Cam Tucker

DeBoer hopeful Joe Thornton is ‘only out short-term here’ after injury vs. Canucks

San Jose Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer didn’t have an update on the status of Joe Thornton following Sunday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Thornton was injured on a collision with Michael Chaput in the first period and didn’t return. The way he exited the ice — hobbling to the bench favoring his left knee and then struggling down the tunnel to the dressing room — was particularly concerning.

At the age of 37, Thornton had been enjoying a 50-point season with the Sharks, who are once again in the race for top spot in the Pacific Division, having already clinched a playoff berth.

“You can’t roll over and just quit,” said DeBoer.

“It’s a great challenge for us. Hopefully he’s only out short-term here. I think we’re confident as a group that we’re a team that’s a sum of our parts, not about one or two guys anyway. I think if anyone can handle it, we can.”

DeBoer said Thornton will be reassessed Monday.

The Sharks also played this game without Logan Couture, who suffered a gruesome injury after being hit in the face with a puck versus Nashville last weekend. (The latest update on Couture from a few days ago was a report that he can speak and eat.)

The win puts the Sharks, at least temporarily, within two points of Anaheim and Edmonton for first in the Pacific.

Flyers eliminated from playoff contention after loss to Rangers

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The Philadelphia Flyers saw their four-game winning streak come to an end Sunday. They also had their playoff hopes officially dashed.

Clinging to the slimmest of chances — seven points out of a wild card spot with four games remaining — entering Sunday’s contest with the New York Rangers, the Flyers made things interesting late with a pair of goals from Brayden Schenn and Valtteri Filppula, but couldn’t complete a miraculous season-saving comeback.

The end result? A 4-3 loss that eliminates Philly from playoff contention.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist provided the final dagger, flashing the glove to make a spectacular save on Claude Giroux.

It’s been an eventful — not to mention frightening at the time — 24 hours for the Flyers. AHL call-up Anthony Stolarz once again got the start, with Steve Mason as the back-up but still recovering from illness and Michal Neuvirth having just been released from hospital after a scary incident Saturday.

Stolarz made 20 saves in the loss. Kris Kreider, with his 28th goal of the season, scored the eventual winner.

Lightning close gap in wild card race after crushing the Stars

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Sellers at the deadline and without star Steven Stamkos in the lineup, the Tampa Bay Lightning refuse to go away in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Time may eventually run out on the Bolts, but they’ve added plenty of intrigue to the race for the final wild card spot. On Sunday, they came roaring back with four goals in the third period for a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars.

That’s a crucial result after Saturday’s overtime loss to Montreal.

With the Ottawa Senators in a funk and dealing with numerous injuries to key players on defense, and with the Bolts finding ways to win, Tampa Bay has moved to within three points of the wild card.

The Bolts have four games remaining on their schedule.

The Senators also have a game in hand.

“It just comes down to our season and that’s it,” coach Jon Cooper told reporters. “That was the discussion in the room — ‘Do you want to give yourself a chance to play past next Sunday?’ If you don’t, then play the way we did in the second. If you do, play the way we did in the third.”

The Lightning fell behind by a goal in the second period but tied it with only 18 seconds remaining in the middle frame on a goal from Braydon Coburn. Adam Erne had a pair of goals and Ondrej Palat had three points in the win.

The Bolts play the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, however they may be dealing with yet another injury. Jason Garrison left Sunday’s game late in the second period and didn’t play another shift.

Video: Ovechkin in the midst of Capitals, Blue Jackets brawl

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Well, it’s clear the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals aren’t very fond of each other.

Fighting for top spot in the Metropolitan Division, tempers boiled over between the Blue Jackets and Capitals midway through the third period of Sunday’s game. Things really escalated during a scrum when Josh Anderson decided to give Alex Ovechkin a few jabs to the face.

Chaos suddenly ensued, with gloves, sticks and helmets littering the ice when it was over.

Ovechkin found himself at the bottom of a pile along the boards, wrapped in a headlock with a member of the Blue Jackets while his teammate Tom Wilson looked around for someone to pair up with before order was eventually restored.

The Capitals, thanks to a trio of second-period goals, left Columbus with a 3-2 victory, strengthening their lead atop the division. They’re now five points up on Pittsburgh and six points up on Columbus. All three teams have four games remaining on their respective schedules.

The Blue Jackets made things interesting in the third period with goals from Jack Johnson and Kyle Quincey, but they couldn’t complete the comeback.

Blue Jackets rookie defenseman Zach Werenski, who was on the receiving end of some big hits today, didn’t play a single shift in the final 18 minutes.

Video: Joe Thornton leaves game vs. Canucks with potential left knee injury

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There is now concern for a possible injury to San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton.

The Sharks forward left Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks after being involved in a collision along the boards with Michael Chaput during the first period.

Thornton went immediately to the dressing room, though he struggled just to get off the ice, clearly favoring his left leg.

The Sharks have stated that Thornton’s return to this game is questionable.

With only two wins in their last 10 games, the Sharks have fallen to third in the Pacific Division. They had opened up a 2-0 lead on the Canucks after one period.

Check back to PHT for more updates.