Pittsburgh 1 – New Jersey 0 (F/SO)
It’s not often when Martin Brodeur gets a shutout and loses, but James Neal’s goal in the shootout was the only puck to find the back of the net between Brodeur and Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury stopped 21 shots in the win while Brodeur stopped 26 in the loss. Both goalies are credited with a shutout but only Fleury would take home the win. After the loss, Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk said, “I don’t know how Buffalo played, but if they win I think we’re done.” Yeah, about that…
Drew Stafford scored twice to help lead the Sabres to an important win in their quest to hang onto a spot in the East playoffs. Jason Pominville and Jordan Leopold also added goals for Buffalo as they kept their lead on the eighth spot in the East at three points over Carolina. The win also doubled as the game that officially put a bullet in the playoff hopes for the Florida Panthers as they’ll miss the postseason for a record-setting tenth straight year. Fare thee well swamp cats.
What started off looking like an easy Carolina win thanks to getting out to a 4-1 lead in the fourth quickly became scary when Vincent Lecavalier and then Simon Gagne added his second goal of the game late in the third to make the final period harrowing. Carolina would hang on though and keep pace in the race for the eighth spot in the East. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is slipping further back of Pittsburgh for the four seed and playing poorly as well.
The Canucks set a record mark for points in a season for themselves with the win while Roberto Luongo had 30 saves to make it all stand up proud. Mason Raymond, Alexandre Bolduc and Alex Burrows each had a goal to help put a hurting on Atlanta’s hopes for the playoffs.