NHL Scores: Islanders smack down Flyers' playoff hopes

Bruce Bennett

The surging New York Islanders pushed the Philadelphia Flyers closer to mathematical elimination Tuesday night.

The Philadelphia Flyers still have a chance to make the playoffs, at least in the strictest sense of the word 'chance', but you won't find too many people willing to place money on it happening.

The Flyers visited the New York Islanders for what was essentially a must-win for the Flyers to keep their dim playoff hopes alive. The Flyers responded with the same struggling, sloppy play that has been a problem for them all season long, and the Islanders -- 7-2-1 in their last ten, by the way -- won the game by a final score of 4-1.

Elsewhere in the NHL on Tuesday night, the Penguins clinched a division title, the Sharks failed to show up against the Blue Jackets, and the Blues and Blackhawks pitched twin 1-0 victories.

Read on for all the details.

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:

Flyers 1, Islanders 4

Penguins 5, Hurricanes 3

Sharks 0, Blue Jackets 4

Capitals 3, Canadiens 2

Senators 2, Lightning 3

Sabres 1, Jets 4

Blues 1, Predators 0

Blackhawks 1, Wild 0

Kings 1, Stars 5

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 Pittsburgh Penguins clinch the Atlantic Division?

The Penguins scored three goals in the third period, including one from a previously-slumping Evgeni Malkin, to triumph over the Hurricanes 5-3 and clinch their division title. They're guaranteed one of the top three spots in the East now and, given how few points the Southeast Division champion will have in comparison, almost certainly one of the top two spots.

2. Will the return of Alexander Semin and/or Justin Faulk impact the Hurricanes' performance?

Both those dudes finished the night -3 and with no points in the team's 5-3 loss so...

3. How will Steve Mason fare in his Philadelphia Flyers debut?

Mason made 28 saves on 31 shots for the Flyers. He was fine, but he isn't the magic good-luck charm the Flyers need to win with their current defense.

4. How will Ben Bishop and Cory Conacher perform in their first games against their former teams?

Ben Bishop continued his strong play since joining the Lightning, making 31 saves against his former club. Cory Conacher didn't make an impact for the Senators, unless you count crashing into Bishop midway through the game.

5. Will the Washington Capitals extend their four-game winning streak?

By winning a tough one in Montreal to keep their winning streak alive, the Capitals took a step towards countering critics who say that they aren't as good as their recent record thanks to stat-padding against weak Southeast Division opponents.

Impact Moment

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

Dany Heatley will not be able to play for the Wild in the playoffs. That could be a problem.

Stat of the Night

The Nashville Predators do not score goals:

Post to Post

More in the NHL:

Complete Frozen Four coverage

An NHL rink broken down: Sens edition

Eric Wellwood’s horrifying injury

Why puck possession matters

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