James O'Brien

St. Louis Blues' Dmitrij Jaskin (23) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with his teammates during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario.  (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Senators lose Anderson to injury, Blues push for Central lead


The Ottawa Senators grabbed a “charity point” and probably gained a little bit of confidence from Tuesday’s game, but it may prove to be a costly night.

The reasoning is simple: Craig Anderson left the contest with a lower-body injury and did not return. It’s not clear how serious the issue is beyond that, but Andrew Hammond might be the go-to guy for the Ottawa down another stretch.

(Granted, “The Hamburglar” was perfect until the shootout, so maybe a blessing in disguise?)

St. Louis roared to a 3-0 lead, but the Senators managed to push it into overtime thanks in large part to Jean-Gabriel Pageau‘s late heroics, including this dramatic effort:

After that, the Blues ultimately won 4-3 via a shootout … that went very, very long.

St. Louis is now tied for the top spot in the Central – although they lack games in hand – while the short-term inspired positive reactions:

But also some discomfort about how this game shook out:

Connor McDavid 1, Jack Eichel 0: Oilers win in rookie showdown


The first regular season game featuring Connor McDavid vs. Jack Eichel began in McDavid’s advantage. It also ended with an edge to the first pick of the 2015 NHL Draft.

After scoring 22 seconds into Tuesday’s Edmonton Oilers – Buffalo Sabres game, McDavid also ended the contest with an exhilarating overtime goal.

In a fitting twist, Eichel nearly created the overtime-winner for Buffalo, only for McDavid to take it the other way for the clincher. You can watch that remarkable exchange in the video above.

Now, McDavid and the Oilers got the first and last laughs tonight, but that doesn’t mean Eichel was quiet.

Both players managed five shots on goals, made some nice moves and logged at least 20 minutes of ice time. McDavid just happened to get the better of Eichel, overall.

This time, at least.

… No reason to get weird about it either, right?

Uh oh.

Playoff atmosphere: Caps rally vs. Pens, Holtby grabs 40th win


As of this moment, the Pittsburgh Penguins would face the East’s top seed in a first-round bout. The Washington Capitals sent a message tonight: that wouldn’t be a pleasant assignment.

Pittsburgh managed a 2-0 lead in this game, yet the Capitals wouldn’t be denied, scoring three unanswered goals to beat the Penguins in regulation.

In the process, Braden Holtby won his 40th game of 2015-16, leaving him eight victories from tying Martin Brodeur for the league’s single-season record.

Matt Niskanen‘s first goal against his former team ended up being the game-winner for Washington.

It was a chippy game, with Sidney Crosby‘s only major impact (zero shots on goal, one assist) being a knee-to-knee hit on T.J. Oshie. Oshie was OK, and also shook off an amusing-yet-scary collision with Alex Ovechkin.

With the possibility of this being a playoff series mounting, this game sure had a playoff atmosphere.

Hockey fans without a horse in the race are screaming “Yes, please.” Fans of the Penguins and Capitals, on the other hand, might fret about the stress.

Big blow? Hurricanes pry precious points from Devils

As New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) looks on, teammate Devils defenseman Adam Larsson (5), of Sweden shoves Carolina Hurricanes left wing Joakim Nordstrom (42), of Sweden during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 1, 2016, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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If the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils are to be taken seriously in the East playoff races, they need to win games like these … or get into overtime, at minimum.

The Hurricanes were the only team who succeeded on Tuesday, grinding out a 3-1 win against the Devils.

To an extent, it was a “One team has to win” situation. The Hurricanes broke a three-game losing streak and won for the second time in six games; the Devils dropped their third straight and only hold one win in seven contests.

It’s not as if either team was loading up at the trade deadline, but they’re not so far from the mix that you can dismiss their chances altogether.

The Devils may be in particular trouble, however, with a brutal stretch of tough opponents and road dates (five of six away from New Jersey) coming up.

If Ray Shero & Co. haven’t already written off the season, they may really rue these lost points.

On another note, Derek Ryan made waves by scoring his first NHL goal in his first game … at age 29.

Video: Healthy Malkin scores first goal since Jan. 23

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The Pittsburgh Penguins stand as a potential spoiler if they can hold onto a playoff spot just by the way they’ve been playing lately.

But how dangerous could they be if Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are actually at full strength this fall? (It seemingly doesn’t happen that way very often.)

That’s a fun thought for Penguins fans and scary one for East rivals, although Malkin has a way to go before he’s 100 percent.

Wherever he is now, Malkin’s looking dangerous. He scored his first goal, since Jan. 23 in his third game back from missing multiple weeks with a lower-body injury.

You can watch in the video above this post’s headline.