NHL Scores: Islanders back in first; Hurricanes now tops in Central; and Predators look playoff bound
The Islanders picked up a their first victory after acquiring Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the Devils. It took a shootout, but the squad from Long Island edged the Flyers by a 3-2 score.
Islanders take back first in the East as Capitals continue to falter
Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves and stopped five shootout attempts to carry the Islanders to victory and into sole possession of first place in the East. The Isles have won four straight and have just one regulation loss at home on the season (17-1-2). New acquisition Kyle Palmieri played a little over 15 minutes with his new club and fired two shots on the Flyers net.
“Obviously, in the last 24 hours there was a lot of emotion,” Palmieri said. “A lot going on, but I got to meet everybody this morning and everyone was so welcoming. To be a part of a team like that that cares about each other and plays for each other, it was evident the second I walked in the locker room. That’s exciting for any player to be a part of.”NHL.com
The Islanders will face a desperate rival in the New York Rangers who lost to the Penguins 5-2 at the Garden.
Meanwhile the Capitals have been struggling dropping their second straight and fourth in six. This has them two points behind the surging Islanders who have won four in a row. For the Bruins who beat the Caps 4-2 it was a huge victory to tighten their grip on the last playoff spot with 48 points. Boston is 6 points up on Philadelphia with 2 games in hand. Finally the Devils topped the Sabres by a score 6-3 to complete all the East action.
Hurricanes now top team in the Central; Predators look playoff bound
The Carolina Hurricanes got 24 saves from Alex Nedeljkovic who picked up his third shutout of the season. Vincent Trocheck scored for the sixth straight time against his former club as the Canes beat the Panthers 3-0. Rod Brind’Amour now his team back in first place by a point with the win.
“I don’t know that we were very good, but we worked hard and our defense really got in the way and made it tough for them to get a lot going on,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I like the fact that we found a different way to win tonight.”NHL.com
In other Central action the Lightning continue to push the Blue Jackets further away from a playoff spot with their 6-4 win over them. Meanwhile the Predators continue to firm up their ownership of fourth in the division with a resounding 7-1 win over the Red Wings. Nashville is now four points up on the Blackhawks who lost 5-1 to the Stars last night.
Oilers beat Senators for the 9th time this season
The Edmonton Oilers did it again as they topped the Ottawa Senators 3-1. Thanks to Mike Smith’s 39 saves, Edmonton sweeps the season series against Ottawa 9-0-0. Oilers head coach Dave Tippett snapped back at a question about the beating the lonely Senators with, “If it was so easy, why didn’t everybody do it?”
“It’s different. Obviously, you don’t play a team that many times, or I’ve never done it in all my years in the NHL,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “There were some games that were real close, that could go either way. There were some games that I don’t think their goaltending was as good as it could’ve been, and we took advantage of it. It’s just funny how it went.”NHL.com
Edmonton remains one point ahead of the Winnipeg Jets who defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Nikolaj Ehlers notched his 16th goal for Winnipeg in the victory. Montreal still holds fourth place comfortably by 8 points over both the Canucks and Flames.