent Burns turned in a dominating performance. But Brad Marchand had the last laugh.

Marchand scored his 25th goal of the season and, more importantly, the overtime winner for the Boston Bruins as they defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Sunday.

That’s Boston’s fourth consecutive win since the controversial coaching change — which took another twist earlier in the week when the rival Montreal Canadiens fired Michel Therrien and hired Claude Julien. Off a defensive zone faceoff, Marchand bolted up the ice for the breakaway pass, on what appeared to be a set play, beating Martin Jones through the legs.

The Bruins move back into third in the Atlantic Division, and are now only four points back of the faltering Habs for first.

Meanwhile, the Sharks were unable to fully capitalize on another freakish Brent Burns outing. He’s been dubbed ‘an unstoppable force’ in recent posts at PHT — a defenseman possessing great size at six-foot-five-inches tall and 230 pounds, but no shortage of mobility and offensive talent with 27 goals and 64 points in 60 games. Um, and did we mention he’s a defenseman. . . ?

Against the Bruins, he had 20 shot attempts — by far the most of any player in this game — in just over 26 minutes of ice time.

Given the final score, that probably doesn’t mean much to Brad Marchand.

Jacob Trouba will have a hearing for head shot on Mark Stone

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It appears Jacob Trouba will face supplemental discipline from the NHL.

The league’s Department of Player Safety has said in a Twitter statement that Trouba, the Winnipeg Jets defenseman, will have a hearing tomorrow for his head shot on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone during Sunday’s game.

Trouba was assessed only a minor penalty on the play. Stone, who dealt with a concussion prior to the beginning of the season, stayed down on the ice before he eventually made his way to the dressing room.

The incident occurred when Trouba stepped up to throw a hit on Stone, but instead caught him in the head as he followed through, sending Stone to the ice.

Stone was one of three Ottawa forwards to leave the game because of injuries, which are piling up for the Senators.

Video: Drouin ‘wasn’t going to be denied’ on thrilling OT winner

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 30:  Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the New York Islanders  during the first period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on April 30, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)
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The Tampa Bay Lightning needed overtime to defeat the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, but it’s a critical win for the Bolts as they try to chase down a playoff spot.

The hero? Jonathan Drouin, and he did so with a thrilling individual effort — making moves, then losing the puck and then immediately getting it back before he finally scored on the backhander.

That’s his 17th goal of the season. Tampa Bay gets a 3-2 win, which keeps them five points back of Toronto for the final wild card spot in the East.