NHL Scores: Flames fizzling out, Islanders back on top, Sabres lose 14 straight, and more

sam bennett trade
Mar 22, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators goalie Filip Gustavsson (32) makes a save in front of Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett (93) in the first period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

I may need to change my stance on the Flames being the team to take the last playoff spot in the North Division. The Senators doused the Flames 2-1 handing them their second straight loss. That leaves Calgary 4 points behind Montreal who have two games in hand for fourth place.

NHL Scores: Flames fizzling out, Jets blast Canucks

Darryl Sutter has lost his last two and brings his record with Calgary this season to 4-3. When asked about the loss Sutter in his robotic tone said, “they’re probably tired.” For the Senators they are down to their 4th string goalie who made 35 saves to pick up the victory. Filip Gustavsson debuted last week after Ottawa’s third goalie Joey Daccord went down to injury and has played well. Chris Tierney broke the tie with a little over two minutes to play in the third.

“I got a good sleep yesterday, but today, even the whole morning skate, was like little butterflies in the stomach and a little hard to eat,” Gustavsson said. “But when I got the first shot on net and the first power play came, it felt like I was in the game, and then [the butterflies] were gone.”

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Meanwhile the Winnipeg Jets continue their rise in the standings with a 4-0 shutout over the Canucks. The Jets are two points behind the Leafs and Oilers for first. Adam Lowry led the offense with two goals but the story was in net. Connor Hellebuyck stopped all 22 shots sent his way to earn his first shutout of the season.

“I’m never going to say my game is perfect, but for one game, with the guys in front of me, we played a perfect game. Granted, there’s some luck in there and maybe you can find some mistakes, but at the end of the day we’re looking back at this like we played our A-plus game, and this is what we want to try and continue moving forward with.” 

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NHL scores: Islanders beat Flyers in OT, Rangers hand Sabres 14 straight loss

islanders vs flyers
Mar 22, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers probably played one of their stronger defensive games in a while but fell in 2-1 in OT to the Islanders. Anthony Beauvillier scored the game-winner to give his goalie, Ilya Sorokin his 8th straight win. The 25 year-old net minder had a little bit of a rocky start but is now shining as he made 36 stops in the process. The Isles reclaim first over the Capitals by two points but Washington now has two games in hand.

“[The Flyers] were on top of us a little bit, [but] we survived it,” New York coach Barry Trotz said. ” … They were a committed group tonight and when you run into that, you need someone to rise and tonight Ilya did that for us. He made some real key saves at key moments and we were able to grind our way back into an even game, and fortunately we finally beat them in overtime.”

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The only other East game last night was at MSG where the Sabres battled hard but eventually fell to the Rangers by a 5-3 score. It was Buffalo’s 14th straight loss. New York’s entire coaching staff is on COVID protocol, but fill-in coach Kris Knoblauch is now 3-1 in their absence. One of the keys to victory was moving Kaapo Kakko on a line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. The struggling 20 year scored his first goal in 19 games and added an empty netter for the win.

“It always feels good when you score a goal, but after a long time even better,” Kakko said.

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The Rangers are two points behind the Flyers whom they play Thursday and are four points out of 4th as the Bruins remain idle due to COVID.

NHL Scores: Golden Knights beat Blues, Avalanche win to stay close

The Golden Knights took out the Blues last night by a 5-1 score. Mark Stone was the story for Vegas as he scored two goals and added an assist. They continue to hold first place by three points as Colorado is charging up the standings.

“If you look at the way we’ve been playing the last month or two, our record is really good,” Stone said. “We’re winning in different areas. That’s what good teams do: We find ways to win hockey games.”

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Mikko Rantanen notched his 18th of the season and Philip Grubauer made 24 saves in the Avs 5-1 win over the Coyotes. Colorado now has 7 straight victories and finally giving Vegas a real threat in the West Division. Meanwhile the Kings fell 2-1 to the Sharks and miss a major opportunity to close the five point gap with St. Louis who holds the final playoff spot. And the Wild keep a firm grip on their playoff spot with a 2-1 win over the Ducks.

NHL scores: Hurricanes wash out Blue Jackets

Finally in Central Division action, the Blue Jackets were unable to pick up a point and claim sole possession of 4th. The Hurricanes got a stellar performance in net from Ohio native Alex Nedeljkovic who stopped all 19 shots faced. Dougie Hamilton, who decided to table contract talks to the end of the season extends his point streak to 12 games.

“I don’t think about it too much,” Hamilton said. “It’s just trying to take it day by day and one game at a time. I know it’s a cliché, but with the schedule right now, it’s just kind of focus on one game.

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