Islanders keep breathing down Rangers’ neck for East’s eighth spot


The New York Rangers are dealing with a wide range of headaches as they try to hold onto the eighth playoff spot in the East. Thursday validated the New York Islanders as one of those worries.

The Rangers were shut out for the fourth time this season tonight, succumbing to the Ottawa Senators by a 3-0 score. Meanwhile, the Isles fought back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 via a shootout.

With that, the Rangers’ hold on their position is perilously slim. John Tortorella’s bunch is 16-14-3 for 35 points in 33 games played while the insurgent Isles are 16-15-3 for 35 in 34.

The Carolina Hurricanes continue to fade in 10th place (they lost their seventh in a row by falling to Toronto tonight), so a local showdown for the final spot seems quite plausible.

In fact, if the the New Jersey Devils continue to bumble at seventh place (37 points in 33 games), things could get that much more interesting for area rivalries.

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
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This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.

Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.

While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.

There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.

Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.

Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:

It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.