NHL Scores: Blackhawks stay in playoff fight, Golden Knights clinch post season berth, and more

brandon hagel
Apr 21, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Hagel (38) scores the winning goal during overtime at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks are fighting to stay alive in the playoff race in the Central Division. They took on the Nashville Predators who currently hold the last spot with the Dallas Stars nipping at their heels. A loss by the Hawks would’ve made it near impossible to stay in the thick of it with just nine games remaining. Last night, they came up big.

Blackhawks beat Predators in OT to stay alive in Central

It was a huge comeback for the Blackhawks last night as they found themselves down 4-1 less than a minute into the third period. The Chicago kids saved the day as they stormed back to tie it late in the final stanza. The average age of the Hawks goal scorers was 24.4 years of age and the OT winner came off the stick of the youngest, 22 year-old Brandon Hagel.

“Gutsy comeback,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We put ourselves in a pretty big hole, obviously in a big game, but we stuck with it, didn’t give up, so definitely proud of that response.”

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With that victory, Chicago sits three points back of the Predators with a game in hand.

Golden Knights first team officially in post season

golden knights playoffs
Apr 21, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault, center, celebrates after scoring against the San Jose Sharks during the first period of an NHL hockey game at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Vegas battled a hungry San Jose squad and came out victorious 5-2. The win makes the Golden Knights the first official team in the 2020-21 playoffs. Jonathan Marchessault was the offensive hero yesterday with two goals and two assists. Trade deadline acquisition Mattias Janmark scored his first as a Knight when he hit the empty net to seal the deal.

Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win. Robin Lehner played the backup role coming off the heels of his comments about feeling “forced” to take the vaccine. The NHL has since rebuffed his assertions.

“It’s an accomplishment in this league; 31 teams try to make the playoffs. I don’t overlook that,” Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. “I’ve been on the other end of it, scratched and clawed, and missed. Once you get in, all those 16 teams have an opportunity. It’s nice we punched our ticket.”

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In other West action, the Wild continue to maintain a firm grip on the third spot with a solid 4-1 win over the Coyotes. Likely Calder Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov scored his 19th goal of the season in the victory. As for the Coyotes, they are unlikely to hold the last playoff spot for long. The Blues are just one point behind with three games in hand.

Habs dig deep and beat Oilers

The Canadiens had to hold off a late surge by the Oilers last night to pick up the two points they were looking for. Josh Anderson scored two goals to lead the effort and continues to prove Marc Bergevin made a great trade by moving Max Domi to Columbus. Tyler Toffoli also scored his 22nd of the year proving to be a great signing. Montreal looks like a lock to capture the last playoff spot in the North.