When it comes to the East playoff races, the biggest winners were generally the teams that didn’t even play. Otherwise, Tuesday stands as an evening of spoilers.
(Heck, the Pittsburgh Penguins almost fell to this pattern as well, but they managed to gut out a shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres.)
The Philadelphia Flyers have to be smiling tonight.
For one thing, the Boston Bruins dropped their sixth of seven games as the New Jersey Devils defeated them 2-1 in regulation. The Bruins had to be gritting their teeth during an unlikely standout game by Keith Kinkaid, as Boston lost despite a 40-15 shot advantage.
The Montreal Canadiens did the Flyers a solid, too, narrowly edging the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 (also in regulation).
Detroit nearly rallied after Petr Mrazek was given an early hook when Montreal went up 2-0, but it wasn’t to be.
At least it appears as though Dylan Larkin avoided injury:
The New York Islanders won to strengthen their hold over the top wild card spot, so here’s a glance at how the races for the East’s final wild card spot and the Atlantic’s third seed look right now.
Third in Atlantic: Bruins – 88 points, 36 ROW, five games remaining
Second Wild Card: Flyers – 87 points, 35 ROW, 7 GR
Behind in Wild Card and Atlantic: Red Wings – 87 points, 36 ROW, 5 GR
As you can see, things are suddenly looking extremely promising for the Flyers while the Red Wings and Bruins remain very close.
Another idle team smiles
Nazem Kadri‘s hot streak scorched the Florida Panthers on Tuesday as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Cats 5-2.
With that, the Tampa Bay Lightning benefit, as they’re technically the top team in the Atlantic as of tonight.
1. Atlantic: Tampa Bay – 93 points, 41 ROW, 6 GR
2. Atlantic: Florida – 93 points, 35 ROW, 6 GR
The Lightning have to hope that they break the spoiler cycle, as their next opponent is the Montreal Canadiens.
Long story short … it was a good night to watch the games, and not just for fans.