NHL Scores: Surprised Senators goalie beats Maple Leafs, Islanders win 9th straight to become top team in the league, and more

Matt Murray was the scheduled starter for Ottawa heading into their matchup against Toronto. Then 24 year-old rookie Joey Daccord was approached by Murray to let him know something was going on and the kid rushed to get ready.

NHL Scores: Joey Daccord beats Senators after getting surprise start

“[Murray] tapped me on the pads maybe two minutes before warm ups and said hey something’s going on here,” Daccord revealed after Murray couldn’t play due to an upper-body injury. “If I’m being totally honest in that moment I said I’m going to win tonight.”

Daccord made 33 saves against the Maple Leafs (19-9-2) to earn his first career win as the Senators (10-20-1) beat them 4-3. Brady Tkachuk got the party started on the scoresheet for the Sens with his 11th of the year and Drake Batherson picked up two (10,11) to pace the offense.

“I was just hanging on the backside there, and there was, like, three sticks. I didn’t expect it to come on my tape. Next thing you know, backhand sauce, landed it right on my tape, I had the open cage and fired it in,” Batherson said admiringly of Tim Stutzle’s pass. “I just didn’t even want to celebrate. I wanted him to celebrate how nice the pass was.”

NHL Scores: Islanders beat Devils claim top spot in the league

new york islanders score
Mar 14, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New York Islanders left wing Kieffer Bellows (20) celebrates with center Mathew Barzal (13) after scoring a goal against New Jersey Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood (41) during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

It took the Islanders (19-6-4) until the shootout, but they beat the Devils (8-13-4) 3-2 for their 9th straight win. The team from Long Island is now atop the entire league with 42 points.

Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves and has won his last six starts. Meanwhile, Kieffer Bellows is on a little bit of a goal streak picking up his third in two games.

“It’s obviously really exciting anytime you can string together some wins and consistently win,” Bellows said. “Every point matters, and for us to come out with an extra point tonight was massive, but it’s been a blast. The guys have been real energetic, fun, but when it comes down to game time, we’re business.”


NHL Scores: Hurricanes storm to top of the Central and remaining action

The Hurricanes (20-6-1) defeated the Red Wings (8-17-4) 2-1 and now are in sole possession of first place in the Central by one point. Dougie Hamilton scored shorthanded and Nino Niederreiter added his 12th of the season to get the win.

In Columbus, the Stars (9-9-6) edged the Blue Jackets (11-12-7) in a shootout 2-1. It was an important point for John Tortorella as they are now four points behind the Blackhawks for the last playoff spot in the division.

Finally in the West, the Avalanche (16-8-2) seem to have their groove back as they defeated the Kings(11-10-6) by a 4-1 margin. Nathan MacKinnon capped the scoring with his 7th of the season. And the Wild (17-8-1) stay hot as they take down the Coyotes (12-12-4) by a 4-1 score.