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Eichel, Johnson helped make Tuesday a night of upsets and rallies

Buffalo Sabres v New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: Jack Eichel #15 of the Buffalo Sabres (L) celebrates his powerplay goal at 1:10 of the third period against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers and is joined by Matt Moulson #26 (R) at Madison Square Garden on January 3, 2017 in New York City. The Sabres defeated the Rangers 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Every now and then, a theme emerges, even on a busy night like Tuesday.

While it’s true that not every game was an upset, there were quite a few. And as far as the closer calls went, there were some that merely ended in surprising ways. So let’s go over the night in “lightning round” fashion.

  • ... And what better way to start a lightning round than with the Tampa Bay Lightning?

It might feel weird to call this regular contender an “underdog,” but for now it fits, particularly against a team like their 2015 Stanley Cup Final opponents, the Chicago Blackhawks. If you’re the difficult type who still grumbles as the underdog designation, at least consider how Tampa Bay won.

The Blackhawks came into the third period with a 2-1 lead, then Nikita Nesterov tied it up. Tyler Johnson then struck twice (sorry) with two goals in 30 seconds and the Lightning ended up winning 5-2.

That’s the first time the the Blackhawks lost in regulation after leading for two periods in three season, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.

  • The Buffalo Sabres have been heating up almost as much as the Nashville Predators, but it’s the way they beat them that’s an especially big upset (that and Nashville’s recent run of greater success).

Nashville took a 4-2 lead midway through the third period, but Brian Gionta and Kyle Okposo tied it up pretty late. Jack Eichel then got the OT game-winner for his 12th goal of the season. It was fantastic:

  • The Washington Capitals have been a wrecking crew, but they ran into a brick wall in Mike Condon and the Ottawa Senators, who ended their 14-game point streak with a 3-0 games. More on that and the emotions that likely drove the Sens here.
  • The way the Blues were trending down and the Penguins have been piling up wins, Pittsburgh seemed slate to cruise against St. Louis. Instead, Carter Hutton helped the Blues blank the Pens 3-0.
  • Is there hope for the New York Islanders? That question seemed more reasonable than ever as they beat the still-surprisingly-strong Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Click here for more.

Now, not every game was shocking, although one might be taken aback at how upsetting things might be for the Calgary Flames after another loss (this time a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens). The Stars also squandered a 3-on-0 rush in OT and lost to the Wild, so things were upsetting for teams in more ways than one on Tuesday.