Taylor Hall, Dallas Eakins try to defuse water-bottle throwing incident

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Frustrations boiled over for the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Easy to see why, really. The Oilers fell by a final score of 8-1 to the Calgary Flames on home ice.

And yes, for the second time this season, a disgusted fan threw an Oilers jersey on the ice sometime during the third period.

However, another incident that garnered attention on such a night was a heated exchange at the bench between Oilers coach Dallas Eakins and star forward Taylor Hall.

Hall had thrown a water bottle on the ground in frustration. However, water flew up at caught Eakins. He grabbed a towel, dried himself off, threw the towel behind the bench and he and Hall had a brief verbal back-and-forth.

You can view the incident here. Both player and coach tried to defuse the situation afterward.

“The best way to put it – and I don’t know if everyone will understand this or not – it’s an emotional game. In a game like that, frustrations start to run high and that’s what it was. It was frustration and emotion and it happens,” Eakins told reporters.

“Sometimes it happens out in the open. Sometimes it happens behind closed doors.”

Hall also spoke about the incident.

“That stuff happens. Dallas and I have a great relationship. Sometimes frustration happens,” he said, as per Gene Principe of Sportsnet.

Now, as for the game itself, well, this one got out of hand in the second period when the Flames scored four times in just over three minutes to turn a 1-1 hockey game into a 5-1 game. It got worse after that.

“Everything snowballed negatively… We failed to come out with that spark we needed to have coming into the second period,” said Oilers’ defenseman Andrew Ference, as per the team’s Twitter account.

“I know that was probably the longest last 15 minutes of a game that I’ve ever been involved with. I apologize to the fans that were here tonight that had to watch that. It’s painful on the bench and I’m sure it’s painful in the stands,” added Eakins.

Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers

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Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.

McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.

With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:

1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP

As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.

Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.

The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.

Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

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Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

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The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

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Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

via Getty Images

The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.