NHL Recaps: Rangers snap skid, Pens move back in wild card, and more
NHL Recaps: February 26, 2023
Seven games were on for Sunday with plenty of playoff and trade deadline implications.
As teams were battling it out, a handful of deals were made with none bigger than the New Jersey Devils landing Timo Meier from the San Jose Sharks. Check out our latest NHL Trade Bait Tracker for more.
Meanwhile, the New York Islanders blanked the Winnipeg Jets and the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Tampa Bay Lightning as both teams hold wild card spots in the East. Coupled with the Toronto Maple Leafs win, Tampa is now four points in back of second-place in the Atlantic.
Speaking of trades, the New York Rangers have a deal in place to bring in Patrick Kane. However, they’re still working on maximizing the accrual of cap space and did not play Braden Schneider a single shift despite dressing him. After they beat the Los Angeles Kings, he was assigned to the AHL in order to complete the deal for Kane on Wednesday.
NHL Recaps: Rangers snap skid
Rangers 5 vs Kings 2
Vincent Trocheck scored twice in 95 seconds early in the second period, and host New York stopped a four-game losing streak by beating Los Angeles.
The Rangers were without defenseman Ryan Lindgren (upper body) and were down to 15 skaters for the final 43-plus minutes after defenseman K’Andre Miller was given a match penalty for spitting on Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty. Trocheck added an assist, and Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and an assist. Alexis also scored for the Rangers.
Miller’s match penalty automatically comes with a hearing so he may be suspended. Per multiple reports, Miller said it was unintentional and reconciled with Doughty after the game.
“The kid feels bad about it and said it was an accident,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant explained. “I didn’t see it, but he didn’t deny it.”
New York goalie Igor Shesterkin was sharp in a 26-save performance after allowing 17 goals in his previous four games. Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick was pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots. Pheonix Copley made 12 saves in relief. Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Roy scored for the Kings, and Phillip Danault assisted on each one.
Islanders 4 vs Jets 0
Semyon Varlamov stopped all 23 shots he faced for visiting New York, which blanked skidding Winnipeg.
Varlamov, making his first start since Feb. 18, posted his second shutout of the season. He made 21 saves in a 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 4. Bo Horvat scored a short-handed goal in the first period, Alexander Romanov and Brock Nelson scored in the second and Adam Pelech added an empty-netter late in the third for the Islanders, who have won three of four (3-1-0).
David Rittich recorded 20 saves for the Jets, who have lost five of six (1-5-0) and sit atop the Western Conference wild-card race, one point ahead of the Seattle Kraken.
Wild 3 vs Blue Jackets 2 (OT)
Kirill Kaprizov capped his hat trick with a goal with 19.9 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Minnesota Wild rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday in Saint Paul, Minn.
On a two-on-one in the waning moments of overtime, Calen Addison set the puck in front of the net for a wide open Kaprizov to record his 37th goal of the season and second career regular-season hat trick. The tally allowed the Wild to improve to 5-0-1 in their last six games.
Down 2-0 and frustrated while failing to convert on any of its 26 shots through the first two periods, Minnesota pressured from the first drop of the puck in the third. The Wild were eventually rewarded just 1:15 in, when the puck caught the stick of Columbus defenseman Andrew Peeke, then glanced off the shoulder of Kaprizov and over the goal line. Less than five minutes later, during a five-on-three advantage, Kaprizov struck again directly from the faceoff to level the contest at 2-2.
Columbus netminder Elvis Merzlikins was stout most of the afternoon while making 41 saves. Mathieu Olivier and Liam Foudy each scored for the Blue Jackets, who are last in the Eastern Conference but amid a 3-1-2 stretch.
NHL Recaps: Penguins rout Bolts
Penguins 7 vs Lightning 3
Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Brian Dumoulin each had a goal and an assist, and host Pittsburgh let loose with six unanswered goals in the second period to topple Tampa Bay.
Drew O’Connor, Teddy Blueger, Jason Zucker and Jeff Carter also scored, and Marcus Pettersson, Kris Letang and Jeff Petry each added two assists for the Penguins, who won their second straight. Pittsburgh goaltender Casey DeSmith made 26 saves.
“Just overall, good team effort,” Blueger said via nhl.com. “Had to fight through it. It’s obviously a good feeling to score at any time, but especially when you haven’t done it in a while.
Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist, and Anthony Cirelli also scored for the Lightning, who had their three-game point streak snapped. Tampa Bay goaltender Brian Elliott made 29 saves. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak was serving the second game of a two-game suspension.
For Kucherov, he registered his 700th career point.
Sabres 7 vs Capitals 4
Dylan Cozens delivered his first career hat trick, and Buffalo defeated visiting Washington.
Tage Thompson scored his 40th goal of the season for the Sabres, who have won three straight. Vinnie Hinostroza had a goal and an assist for Buffalo, while Cozens added an assist for the first four-point game of his career. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 26 saves in a game between teams competing for an Eastern Conference wild-card spot.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 33rd goal of the season for Washington. T.J. Oshie scored his fourth goal in three games and added an assist, and Dylan Strome had a goal and an assist. Darcy Kuemper started his second game in two days in goal for the Capitals and was lifted after allowing five goals in 19 shots. Charlie Lindgren came on and stopped 16 of 18 shots.
Maple Leafs 5 vs Kraken 1
Mark Giordano scored in his return to Seattle and broke an NHL record for most career blocked shots as Toronto defeated the Kraken in the opener of a five-game trip.
Giordano had two blocked shots to break a tie with Kris Russell for the most in the league (2,044) since the statistic was first kept in 2005. Auston Matthews scored twice, and Mitchell Marner had three assists for the Maple Leafs, who have won three in a row and five of their past six games. Timothy Liljegren and John Tavares also tallied, and goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves.
Vince Dunn scored for Seattle, which suffered its third successive defeat. Goalie Philipp Grubauer was pulled early in the second period after allowing four goals on 21 shots. Martin Jones replaced Grubauer and stopped 11 of 12 shots the rest of the way.
Predators 6 vs Coyotes 2
Roman Josi scored two goals and added an assist and Matt Duchene and Tommy Novak each had a goal and two assists to lead Nashville to a victory over Arizona in Tempe, Ariz.
Yakov Trenin and Cody Glass each added a goal and an assist and Mikael Granlund chipped in two assists for Nashville, which won its third straight game and closed to within six points of Seattle for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Juuse Saros finished with 25 saves.
Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist, and Shayne Gostisbehere also scored a goal for Arizona. Connor Ingram, claimed by the Coyotes off waivers from Nashville on Oct. 10, stopped 28 of 34 shots.
For Gostisbehere, it was his 300th career point. He’s also a trade bait candidate.
Devils land big fish Timo Meier from Sharks
–Field Level Media
–The Daily Goal Horn contributed to this article