The Calgary Flames have shut down T.J. Brodie and Matthew Tkachuk for the remainder of the season as the Flames are going nowhere and the pair are still injured…The Hurricanes sent Warren Foegele back to the minors despite two goals and an assist in his first two NHL games…Jake Muzzin will miss at least the next two games with an upper body injury… Jean-Francois Berube was sent to the minors Wednesday after passing through waivers. The Blackhawks recalled Collin Delia from the minors.
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TORONTO 4 FLORIDA 3
The Toronto Maple Leafs set a couple of team records as they won their 46th of the season as well as their 27th game at home as well as putting a crimp in the playoff plans of the Florida Panthers, defeating the Cats 4-3.
It was a tough loss for Florida who remain three points behind the New Jersey Devils and now have only one game in hand.
The Maple Leafs got off to a quick 3-0 lead as Mitch Marner collected his 21st goal of the season to give Toronto the early advantage.
Auston Matthews scored his 30th of the season and that is quite an accomplishment as he has missed 20 games this year. Matthews became only the third Maple Leaf to open his career with back-to-back 30 goal campaigns, joining Wendel Clark and Daniel Marois in the Leafs record book.
Patrick Marleau’s 25th of the season gave the Maple Leafs the 3-0 lead as Marner picked up the helper.
But Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice including his 25th of the season to pull the Panthers to within one but James van Riemsdyk’s 35th of the season clinched the win for Toronto. It was van Riemsdyk’s 200th goal of his NHL career.
Evgenii Dadonov scored with the Florida cage empty and 1:26 left in the third to complete the scoring.
Frederik Andersen made 30 saves and picked up his 36th win which is a career high. He also won his 22nd at home and tied the Leafs mark first set by Turk Broda.
WASHINGTON 3 NEW YORK RANGERS 2 (Overtime)
The Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers for the second time in the last 48 hours as Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the overtime winner and added an assist in a 3-2 victory Wednesday.
After knocking off the Rangers in New York Monday, the two teams returned to Washington to play the second game of the home-and-home series where Lars Eller tied the game at 2 with only 1:05 left in the third to send the game into extra time and set up Kuznetsov’s heroics.
The Rangers got things started with Kevin Hayes scoring on the power play with his 22nd of the season. Washington got that one back with 33 seconds left in the first as Andre Burkovsky potted his 10th of the season with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie drawing the assists.
Ryan Spooner scored his 12th of the season as he has been quite the revelation since New York acquired him from the Bruins just before the trade deadline. He has three goals and 15 points in 15 games with New York but he has been slumping of late with only a goal and an assist in his last eight games including Wednesday’s contest.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 30 shots in taking the loss.
ARIZONA 3 VEGAS 2
Defenseman Kevin Connauton scored twice including the winner as the Arizona Coyotes came into Vegas and knocked off the Golden Knights 3-2.
The Golden Knights were amazing earlier in the season at home as they were 22-4-2 to start the season but are only 5-6 in their last 11 at the T-Mobile Arena.
Antti Raanta stopped 27 shots to pick up his 19th win of the season. When healthy, he has provided the Coyotes with outstanding goaltending.
Richard Panik’s 12th of the season scored the other goal for Arizona who are tied for 28th overall in the NHL standings after sitting dead last in 31st for most of the season.
William Karlsson picked up his 30th assist for Vegas and that gives him 70 points this season, after picking up only 25 all of last season for Columbus.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves in taking the loss.
PHILADELPHIA 2 COLORADO 1
Michal Neuvirth returned to action for the first time since February 18 and stopped 10-of-11 shots before leaving the game with a lower body injury. It was a lower body injury that kept him out of action for almost six weeks and while he was credited with the win in a 2-1 victory over Colorado, Neuvirth will once again be re-evaluated Thursday. The Flyers goaltending is still a mess.
Petr Mrazek was strong in relief of Neuvirth and stopped all 17 shots to get the save, or whatever stat you want to give him. Mrazek has been extremely shaky of late so this should be a boost to his confidence.
Claude Giroux opened the scoring for the Flyers in the first with Ivan Provorov picking up an assist and then Provorov scored his 15th of the season and 39th point of the campaign to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead. It was the eventual game winner.
Matt Nieto’s 14th of the season was the only shot to beat the Flyers and that happened 5:36 into the second but that ended the scoring for both sides.
Andrew Hammond got the start for the Avalanche and turned aside 31-of-33 shots in taking the loss. He was recalled from the minors as Semyon Varlamov was ill and Jonathan Bernier is still recovering from a hand injury.