Hockey News

Summary of NHL games, Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Florida Panthers posted a crucial victory that puts them among the clubs drafted for the playoffs in the East with a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabers on Tuesday.

This victory combined with the loss of Pittsburgh before New Jersey relegates the Penguins out of the portrait of the playoffs and gives a point lead to the Panthers who are on an equal footing with the Islanders of New York. The three clubs each played 78 games. Panthers and Islanders have 87 points.

It was Matthew Tkachuk’s 39th goal of the season 59 seconds into the third period that secured the victory for the Panthers.

Aaron Ekblad’s goal tied Florida in the first period on a power play. The goal was the 49th by a Panthers defenseman, which ranks them second behind Carolina backs.

Dylan Cozens had put the Sabers ahead in the first period.

Montreal goaltender Devon Levi made his second career start. He faced 36 shots.

 

The stunner for the Flames?

Andreas Athanasiou scored twice, Petr Mrazek made 32 saves, and the Chicago Blackhawks dealt the Calgary Flames a 4-3 win.

It was quite possibly the Albertans’ last hope of making the playoffs.

The Flames had won their most recent four games to move within two points of the Winnipeg Jets and the last playoff spot in the West.

They end their evening with the same gap, in addition to having one less game to play than the team they are chasing (78 against 77).

Jacob Markstrom was beaten four times on 23 shots by the Hawks, who are last in the overall standings, and who had previously lost eight straight games in regulation.

Besides Athanasiou, Jujhar Khaira and Austin Wagner also scored for Chicago.

The Flames’ cue in the loss came from Tyler Toffoli, Noah Hanifin and Mikael Backlund.

Toffoli added a 34e net on his record, he who now has a harvest of 72 points in 78 games.

 

The Preds don’t give up

Cody Glass scored on the power play after 3:30 of overtime as the Nashville Predators beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Tuesday.

This victory allows the Predators to continue to believe in their chances of participating in the playoffs.

Jonathan Marchessault tripped Philip Tomasino in the slot to give the Predators a power play in overtime. The latter needed only 37 seconds before seeing Glass register his 14th goal of the season, beating Golden Knights goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Tommy Novak had his third two-goal game of the season, in addition to getting an assist on the game-winning goal. Novak has had at least one point in 46 of his games for the Predators this season. Kevin Lankinen stopped 30 shots.

Going into the game, the Predators were five points behind the Jets for the final playoff spot, but had played one game less.

Alex Pietrangelo tied a personal best with two goals in the second period. The Golden Knights snapped a two-game winning streak. Quick finished the game with 24 saves.

Novak gave his team a 2-0 lead after 13:08 of play. The latter beat Quick with a backhand shot after 6:50 of play, before scoring again, this time from the corner from the left circle on a power play deflection.

Egor Afanasyev nearly scored his first NHL goal to give the Predators a 3-0 lead, but the goal was disallowed after the puck was kicked out by defenseman Tyson Barrie.

Pietrangelo took advantage of a puck that bounced off opposing defenseman Kevin Gravel to score his 10th goal of the season, 6:00 into the game.

He then tied the game with his second goal of the game, earning his eighth career two-goal game after 13:39 of action.

 

No problem for the Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs extended their lead to second place in the Atlantic Division with a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Zach Aston-Reese led the charge offensively with two goals to help Toronto extend their standings lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning to six points.

Jet Greaves had a busy NHL baptism with 46 saves for the Jackets.

Alexander Kerfoot and Auston Matthews, for his part in an empty net, also scored for the Leafs in the victory. Returning to action after missing two games with an upper body injury, Jack Roslovic flashed the red light.

Joseph Woll made 24 saves in front of the Maple Leafs goal.

SEE ALSO:  NHL: The Florida Panthers are perfect in overtime with seven straight wins
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