New Jersey Devils v Boston Bruins

Streaks extended: Rangers and Bruins narrowly escape with victories

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They say that all good things come to an end. Well, not tonight.

Despite some shaky stretches for both the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins, each of the Original Six members were able to extend their respective winning streaks with tight victories on Tuesday night. They may not have been pretty, but a win is a win.

The red-hot Bruins welcomed the Devils to TD Garden on Tuesday night. The Bruins entered the game scoring at least six goals in each of their last four games. Any time a team nets thirty goals over a week and a half, they’re going to win their fair share of games. They needed every bit of firepower they could find against the Devils as the game went back and forth for 57 minutes. With three minutes left, Benoit Pouliot scored what proved to be the game winner for the Bruins in their 4-3 victory. Not Tyler Seguin. Not Patrice Bergeron. No, it was Benoit Pouliot—the man who Jack Edwards described as, “a chump” and “one of the greatest disappointments of talent in National Hockey League history.”

Yeah, things are going so well in Boston that Pouliot and Edwards may even buy each other drinks right now. This is what happens when a team outscores their opponents 34-13 over a six game stretch. People buy each other drinks.

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Down the Atlantic coast, the Rangers should have had an easier opponent when they traveled to Long Island to face the Islanders. At least that’s how it looked on paper. But they didn’t play the game on paper—they played it in a building that has been begging for a wrecking ball for the last decade. Any game between the Rangers and Islanders can go either way; such is life with bitter rivalries.

Like the Bruins/Devils game, it took a late 3rd period goal to seal the deal in a 4-2 victory for the Rangers. This time, it was Brad Richards blowing a slapshot by Evgeni Nabokov with less than five minutes to break the tie. The Rangers have now outscored their opponents 26-11 over their seven game winning streak and have the second best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers have the rest of the week off and don’t take the ice again until they faceoff with the Canadiens on Saturday. The Bruins will be a little busier as they face the struggling Blue Jackets on Thursday and Islanders on Saturday.

The big question: will either of these teams lose anytime soon?

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Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
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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.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

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

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A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“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.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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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.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“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.”