Every passing night in the NHL the games take on a more playoff-esque vibe. Harder hits. More desperate shots. Bigger goal celebrations.
And it's little wonder why, with the league barreling through the calendar straight toward the looming Stanley Cup Playoffs. Monday was no different than the past couple of weeks: the intensity was stronger and the atmosphere more tense than usual. The tilt between the Blackhawks and Kings set the tone for the entire evening. Back-and-forth hockey. Wild saves. Coast-to-coast dekes. Last-second goals. Exactly how we fans like it.
Our very own March Madness.
Anyways, let's get on to the action you might've missed if you were sleeping under a rock.
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:
Bruins 3, Maple Leafs 2 (SO)
Wild 7, Stars 4
Prior to last night's games, we presented five burning questions regarding the night's action. Here are your cool, soothing answers.
The Bruins didn't quite take the lead in the Northeast from the Canadiens, but they caught up with them in points. A very tired Boston team will get Tuesday off and then will take on Montreal at the TD Garden Wednesday. They'll need the rest. The last time these two teams met was one of the most physical games of the year in the NHL. As for the Wild, they did manage to catch the Canucks and take the top spot in the division.
2. How will Joffrey Lupul perform in his first game back from suspension?
Yup. Another game, another goal for the Leafs' spark plug. Lupul now has four goals in three games since returning from a broken arm.
3. Who will be in eighth place in the Western Conference at the end of the night?
And the winner is ... Nashville? The Predators took the most unlikely route to the eighth spot thanks to a win of their own, a Sharks win and a Dallas loss. The race for eighth is still very much alive. Neither of those three teams have proven they can win consistently at all this season. Expect the eighth spot to get passed around like a hot potato right up until the end of the regular season.
4. How will Dallas perform in their first game without Brenden Morrow?
Awful. Not because they didn't have Brenden Morrow, mind you. The Stars simply made way too many turnovers and it cost them. Kari Lehtonen is usually counted on to clean up those mistakes, but he was having yet another off night. It's another frustrating loss for the Stars.
5. Will the Wild extend their five-game winning streak?
Not only did they extend their streak, but they also accomplished something they haven't in a long, long time.
For first time in 3,657 days, #mnwild wins in Dallas. Parade is Tuesday in St. Paul.— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) March 25, 2013
What moment from last night's games will be making headlines in the coming days?
Tampa Bay hired Jon Cooper as their eighth head coach in franchise history.
Stat of the Night
Take out Tyler Bozak and the Leafs are 0 for 17 in the shootout this year. Zero. For. Seventeen.— Jeff Veillette (@Jeffler) March 23, 2013
Post to Post
- Where is Kari Lehtonen?
- Why the Hawks should get Jarome Iginla.
- The Jon Cooper hire takes some of the heat off of Stevie Y.
- Finally, we have achieved GIF perfection.