NHL scores: Ducks win thrilling Chicago showdown

USA TODAY Sports

The Western Conference playoff race was front and center on Wednesday night.

It was a Western Conference-heavy schedule on Wednesday night, which made for some tantalizing drama. The Ducks and Blackhawks matchup more than lived up to its hype (#TeemuForever) and a brutal loss by Dallas opened the door for the Sharks to take hold of a playoff spot. Read on to find out more.

All The NHL Scores

Get caught up on Tuesday's NHL scores with recaps from our network of SB Nation team blogs. Here's a quick glance at the full night of action:

Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 2

Wild 4, Red Wings 2

Avalanche 4, Stars 3

Sharks 4, Oilers 3 (SO)

Ducks 4, Blackhawks 2

Five Answers

Prior to last night's games, we presented five burning questions regarding the night's action. Here are your cool, soothing answers.

1. Will the Chicago Blackhawks exact revenge on the Anaheim Ducks?

After their 4-2 win on Wednesday, the Anaheim Ducks are the only team in the NHL to beat the Blackhawks twice this season. The game more than lived up to its hype, as the two teams played a physical, back-and-forth battle that just showed how exciting they are to watch this season. It also just hammered home the point that the Ducks and Blackhawks are the class of the NHL right now.

2. Will Patrick Kane be double-shifted more with Marian Hossa out of the lineup?

Kane received a ridiculous 25:21 of ice time, by far and away the leader among Blackhawks forwards. It's a testament to the kind of shape he's in right now that he didn't just wilt by the end of the game. Instead, he was all over the ice from start to finish, even pickpocketing a Duck defenseman late in the third period. It's safe to say, however, that he can't be expected to put out that kind of effort and energy every night. They need Hossa back.

3. Who will be in eighth place in the Western Conference at the end of the night?

That would be the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks managed to steal two points from the Oilers in a shootout and now lead Phoenix and Columbus by two points in the playoff race. Dallas was the only team of the three to come away with no points at all after blowing a winnable game against the Avalanche.

4. Can the Detroit Red Wings extend their winning streak to three games?

Detroit fell hard to the Wild on Wednesday, suffering a 4-2 loss at home. Detroit was stung by a bad no-goal call early in the game and struggled to keep up with Minnesota from that point on.

5. Will James Reimer allow fewer than four goals?

Considering how potent Tampa Bay's offense is and how much of a sieve Reimer has been lately, it's a little surprising that Reimer managed to keep the Lightning to a mere two goals. But for as solid as his team was in front of him, Reimer was just as impressive in front of the net, stopping 26 of 28 shots.

Impact Moment

What moment from last night's games will be making headlines in the coming days?

Joffrey Lupul will probably earn some sort of suspension after this headshot on Victor Hedman.

Stat of the Night

So, Teemu Selanne is still pretty good:

Post to Post

More in the NHL:

Let's name the new divisions!

Printable bracket for March Madness

Trading Marian Gaborik?

All the NHL trade rumors

The best of our hockey network

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