NHL Scores And More: Say Goodbye To The 2010-11 New Jersey Devils

After a miraculous second half run, their third loss in four games seems to have put the Devils on ice. Elsewhere, the Caps and Flyers did battle in Philly and Buffalo bounced back from a tough loss.

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Capitals Vs. Flyers: Washington Halts Philly Comeback, Squeaks By With Shootout Win

It's not often that two bitter rivals in the middle of a serious playoff race each leave a head-to-head matchup with smiles on their faces, but that's exactly what happened on Tuesday night in Philadelphia following the Washington Capitals 5-4 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Caps chased rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky early in the second period when Dennis Wideman scored a fluky goal from the point. That goal made the score 3-0, and it looked as though Washington was going to run away with two points. But Philadelphia fought back on goals from Kris Versteeg, Claude Giroux and Andreas Nodl to tie the score, and with about five minutes left in the third period, Danny Briere gave them their first lead of the hockey game.

From there, it looked like the home team would be the ones walking away with the two points and a stranglehold on the East's top spot, but Marcus Johansson scored with just over three minutes remaining to tie the score yet again and send the game into overtime. After a scoreless OT period, all three Caps shooters scored in the shootout to take the extra point.

You'd expect the Capitals to be furious with their giant blown lead in this one, but instead, after the game, the focus was on the character it took to stay focused after going down 4-3 late. In the Philadelphia locker room, you'd expect the Flyers to be angry with their poor start and the fact that they couldn't seal the deal late, but ultimately, they were satisfied with their overall effort and the resilience it took to battle back from a big deficit.

Now, the race is basically in the same place it was a day ago, minus the fact that Washington officially clinched a playoff berth by picking up the two points. The Flyers are still in first with two games in hand and the Caps are slightly closer, still on their heels. It should be an interesting two weeks at the top of the East. 

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Devils Vs. Bruins: New Jersey's Playoff Hopes Put On Ice After Another Loss

We can finally put the miraculous second half run of the New Jersey Devils on ice. With their 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, the Devils have suddenly fallen into a hole they won't be able to climb out of with only nine games left in the regular season. 

Ilya Kovalchuk opened the scoring for New Jersey 11 minutes into the first period with a power play tally, but to the chagrin of the visiting team and to the joy of the home fans at TD Garden, the Bruins would reel off the next four goals en route to the win.

Hoping for a miracle late, Martin Brodeur was pulled in favor of an extra attacker, but with 40 seconds left, the Devils' fate was sealed when Mark Recchi potted an empty netter. The Devils fell to 12th in the East with the loss and they'd now need to gain nine points in nine games just to catch eighth-place Buffalo. That's... not going to happen. The miraculous run is over. 

For Boston, the win gave them a vital lift over the Montreal Canadiens, who fell 2-0 to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. That stretches the Bruins lead in the Northeast Division, good for the 3rd seed in the East overall, to three points with two games in hand. 

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Sabres Vs. Canadiens: Nathan Gerbe Scores Twice As Buffalo Rebounds, Wins 2-0

After blowing a big lead in Nashville over the weekend, Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres came back with a vengeance against the division-rival Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Miller stopped all 31 shots he faced as Buffalo beat the Habs, 2-0, to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a seriously important two points. Nathan Gerbe scored both goals for the Sabres, which included an empty netter late in the third.

It's even more important given the fact that ninth-place Carolina held up with a 4-3 win against the Ottawa Senators, meaning that Buffalo holds on to the three-point edge they hold on the final playoff spot. 

Elsewhere in the NHL...

Hurricanes 4, Senators 3: As mentioned, the Canes topped the Senators on four straight goals after falling in an early 2-0 hole. Erik Karlsson brought the Sens within one with about five minutes left, but that was all she wrote.

Predators 3, Oilers 1: David Legwand and Ryan Suter each had multi-point nights as Nashville won again to gain some more breathing space in the Western playoff race. They've played more games than most of the competition, but they're three points north of the eighth spot as things stand after Tuesday's action.

Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 4 (SO): With this win, the Avs snapped a stretch of 0-9-1 in their previous 10. Yawn.

Islanders 5, Lightning 2: Of all the teams in the thick of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, Tampa and fellow middle-dweller Montreal were the only ones to lose a game on Tuesday night. The Isles netted five against their old friend, Dwayne Roloson and Al Montoya made 36 saves for in one of the most bizarre role reversals we've seen all year.

Coyotes 2, Blues 1: More points for Phoenix. Lauri Korpikoski and Radim Vrbata each contributed to the Coyotes two second period goals, erasing a Blues lead and moving within a point of San Jose for the Pacific lead in the process.

Rangers 1, Panthers 0: Goalie duel? Goalie duel. Henrik Lundqvist stole one for the Rangers, making 22 saves on 22 shots. Brandon Dubinsky scored the only goal of the evening on Tomas Vokoun, who made 32 saves in the loss.

Leafs 3, Wild 0: In a battle of recently deposed playoff contenders (okay, not officially, but let's be real about it), the Leafs put the Wild down even further in the dumps with a convincing shutout win. They only put 17 pucks on the Minnesota net, but James Reimer made 29 saves in the Toronto crease.

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