NHL Recaps: Wild hold off Avs, Isles solidify wild card spot, and Panthers beat Leafs

NHL Recaps:  March 29, 2023

There were only three games on Wednesday’s docket in the NHL with playoff implications in all of them.

The Minnesota Wild defeated the surging Colorado Avalanche and widen their lead on first-place in the Central to three points. Meanwhile. the New York Islanders picked up a huge shootout win over the Washington Capitals to strengthen their grip on a wild card spot.

Finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Florida Panthers in overtime. That improves Toronto’s hold of second-place in the Atlantic to six points over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Florida picking up a point inches them closer to the Pittsburgh Penguin for the final wild card in the East.

NHL Recaps: Wild off Avs

Wild 4 vs Avalanche 2

Frederick Gaudreau netted two short-handed goals, Sam Steel and Marcus Johansson also scored and the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Wednesday in Denver.

Filip Gustavsson made 42 saves to help the first-place Wild (44-22-9, 97 points) increase their lead in the Central Division to three points over both the Avalanche (44-24-6, 94 points) and the idle Dallas Stars (40-20-14, 94 points).

Minnesota has five wins in the past six games (5-0-1).

Bowen Byram scored a goal and Alexandar Georgiev turned away 25 shots for Colorado, which had won nine of its previous 10 games.

NHL Recaps: Isles and Panthers get points

nhl recaps
Mar 29, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) makes a save on the shot by Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) during the third period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Islanders 2 vs Capitals 1 (SO)

Bo Horvat and Kyle Palmieri each scored in the shootout and Ilya Sorokin finished with 25 saves to lift visiting New York to a victory over Washington.

Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov and Horvat each converted in the first round before Sorokin denied T.J. Oshie to begin the second. Palmieri beat Darcy Kuemper over his glove hand before Sorokin sealed the win by stopping Nicklas Backstrom in the third round.

Pierre Engvall scored early in the second period for the Islanders, who improved to 8-3-1 in their last 12 games. Conor Sheary scored a goal and Kuemper turned aside 28 shots for the Capitals, who have lost five of their last six games (1-3-2).

Panthers 3 vs Leafs 2 (OT)

Brandon Montour scored his 14th goal of the season at 1:41 of overtime and visiting Florida came back to defeat Toronto.

Florida’s Sam Reinhart tied the game with his 28th goal of the season with one minute left in the third period on a tip-in during a power play. Montour and Aaron Ekblad had assists. Anton Lundell also scored for the Panthers, who had lost their previous four games. Alex Lyon made 38 saves for the Panthers.

Auston Matthews and Zach Aston-Reese scored for the Maple Leafs. Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves for the Maple Leafs, who were coming off a 3-2-0 road trip.

Note: Corrected headline to reflect Panthers beating Leafs

–Field Level Media

–The Daily Goal Horn contributed to this article