On an action-packed Tuesday, it only makes sense to tie up some loose ends by covering the Western Conference developments in a quick-hit format.
To save time, read up here on Kari Lehtonen’s hot run and how the Dallas Stars expanded their Pacific Division lead with a 1-0 win against the Minnesota Wild.
Clearing up the other divisional race matters, the St. Louis Blues improved their lead in the Central even though the Chicago Blackhawks topped them 4-3 via a shootout. Check out highlights of that contest – which ended Jaroslav Halak’s eight-game winning streak – below.
Moving beyond the idle seventh-ranked Phoenix Coyotes, the eighth through 11th seeds are all locked up at 78 points in large part because of Tuesday’s games. The San Jose Sharks are currently in eighth place, but that’s only due to tie-breakers as the ninth-ranked Calgary Flames won 3-2 in overtime:
That game presented a little of the old and the new; Jarome Iginla and Logan Couture both hit the 30-goal mark – making it 11 seasons in a row for Iggy and two straight campaigns at that plateau for the young Sharks forward.
The contest was notable for two reasons beyond the standings impact: Jeff Carter’s empty-netter makes it five consecutive seasons with at least 20 goals while Jimmy Howard lost in his return, allowing four goals on 26 shots:
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.