For two periods, the New York Rangers had the run of the play against the Columbus Blue Jackets and came away empty-handed. It was a different story in the third period, but still the Rangers managed to break through.
The Rangers got three goals in the final period – Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard and Carl Hagelin all scored – to defeat the Blue Jackets by a final of 3-1 on Friday. The win and the two points moves the Rangers into third in the Metropolitan Division.
The Toronto Maple Leafs occupy the first Wild Card spot in the East, and the Blue Jackets have the second, but only by one point on the Detroit Red Wings.
There were numerous storylines that developed throughout the evening in Columbus. Rick Nash, who played nine seasons with the Blue Jackets before he was traded to New York in the summer of 2012, was playing for the first time back in Columbus since the deal.
The Blue Jackets paid tribute to Nash during the first period. Of course, by the time the second period rolled around, it was friends off.
Nash started a massive scrum near the Columbus net when he shoved goalie Sergei Bobrovsky after a whistle late in the second period. He then fought former teammate Matt Calvert just 12 seconds into the third period.
Meanwhile, Bobrovsky was the busier of the two goalies, making 29 saves on 31 shots. He was particularly under siege through two periods, making 26 saves before the Rangers were able to solve him in the third.
Rangers’ defenseman John Moore left the game after the second period with an injury and did not return. According to the Rangers’ Twitter account, head coach Alain Vigneault did not offer specifics on what the injury was, only that Moore will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.