The New York Rangers moved within three points of first place in the Metropolitan Division as Alexandar Georgiev made a season-high 44 saves in a 2-0 win over the first-place Carolina Hurricanes on a Sunday when four of the games were won by the underdog according to the Las Vegas odds.
Chris Kreider opened the scoring with his 41st goal in the second period while the newly acquired Frank Vatrano added an empty-net goal with 42 seconds left to play.
Carolina outshot the Rangers 44-18 and had another 23 shots blocked as the Hurricanes suffered their fifth regulation home loss of the season and lost their fourth straight game overall.
It was the fourth win in the last five games for the Rangers, who became the fifth team in the Eastern Conference to win 20 road games.
Carolina (+1200) is tied for fifth in the odds to win the Stanley Cup while the Rangers’ odds are +2500.
Things ended up a little differently for the only other team currently in playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Roope Hintz scored twice and Jake Oettinger stopped 36 shots as the visiting Dallas Stars edged the Washington Capitals 3-2. Both of the goals by Hintz came on the power play.
“Led by a two-goal performance from Roope Hintz and another outstanding effort in net from Jake Oettinger, the Stars found a way to salvage a four-game road trip with a crucial win.”
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 21, 2022
Alex Ovechkin had his 40th goal for Washington, which came on the power play, while Dmitry Orlov scored midway through the third period for Washington. Ovechkin tied Wayne Gretzky for the most seasons (12) with at least 40 goals.
Washington squandered the chance to move ahead of Boston and into the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals could have suffered an even bigger loss as defenseman John Carlson took a hard fall into the boards when struck by the stick of Dallas captain Jamie Benn with 20 seconds to play. Washington coach Peter Laviolette called for the NHL to consider a suspension for Benn.
Dallas, which had lost four of its last five games, moved within a point of Vegas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“We all knew how important this game was for us,” Oettinger said. “We’ve got to keep plugging away and try to win the games in hand we have.”
Connor Sparks Jets
Jansen Harkins scored twice and Kyle Connor netted his 39th goal as the visiting Winnipeg Jets topped the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 to move two points closer to playoff position in the Western Conference. Harkins didn’t have a point in his previous 18 games while Connor scored his seventh goal in the last nine games.
A goal by Josh Morrissey late in the second period gave Winnipeg a three-goal lead. Taylor Raddysh and Philipp Kurashev scored for Chicago in the third period to make it a one-goal game before Blake Wheeler iced the game with his 10th goal with 1:09 left to play.
Rasmus Dahlin scored 48 seconds into overtime as the visiting Buffalo Sabres defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Casey Mittlestadt recorded his second goal with a goal and an assist in March after coming into the month with three points in 12 games. The win had an NHL betting line payout of +175.
J.T. Miller scored and had an assist on Bo Horvat’s tying power-play goal for Vancouver, which is tied for 10th in the Western Conference playoff race.
Rare Road Win for Flyers
Playing in their first game since trading captain Claude Giroux, the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New York Islanders 2-1 as Kevin Hayes scored twice in the second period.
Casey Cizikas’s goal in the first period gave the Islanders the early lead. The Islanders were 13-2-1 when scoring first since Jan. 1. The win kept Philadelphia out of last place in the Atlantic Division standings.
Timo Meier, Noah Gregor and Rudolfs Balcers in the final 4½ minutes as the San Jose Sharks rallied for a 4-2 win against the visiting Arizona Coyotes.
Nick Bonino also scored as San Jose snapped a three-game losing streak. Phil Kessel and Lawson Crouse scored as Arizona took a one-goal lead in the third period. Arizona has played its fourth game in a row without injured defenseman Jakob Chychrun, a subject of trade rumors.