Traverse City Prospects Tournament results: Minnesota beats Detroit 3-1 for title

(Note: We’ll have results of the night’s other prospects game – Edmonton vs. San Jose in the Young Stars Tournamenttomorrow morning.)

The Traverse City Prospects Tournament concluded tonight, with four games deciding the team’s final standings in the exhibition of young talent. Here are the results, beginning with the “gold medal” game all the way down to the seventh place skirmish.

Minnesota Wild 3, Detroit Red Wings 1

The Wild won the “gold medal” after scoring three goals in the third period to beat the Red Wings.

Matt Hackett stopped 30 out of 31 shots to lead the Wild to victory, with Cody Almond, T.J. Barnett and Marco Scandella chipping in goals for Minnesota. Thomas McCollum was in net for Detroit, allowing three goals on 25 shots while Sebastien Piche scored the lone Red Wings goal in the first period.

Carolina Hurricanes 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (OT)

The Hurricanes took home the imaginary bronze medal thanks to an overtime game-winner from a player who hopes to make the big team, first rounder Jeff Skinner. Matt Kennedy, Justin Shugg and Jared Staal also scored for Carolina while Matt Butcher tallied twice and James Wright also scored once for Tamp Bay.

New York Rangers 7, Dallas Stars 2

The Stars took another beating in this tournament, this time getting drubbed by the Rangers’ prospects 7-2. The Stars couldn’t do much on the powerplay, converting only one chance in 10 opportunities (the Rangers weren’t much better, going 1 for 6). This means that the Rangers placed fifth while the Stars get sixth.

St. Louis Blues 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 2

The Blues avoided being the last place team in this competition thanks to sound goaltending and a deadly powerplay. St. Louis converted 5 of their 8 man advantages, scoring all of their goals on special teams. The Blue Jackets actually out-shot the Blues 40-33, but Jake Allen stopped 38 of 40 shots for St. Louis. Columbus continues its bad news week by placing last, although my guess is they’re a little more bummed out about their paltry tickets sales.

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    Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

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    Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

    Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

    Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

    via Getty Images

    The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.

    Leafs pass Bruins for third in Atlantic after gutsy win against Columbus

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    It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.

    Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:

    Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
    Bruins: 82 points in 73 games

    This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.

    The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.

    This game was all about William Nylander‘s brilliant start:

    And also Toronto surviving a long penalty kill after that Polak hit:

    Nazem Kadri‘s 30th goal really put the game out of reach, helping Toronto nab a significant victory.

    The Blue Jackets can wallow in this defeat and Oliver Bjorkstrand‘s injury, either, as they turn around to face the Washington Capitals in a big one tomorrow.

    Tortorella was irate after Roman Polak boarded Oliver Bjorkstrand

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    John Tortorella was left enraged after Roman Polak delivered a dangerous boarding hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he probably wasn’t too pleased after the Columbus Blue Jackets failed to make Toronto pay for Polak’s misdeeds.

    Polak received a game misconduct and boarding major for the hit, but the Blue Jackets failed to score on a lengthy power play. Tortorella played to script, as cameras caught him expressing his anger at the situation.

    First, take a look at the hit:

    Next, behold Tortorella’s anger:

    Again, Columbus couldn’t capitalize on its opportunities, so that didn’t make things any better.

    Right now, the Maple Leafs lead the Blue Jackets 3-2. If Toronto ends up winning, this will stand as one of the game’s pivotal moments.

    It’s far from the only exciting moment, however, with these goals and big hits also standing out.

    Video: Josh Ho-Sang’s creativity gives Islanders a shot in the arm

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    Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?

    For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting up John Tavares.

    The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.