NHL Scores: Connor McDavid hit under scrutiny; Artemi Panarin powers Rangers; and more

Connor McDavid delivered a vicious center ice hit on Montreal’s Jesperi Kotkaniemi that looked like a charge and a head shot. According to Nick Alberga the NHL is reviewing the hit, but he and the rest of the hockey world doubt a suspension is looming.

NHL News: Canadiens shutout Oilers

Maybe it was just plain frustration; or maybe McDavid was trying to send a message to spark his team but his target seemed to be singled out. Kotkaniemi opened the Canadiens scoring just 18 seconds into the game. Carey Price also stopped all 17 shots hurled his way for the shutout as the Habs won 4-0.

It was a big win for Montreal as they are looking playoff bound. They have a 4 point lead over the 5th place Flames with five games in hand.

“We knew we were going to be fresh, but we just harped on the little things and keep it simple, especially early on trying to get back into it,” Canadiens captain Shea Weber said.

connor McDavid hit
Mar 30, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) controls the puck against Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson (44) during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Scores: Artemi Panarin power Rangers past Capitals

The Rangers entered the third period down to the Capitals again by a score of 2-1. New York had yet to win a game when trailing going into the final stanza with an 0-10-0 record. Then Artemi Panarin got on his rocket and led another four goal third period charge that this time didn’t fall short.

Panarin finished the game with a goal and two assists as the Rangers beat the Caps 5-2. Last season’s MVP finalist has 32 points in 24 games missing 11 contests this season with an injury (2) and a leave of absence (9) brought on by false allegations from a former KHL coach. The Blueshirts remain 5 points out of the last playoff spot held by Boston who beat the Devils 5-4 in a shootout last night.

After the game Panarin deflected praise for himself and pointed to Filip Chytil for scoring a great goal to get the team going. “Fil’s goal really helped,” he said. “He did a good job. And then it allowed us to wake up.” Then he focused on the star of the second period who made 10 saves to keep them in it. “[Igor Shesterkin] is giving us confidence to play and come back from these types of situations,” Panarin concluded.

NHL Scores: Central Division tightens up

The entire Central Division was in action last night; and when it was all said and done we got some movement in the standings. Florida hopped over Carolina last night by beating the Red Wings 4-1 and tying the Lightning for first place in the Central at 50 points each.

Tampa fell to Columbus by a 3-1 score that keeps the Blue Jackets in the hunt for the last playoff spot with 36 points. Meanwhile the Predators won again by defeating the Star 3-2 and holding a fourth place tie at 39 points. The Blackhawks won a big game against the Hurricanes to keep pace with Nashville who have 6 straight.