Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergi Bobrovsky, right, of Russia, stops a shot by New York Islanders' Mike Halmo in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, April 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Bobrovsky’s second shutout in three games powers Jackets past Islanders


Every point is critical for the Columbus Blue Jackets as they fight to make the playoffs for just the second time in their franchise’s history, so they’ve been leaning heavily on goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Fortunately, he’s been up to the task.

Playing in his third game in just four days, Bobrovsky led the Blue Jackets to a 4-0 victory against the New York Islanders. It was Bobrovsky’s second shutout in that four-day span.

Columbus is a team without superstar forwards, but they got help from Jack Johnson and Ryan Murray as both defensemen scored with the man advantage. Forwards Mark Letestu and Boone Jenner each finished the contest with a goal and an assist.

The Blue Jackets now have a three-point cushion on the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs in the battle for the final Wild Card spot. Given that Toronto has played in one more game than Columbus, tonight’s result also serves as one of the final nails in the coffin for the Maple Leafs.

There’s still a chance that Columbus will end up with a better seed as the team’s just one point shy of Detroit and the first Wild Card spot and are tied in terms of points with the Philadelphia Flyers, who rank third in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers are playing against the Buffalo Sabres.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.

Habs win big against Rangers, may have lost big with Price hurt

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Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.

Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.

Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.

Again, people are pretty worried right now.

Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?

Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.

Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.

It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.