Senators 'stone' Pens in comeback
Trailing the Penguins, Red Wings and the Bruins by two points entering play Tuesday, the Senators could not afford any let-up in their quest to reach the playoffs but they surrendered three goals in the opening period to the visiting Penguins, a period of inefficiency set up in motion by Sidney Crosby's goal just 10 seconds into the game.
Somehow, the Senators regrouped. They scored shorthanded late in the second period and drew within a goal in the first minute of the third. With less than two minutes to play, Mike Hoffman tied the contest when his high shot beat Marc-Andre Fleury. In overtime, Mark Stone completed the comeback with his second goal of the game, giving Ottawa the 4-3 decision and two huge points in the standings.
That brought the Senators to 95 points, even with the Bruins who play in Washington Wednesday.
Jets shut out the Blues
Nothing like having a hot goaltender keeping your team on track to make the playoffs. that's what the Winnipeg Jets are getting from Ondrej Pavelec who stopped 30 shots in a 1-0 victory in St. Louis Tuesday for his second shutout in as many nights. Pavelec, who's been a workhorse for the Jets of late, saved 31 shots against the Minnesota Wild Monday in a 2-0 win.
Here's Pavelec against the Blues' Paul Stastny.
Chris Thorburn provided the only goal of the evening in St. Louis, notching his seventh of the season, 2:31 into the second period. It produced Winnipeg's third win in a row as they added two points to their position as the second wild card team in the Western Conference, with 96 points, two behind Minnesota who defeated Chicago Tuesday, 2-1.
Flames gain some space
The Calgary Flames maintained their third-place standing in the Pacific Division with a 3-2 triumph over the Arizona Coyotes at the Saddledome. Johnny Gaudreau and David Jones gave the Flames one-goal leads but the Coyotes twice battled back to even the score. Near the midway mark of the third period Sean Monahan scored the game-winner, his 31st of the season to give Calgary 95 points through 80 games.
The Flames can lock up their first appearance in the playoffs in six years Thursday when they host the Los Angeles Kings. A Flames victory gets them in and would eliminate the Stanley Cup champion Kings.
Oilers aid Canadian mates
Helping to make the above scenario possible, say hello to the Edmonton Oilers. They dealt the Kings a deadly blow Tuesday with a 4-2 victory that leaves the Kings on the verge of missing the playoffs. Two goals by Matt Fraser, the opener in the second period and the clincher, into an empty net, sealed the Kings' fate.
Benoit Pouliot and Tyler Pitlick had the other Oiler goals while Richard Backman picked up his third win in five decisions in goal.
The Kings' loss assured the idle Vancouver Canucks a place in the playoffs. As it stands now, they will meet Calgary in the first round.