04/01/2015 01:07 EDT | Updated 05/31/2015 05:59 EDT

NHL: 5 stories from Tuesday night

The Winnipeg Jets failed to increase their advantage on the Los Angeles Kings in the West, the Ottawa Senators couldn't move closer to the Boston Bruins in the East, while the Vancouver Canucks did gain some breathing room on the Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division.

Here are five stories from Tuesday night's NHL action:

Jets come up short against Rangers

There was a good news-bad news element to the Jets' home game against the New York Rangers. The Jets, who stand at 90 points, kept their hold of the final wild-card spot in the West Conference. They remain two points ahead of the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

But Winnipeg failed to build some breathing room over the Kings after suffering a disappointing 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers, who leapfrogged over the Montreal Canadiens to grab top spot in the Eastern Conference with 103 points.

The Jets appeared headed for a least a point until Rangers forward Chris Kreider scored with 3:46 remaining in the third to spoil a solid effort by Winnipeg.

The Jets welcomed back top centre Bryan Little, who missed 11 games with an upper-body injury. He logged 19:41 of ice time.

Canucks pad lead on Flames

Unlike Winnipeg, the Canucks gave themselves more playoff wiggle room in the Western Conference. The Canucks padded their advantage over the Flames in the Pacific Division with a 5-4 shootout win over the Nashville Predators.

The Canucks overcame an early two-goal deficit, scoring four of the next five goals. Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata scored in the shootout for Vancouver, while goaltender Eddie Lack stopped all four shots in overtime, and then turned aside attempts by Mike Santorelli and Filip Forsberg in the shootout.

The Canucks continue to sit in second place in the Pacific Division but are now four points up on Calgary.

Vancouver forward Alex Burrows can expect a chat with the NHL's player safety department. Burrows received a major penalty and a game misconduct for a high hit on Nashville's Paul Guastad.

Sens can't make a move on Bruins 

The Senators finally closed out a game but didn't make up ground in the race for the Eastern Conference's last wild-card spot.

Ottawa, which dropped its last three-games, seemed destined to fall again against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. However, trailing 1-0 in the third period, Clarke MacArthur fired his 14th goal of the season with 4:02 remaining in the third.  

With overtime providing no game winner, Mark Stone was the hero for the Senators in the shootout, beating Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek with a nifty deke, and giving Ottawa the 2-1 win.

The victory gives the Senators 88 points on the season but they remain three points behind the Boston Bruins, who rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 at TD Garden. The Panthers are three points back of the Ottawa.

Prior to the game, the Wings paid tribute to Detroit great Gordie Howe, who celebrated his 87th birthday on Tuesday. While he was not in attendance at Joe Louis Arena, the team handed out Gordie Howe bobbleheads to the first 7,500 fans in attendance.

Leafs do Habs a favour

Although it wasn't intentional, the Leafs did the Montreal Canadiens a favour by beating the Lightning 3-1 at Air Canada Centre. The loss keeps Tampa Bay one point behind the Habs, who have 102 points, in the Atlantic Division.

Toronto earned back-to-back victories for the first time since the end of February. James Reimer had another outstanding effort, making 40 saves to help stymie the Lightning. It was Reimer who guided the Leafs to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Nazem Kadri had a goal an assist for the Leafs, while David Booth and Morgan Rielly also tallied for the Buds.

Ovie hits 50

For the sixth time in his career, Alex Ovechkin has reached the 50-goal plateau. The Capitals sniper completed the feat against the Carolina Hurricanes to the delight of the Washington crowd.

In true Ovechkin fashion, the star wired a snap shot past Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward from the top of the circle in the first period.

The Caps went on to win the game 4-2.