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The Buzzer: Merzlikins comes up big vs. Tampa; Predators keep rolling

elvis merzlikins

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 30: Goalie Elvis Merzlikins #90 and David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrate the win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on March 30, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images


1. Elvis Merzlikins, Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus goaltender picked up his third win in his last six starts after stopping 37 of 38 Lightning shots during a 3-1 win. The 37 saves, which included 20 in the second period, were a season-high for the 26-year-old. Tampa has now lost three in a row for the first time since Feb. 2020.

2. Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers

The Bread Man had a big night in New York’s come-from-behind 5-2 win over the Capitals. Down 2-0 after only 4:22, the Rangers fought back scoring four times in the third period. Panarin assisted on Kaapo Kakko’s tying goal and Adam Fox’s go-ahead goal, while later adding an insurance marker to help seal the win.

3. Eeli Tolvanen, Predators

The Nashville rookie extended his point streak to six games with a goal and an assist during their 3-2 overtime win over the Stars. Tolvanen’s goal came at the most important time of the game -- in overtime:


• Carter Verhaeghe scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 35 shots during a 4-1 Panthers win over the Red Wings.

• Carey Price needed only 16 saves to beat Edmonton and record first shutout of the season and the 49th of his NHL career.

• Kevin Lankinen made 31 saves and won for the third time in four starts as the Blackhawks topped the Hurricanes 2-1.

• David Savard scored a goal in the Blue Jackets’ win. It was significant because his last goal came exactly two years ago -- March 30, 2019.

• Craig Smith and David Krejci each had three assists as the Bruins came back to beat the Devils in a shootout, 5-4.


• Fox’s go-ahead goal was of the highlight-reel variety:

• Brad Marchand, off the COVID list due to a false positive, was out making friends tonight:

• Meanwhile, Tom Wilson was doing Tom Wilson things:

• Bad news keeps coming for the Panthers. Two days after losing Aaron Ekblad for the season, the Cats will be without Anthony Duclair for the next 7-10 days after this crash into the end boards:


Blue Jackets 3, Lightning 1
Panthers 4, Red Wings 1
Rangers 5, Capitals 2
Canadiens 4, Oilers 0
Bruins 5, Devils 4 (SO)
Blackhawks 2, Hurricanes 1
Predators 3, Stars 2 (OT)


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.