NHL Scores: Maple Leafs can smell playoffs after win over Rangers

USA TODAY Sports

Phil Kessel's game-winning goal all but sealed a playoff spot for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Remember a week or so ago when Canadians were really excited about both the Oilers and the Maple Leafs making the playoffs? (Okay, maybe not all of Canada, but you get the idea.)

That was fun while it lasted. While Edmonton continues to fade off into the rearview mirror in the West, Toronto is abuzz with playoff fever after a huge win over New York on Monday. Between Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri, the Maple Leafs are going to be one fun (and dangerous) team to watch this spring.

And the Oilers? Well, I hear the draft is deep this year.

All The NHL Scores

Get caught up on Monday'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 6, Hurricanes 1

Maple Leafs 4, Rangers 3

Flames 3, Avalanche 1

Canucks 2, Coyotes 0

Ducks 2, Oilers 1

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. How is Justin Schultz's return to Anaheim going to go?

It was a rather quiet night for Schultz on the scoresheet, but the boos rained down on him whenever he touched the puck. Ultimately, with the Ducks' win, Schultz got to see first-hand what he gave up when he left the Ducks for the Oilers. Anaheim is barreling towards the second seed in the West while the Oilers are fading out of the playoff race again. Sure, the Oilers are young and will eventually reach their high potential. But right now the stark difference between the two clubs has to sting for Schultz. Especially when Ducks fans hate you this much:

Screen_shot_2013-04-08_at_9

2. How will Ryan Kesler perform in his return?

Kesler scored just 7:26 into his return, poking in a rebound off of Mike Smith to give Vancouver an early lead. I'm no doctor, but it looked like Kesler wasn't favoring his right foot at all during the game.

3. Will the Phoenix Coyotes extend their three-game winning streak?

Mike Smith tried his damnedest with 40 saves, but couldn't keep the Coyotes from cracking a playoff spot.

4. Will Ryan Getzlaf play against the Oilers? If so, how effective will he be?

Getzlaf did not suit up on Monday. But Radek Dvorak did! And he scored! Twice! So the Ducks didn't miss him too much.

5. Will Rick Nash continue his two-game scoring streak?

He did... with two goals! Nash pulled off two vintage power-move Nash goals and was easily the Rangers' best player on the ice on Monday. His imposing game in the offensive zone set the tone for New York, but the Rangers' sloppy play in their own end cost them the win.

Impact Moment

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

Toronto is about to explode.

Stat of the Night

The Hurricanes are 5-12-1 without Cam Ward (and 1-11-1 in their last 13 games). #danellisproblems

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

The best of our hockey network

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