NHL Scores: Barzal explodes for 5 points; Golden Knights forced to play game undermanned; and more
The Islanders routed the Capitals by an 8-4 score to force a three-way tie in the East division. They did so on the strength of Mathew Barzal’s hat trick and five point night. They young pivot put on his rocket boosters prior to the game and spent the evening skating by Washington defenders with ease.
NHL Scores: Barzal explodes for five points; Penguins and Rangers win
It was a wild first period that saw six combined goals. John Carlson opened the scoring but once Jordan Eberle scored the flood gates exploded for the Islanders. Barzal was the star of the show as he was flying all over the ice as a one man highlight reel.
“When guys are playing to their strengths, that’s when the line (Barzal, Eberle, Leo Komarov) goes,” Barzal said. “Leo is doing his thing in the corner, getting us the puck. ‘Ebs’ was making his little plays, getting open, and I was skating. When we’re doing those things, it can be a good line.”NHL.com
For the night Barzal had 3 goals and two assists which was only his 7th multi-point game this season. Up until this yesterday he had only one game with more than two points when he picked up three against NJ way back on January 21st. He now has 33 points in 37 games and the Isles desperately need him to keep scoring with Anders Lee out for the season.
Meanwhile the Penguins downed the Bruins by a 4-1 score with Casey DeSmith stopping 30 shots. The Penguins are the hottest team in East with five straight wins which evens them with the Caps and Isles at 50 points each. Another team that’s been playing better hockey of late are the Rangers. Mika Zibanejad scored the OT winner against the Sabres to pull the Blueshirts within three points of Boston for the last playoff spot.
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NHL Scores: Golden Knights salvage a point playing with only 16 skaters
The Vegas Golden Knights were forced to play the Minnesota Wild with just 10 forwards last night. Thanks to a Chandler Stephenson suspension, injuries, and not enough cap space, the Knights were undermanned. Yet it still took goaltending heroics from Cam Talbot who made 35 saves, some of which were spectacular, to pick up the 3-2 shootout win.
“Every game is a big game, and when you come into a building like this, you know you’re going to have to go through this team to make it out of our division for the playoffs,” Talbot said. “This is a tough building to play in and this gives us confidence moving forward.”NHL.com
In the North division Montreal easily beat the Senators by a 4-1 score and have a firm grasp on the last playoff spot. Brendan Gallagher picked up his 14th goal of the season and added an assist in the win.
NHL Scores: All three top teams win in Central
This is really a great division in the fact that these three teams are by far the cream of the crop and just keep knocking down lesser opponents. The Lightning (52 points) and Panthers (52) points lead the Central with the Hurricanes (51) right behind them.
Tampa knocked off the Blue Jackets 3-2 as Brayden Point scored twice (14,15). Florida needed an Alex Wennberg goal in OT to beat the Red Wings 3-2. And finally the Hurricanes defeated the Blackhawks 4-3 with Jesper Fast breaking the tie with 29 seconds left in the third.
Luckily for both Chicago and Columbus the Stars stopped the streaking Predators 4-1. That keeps the race for the final playoff spot tight with Nashville at 39 points tied with Chicago and Columbus three points behind them both. Dallas is also within 5 points and have 4 games in hand.