There weren’t an abundance of showdowns between playoff teams among the 10 NHL games played on Thursday night but there were two that had significant playoff implications.
David Pastrnak scored three times as the Boston Bruins edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 25, 2022
Shuffle in Atlantic
Tampa Bay twice held one-goal leads on goals by recent acquisition Brandon Hagel and team captain Steven Stamkos before Pastrnak tied the game. Pastrnak’s third goal of the game and 36th of the season with 4:10 left to play gave Boston consecutive wins against Tampa for the first time since 2018 despite playing without first-line center Patrice Bergeron.
Boston moved ahead of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions in the Atlantic Division standings. Boston moved into a tie with Toronto with 85 points, although the Maple Leafs hold down second place with a game in hand. Tampa Bay has 84 points and now is the No. 1 wild card team in the Eastern Conference.
It was the sixth time in the last seven games that Tampa Bay scored two goals or less.
Hampus Lindholm had an assist in his Boston debut after the defenseman was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks. Erik Haula had assists on all three Boston goals, giving him five in the last two games.
Although the Lightning are fourth in the Atlantic Division, they have the third-best odds at +850 to win the Stanley Cup. The Bruins remain at +2000 despite having the second-best points percentage in the NHL since the start of February.
The Dallas Stars moved back into the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Scott Wedgewood stopped Vincent Trocheck, Andrei Svechnikov and Tony DeAngelo in the shootout and made 44 saves in his Dallas debut as the Stars jumped ahead of Vegas and into the second wild card spot.
The 44 saves were the most by a player making his team debut since Jon Casey’s 43 for the Minnesota North Stars during the 1983-84 season.
“I think I was a little nervous just to get going and make a good impression,” Wedgewood said.
Roope Hintz scored twice, including the tying goal midway through the third period, as Dallas won despite being outshot 47-15.
Nino Niederreiter scored twice for Carolina, which now leads the Metropolitan Division by three points.
Panthers Pad Lead
Claude Giroux had a pair of assists for his first points with his new team as the visiting Florida Panthers edged the Montreal Canadiens 4-3.
Giroux, the former captain with the Flyers, set up power-play goals by Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart for Florida, which leads the Atlantic Division by seven points.
Jake Allen had 38 saves to keep Montreal in the game.
The New York Islanders continued on their hot streak with a 5-2 win over the visiting Detroit Red Wings to improve to 7-1-1 in the last nine games.
Brock Nelson scored twice, Anders Lee had three assists and Ilya Sorokin stopped 37 of 39 shots.
The Islanders are tied with Boston and Florida for the most points (17) in the month of March.
Sam Gagner and Pius Suter had goals for Detroit, which ranks last in the NHL with 4.36 goals allowed per game in the month of March.
Evgenii Dadonov had a goal and two assists as the Vegas Golden Knights rolled to a 6-1 win against the visiting Nashville Predators.
Dadonov was recently traded to Anaheim but the deal was negated by the NHL because Anaheim was one of the teams on Dadonov’s no-trade list. Dadonov has four goals and two assists in his last three games, all wins by the Golden Knights.
Vegas scored three times on the power play and had nine shots on goal on five power-play opportunities. Vegas failed to score in its previous two games and those who bet online and banked on the Golden Knights scoring at least five times were rewarded with a moneyline of +400.
Filip Forsberg had the only goal for Nashville and Roman Josi extended his points streak to 12 games with an assist on the goal. Forsberg was also involved in a scary moment in the game as he was engaged with Vegas forward Brett Howden in a battle for the puck. Howden went into the boards headfirst and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said after the game that Howden has full movement and was listed as being in stable condition in the hospital.
Flyers End Road Drought
Travis Konecny scored twice while Hayden Hodgson had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut as the visiting Philadelphia Flyers defeated the St. Louis Blues to snap a 13-game winless streak on the road and pick up their first away win in 2022. The win had an NHL betting line payout of +210.
First career NHL Game: ✅
First career NHL Assist: ✅
First career NHL Goal: ✅
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 25, 2022
“I’ll say we were due, that’s for sure,” interim Flyers coach Mike Yeo said.
Kevin Hayes and Cam York had two assists each for the Flyers while Alexi Toropchenko scored for the second time in three games. Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for the Blues.
The Minnesota Wild tightened things up in the Central Division as Joel Eriksson Ek scored in overtime in a 3-2 win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks. Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala also had goals for Minnesota, which is 6-1-1 in its last eight games.
Cam Talbot made 26 saves as he won his seventh straight start. Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller had goals for Vancouver.
Leon Draisaitl scored twice in the Edmonton Oilers‘ 5-2 win over the visiting San Jose Sharks.
Connor McDavid, the NHL’s leading scorer, had two assists and Kailer Yamamoto added a goal and an assist as Edmonton strengthened its hold on third place in the Pacific Division. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returned after missing the last 12 games for Edmonton.
Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks. San Jose’s Logan Couture left the game and did not return after being hit by a teammate’s shot.
California native Collin Delia had 43 saves and stopped all three shots in the shootout as the visiting Chicago Blackhawks edged the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 to pick up his first win of the season against the team that he grew up cheering for. It was Delia’s first start since Jan. 1 and first appearance since Feb. 2.
Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist as well as the deciding tally in the shootout while Patrick Kane also had a goal and an assist for his third straight multi-point game for Chicago.
Phillip Danault had two goals as he topped the 20-goal mark for the first time in nine NHL seasons and Sean Durzi had three assists for Los Angeles, which outshot Chicago 46-31.
The visiting Ottawa Senators scored three times in a span of 3:15 en route to a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The three-goal win carried a Las Vegas odds payout of +1400.
Brady Tkachuk scored twice for Ottawa, which won just its 11th road game of the season. Tim Stutzle had two assists, giving him 12 points in his last 11 games, while defenseman Michael Del Zotto also had a pair of assists.
Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey had the goals for Winnipeg.