Maybe it's a case of too little, too late, but the New York Islanders are doing everything they can to work back into playoff contention.
They're certainly playing in the right division for it.
With their 2-1 overtime win in Colorado on Friday, the Islanders are now 8-2-1 in their past 11 games and are trying to dig themselves out of the hole they put themselves in with an 11-game losing streak earlier this season. Following their win on Friday they're still nine points back of a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division, but with the way these teams are leapfrogging each other every night and beating each other up, maybe they can at least make it a little interesting.
Elsewhere, the Maple Leafs continued their recent slide with a 3-2 loss in Washington, the St. Louis Blues had their seven-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss in Vancouver, and the Penguins let two different leads (2-0 and 3-2) slip away in the third period of their 4-3 overtime loss in Edmonton.
All the NHL Scores
Rangers 3, Stars 2
Capitals 3, Maple Leafs 2
Blue Jackets 3, Hurricanes 0
Islanders 2, Avalanche 1
Oilers 4, Penguins 3
Canucks 2, Blues 1
On Friday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will Jake Gardiner be a healthy scratch?
After sitting out Toronto's 6-1 loss to Carolina on Thursday, Gardiner was back in the lineup on Friday in Washington and he even played 19:33 for the Maple Leafs. Unfortunately for Toronto it didn't make much of a difference as it was another check mark in the loss column. It was actually one of the Maple Leafs' best efforts in recent weeks, but that's reaching for moral victories right now at a time when Toronto needs real victories. They could find themselves in 12th place in the Eastern Conference after Saturday.
2.Does the Jeff Skinner show continue?
It did not, because the Hurricanes ran into a brick wall wearing a Sergei Bobrovsky jersey. The Hurricanes fired 36 shots at the Columbus goalie, including a game-high seven from Skinner, but none of them made their way into the back of the net in a 3-0 loss.
3. Can Eddie Lack step up in Roberto Luongo's absence?
Lack played a really strong game in net for the Canucks, stopping 30 of the 31 shots he faced. It was a nice bounce back game for him and the Canucks after letting a late two-goal lead slip away against Pittsburgh earlier this week.
4. Will John Tavares record three or more points?
He actually recorded no points for the Islanders, but it didn't stop them from surviving a brush with the blinding speed of No. 1 overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon and coming away with a 2-1 overtime win on the road.
5. Can the Rangers continue to dominate third periods?
If scoring the game-winning goal in the final two minutes of regulation counts as dominating, then sure, you can put it on the board as another strong third period. This was a big one for the Rangers, and even more for Rick Nash as he finally broke through with a big goal. And what a goal it was as he was falling backwards onto his butt.
The one play or moment from Friday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
Just the fact that Rick Nash came through for the Rangers was huge. He described his goal as 30 percent skill and 70 percent luck, but sometimes you need a little luck in the NHL and it's something that hasn't been on Nash's side at times this season. He's been getting his chances, but nothing has been going in for him recently. Maybe a goal like that is the type of break he needs to get going again and lead to a few more pucks finding their way to the back of the net.
Stat of the Night
Even though he's only played in 27 games this season, there are only five defensemen in the NHL with more goals than Kris Letang this season. His power-play goal on Friday night in Edmonton was his eighth goal of the season.
Post to Post
- Hey referee, get out of the way and let John Erskine and Dion Phaneuf fight. If you don't, Erskine will move you.
- What drives the Los Angeles Kings' shot differential?
- Ryan Reaves signed a four-year contract extension with the St. Louis Blues.
- Introducing the Winter Olympic hockey power rankings. Go Latvia!