There were a few developments in the NHL on Monday, starting with the two game suspension handed down to Matthew Tkachuk of the Flames for his elbow Sunday on Drew Doughty. He was not penalized and I'm sure that Tkachuk owners would have at least enjoyed the boost in penalty minutes if they knew a suspension was in order.
The Vancouver Canucks lost Markus Granlund, likely for the remainder of the season as he will undergo wrist surgery. The Canucks were looking forward to a new top line of Granlund, Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat but it looks like that will have to wait until next season.
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TORONTO 4 BOSTON 2
There are not too many times that a game is 1-1 with less than two minutes to go in the third period and there are still four goals to come but that is what happened in Toronto on Monday.
It was a tremendous goaltending battle between Tuukka Rask and Frederik Andersen as Rask stopped 25 of 27 shots while Andersen made 35 saves to lead the Maple Leafs to the win and move to within one point of the third place Bruins in the Atlantic Conference with a game in hand.
David Backes got the Bruins off to a 1-0 lead in the first with Brad Marchand drawing the lone assist. Marchand moved into a temporary tie for the NHL points lead with 80, tying Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby.
There was no scoring in the second and the first 18 minutes of the third until Tyler Bozak scored on the power play with just 117 seconds remaining. The Bruins pulled Rask but William Nylander and Nazem Kadri with their 19th and 29th respectively gave the Leafs three goals in 66 seconds.
Dominic Moore found the back of the net with 10 seconds remaining to make it a touch closer but the Maple Leafs ended up sweeping the Bruins for the first time since the Bruins inaugural season in 1924-25.
Andersen is a perfect 8-0 all-time against Boston and won his 29th of the season.
James van Riemsdyk had a pair of assists.
BUFFALO 2 DETROIT 1
Robin Lehner stopped 34 shots to lead the Sabres to a 2-1 win over the hometown Detroit Red Wings.
Jack Eichel and Matt Moulson each scored power play markers for Buffalo while Tomas Tatar scored his 21st of the season to spoil the shutout bid of Lehner. Tatar has six goals in his last six games and has chipped in with a trio of assists as well.
Eichel has seven goals and 13 points in his last 10 games and is becoming one of the elite players in the NHL. There were a couple of great ones in the 2015 Draft with McDavid and Eichel showing the way. That in no way reflects on Mitch Marner, Zach Werenski or others as it could be one of the best classes of all-time.
Petr Mrazek made 28 saves in the Detroit cage but came up one save short.
Marcus Foligno had seven hits in the game.
NASHVILLE 3 ARIZONA 1
Viktor Arvidsson scored the lone goal among forwards as he opened the scoring at the five minute mark of the second period with his 27th of the campaign. Then the blueliners took over as Ellis scored in the second and third periods while OEL scored on the power play to ruin the shutout bid of Pekka Rinne.
Rinne made 25 saves for his 29th win of the season. Mike Smith made 28 saves in the Arizona net.
DALLAS 1 SAN JOSE 0
I would have never thought to have taken Kari Lehtonen in Daily Fantasy, as a matter of fact, I suggested in my column that you shouldn’t.
But there he was shutting out the San Jose Sharks by making 30 saves in picking up his second shutout of the season to lead the Stars to a 1-0 win.
Curtis McKenzie picked up the winner as the fourth line did all the damage the Stars would need. McKenzie had the least amount of ice time of any Dallas player at 8:52 but made it count.
It was the only goal that Aaron Dell would allow but it was enough for the loss. It was Dell’s second loss in a row as he saw his record drop to 10-5-1.
Patrick Sharp had a big stats game with seven shots on goal as well as a couple of hits and blocked shots.
EDMONTON 2 LOS ANGELES 0
Cam Talbot was great and Connor McDavid was his usual self, which is great as the duo combined to lead the Oilers to a 2-0 win over Los Angeles. It looks like the Oilers will make the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and that has to make the citizens of Edmonton quite happy.
Talbot kicked out all 35 shots while McDavid regained sole possession of the scoring title with a pair of assists to lead the Oilers.
Jonathan Quick got the start in goal for Los Angeles after being pulled on Sunday, giving up two goals on seven shots in a loss to Calgary. He was much better on Monday as he stopped 29 shots but still took the loss as the Kings are falling further and further behind in their quest to make the post-season.
Jarome Iginla and Maroon fought with both taking roughing minors in the first before their fight in the second period.
Adam Larsson had a big game if you play the peripheral categories as he had seven hits and six blocked shots.