The New Jersey Devils keep winning over and over again, as the likelihood of a playoff run is going from “ridiculous” to “deeply frightening to the East’s top seeds.” Every once in a while a team slides into the seventh or eighth seed even though they have top seed talent. If Jacques Lemaire can somehow get them to that level, this would be a great example of such a situation.
New Jersey faced a stern test from their increasingly scrappy Atlantic Division underlings in Long Island, as the Devils eked out a 3-2 shootout win against the New York Islanders. As usual, Ilya Kovalchuk carried the torch, scoring a goal and an assist during regulation and then finding the twine in a matter-of-fact way in the shootout.
Brian Rolston eventually tallied the shootout winner after Al Montoya and Martin Brodeur made big saves in the skills competition. Montoya was solid in a losing effort this afternoon (stopping 27 out of 29 pucks), but Brodeur earned his 17th win of the season during light 20-save game.
The Devils find themselves only seven points behind the eighth Carolina Hurricanes with one game in hand, although they obviously must also contend with other competitive bubble teams (especially the Buffalo Sabres). Even if the team falls a bit short, it will be tough to ignore Lemaire for at least some Jack Adams consideration. Their most recent run is especially impressive, with a 14-1-1 mark in their last 16 games.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.