NHL Recaps: Kings’ Cal Petersen stops Golden Knights win streak, Lightning win battle of Florida, and more

cal petersen
Mar 21, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings goaltender Calvin Petersen (40) defends the goal againast the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The L.A. Kings keep their playoff dreams alive thanks to 41 stops from Calvin Petersen. Max Pacioretty missed the game with a lower-body injury but Petersen was zoned in from the start.

NHL Recaps: Kings top Golden Knights to halt win streak

Anze Kopitar picked up two assists to help the Kings to a 3-1 win over the Knights. The victory improves L.A.’s record in the second game of two game sets to 8-3-2. Head coach Todd McLellan noted that and in particular the differences in starts from the first game which they lost to Vegas 4-2. The same was reiterated by team captain, Kopitar.

“The start was definitely better, and obviously you want to maybe focus on it a little bit more because it’s an afternoon game,” Kopitar said. “I thought we did a pretty good job starting the game and then just kept rolling.”

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The Kings are now 5 points behind the Blues for the final playoff spot in the West with a game in hand.

NHL Recaps: Lightning zap Panthers to increase first place lead

lightning vs panthers
Mar 21, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Johnson broke the tie in the third period off a beautiful tip in and Brayden Point sealed it with an empty net goal to increase Tampa’s hold on first place to four points. It was a great game between the two Florida teams as the Lightning win this game 5-3 over the Panthers.

“It was tough mentally,” Tampa Bay forward Alex Killorn said. “We knew coming into the season the games were going to be pretty compressed, but to play five in seven days … we didn’t even do that in the AHL, I think. Really happy with the way we battled through these five.”

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Meanwhile the Dallas Stars continue to struggle without Tyler Seguin and Ben Bishop. They fell to the Predators in a shootout 4-3. The Stars held a 3-1 lead late into the second period which was erased by goals from Filip Forsberg and Eeli Tolvanen.

As Dallas falls to 7th in the Central and the deadline three weeks away, one needs to wonder if they have now entered the sellers category.

NHL Recaps: Penguins fall to the Devils in OT

Finally, the Devils got a big goal in OT off the stick of Jesper Bratt to beat the Penguins 2-1. Mackenzie Blackwood was the star of the game stopping 35 shots except for Sidney Crosby’s 12th of the year in the first period. Pittsburgh is playing without Evgeni Malkin who is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

“I thought, tonight, we generated some decent chances [from] every line,” Crosby said. “Didn’t capitalize. It was a close game, and obviously in overtime, anything can happen. But I think if you want to win consistently, everybody’s got to chip in.”

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The point helps the Pens close the gap with first place Washington and NYI to four points. They also hold a four point lead over the 4th place Bruins who are idle due to COVID.