NHL Scores: Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs extend winning streaks

Kirk Irwin

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs are the two hottest teams in the NHL right now. Bet you didn't see that coming. Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks finally lost a home game in regulation.

Another night, another win for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Yes, this is really happening.

The Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to a franchise record seven games on Tuesday night, and their latest win may have been the most impressive of the bunch as they knocked off one of the top teams in the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings, in rather convincing fashion with a 5-3 win at Nationwide Arena.

R.J. Umberger scored two goals in the win while Nathan Horton continued to make an impact, adding his third goal of the season since making his debut with the team.

With the win Columbus keeps its claim on the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and is now just three points behind the New York Rangers for the No. 2 spot in the Metropolitan Division with three games in hand.

The Blue Jackets aren't the only team that's stringing together wins right now.

The Maple Leafs extended their current winning streak to six games with a 5-2 win in Colorado and are quickly gaining ground on the Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division playoff race. Phil Kessel scored two more goals in the win to give him 26 on the year. Nathan MacKinnon was the lone bright spot for Colorado as he scored two goals of his own and did a heck of a job controlling the puck.

Elsewhere, the Anaheim Ducks finally lost a home game in regulation (they're now 20-1-2 at home for the season), dropping a 3-2 decision to the Winnipeg Jets, while Mikhail Grabovski tried to rip Zack Smith's face off in Washington.

The Hurricanes and Flyers were snowed out and will make up their game on Wednesday in Philadelphia.

All the NHL Scores

Hurricanes-Flyers, postponed

Panthers 4, Sabres 3

Devils 7, Blues 1

Islanders 5, Rangers 3

Senators 2, Capitals 0

Blue Jackets 5, Kings 3

Stars 4, Wild 0

Maple Leafs 5, Avalanche 2

Canucks 2, Oilers 1

Jets 3, Ducks 2

Five Questions

On Tuesday we asked you five burning questions about the days games. These are your cool, soothing answers
1. How will the Canucks do without John Tortorella behind the bench?

They won a game in regulation for just the second time in 11 games. Not only were the Canucks without their coach, they also had the rare experience of playing a game without center Henrik Sedin as he missed his first game since the 2003-04 season, snapping what had been a 679 consecutive games streak. The Canucks were still able to get the win thanks to goals from Zach Kassian and Kellen Lain. You might remember Lain from Saturday night when he was ejected two seconds into his NHL debut in the game brouhaha that led to Tortorella's six-game suspension.

2. Will Alex Ovechkin play for Washington?

He did not play thanks to a lower body injury, missing his third game of the season and it was pretty clear that the Capitals missed him as they were shutout by the Ottawa Senators. That had their fans seeing red.

3. Will there be any carryover from Jamie Benn's hit on Matt Cooke?

There were quite a few penalty minutes in this game, but nothing really out of the ordinary as it relates to the Benn-Cooke incident from Saturday night. The most outrageous thing to come out of this game was Minnesota goalie Darcy Kuemper throwing his stick to prevent a goal, and then giving up a beautiful goal to Jordie Benn on the ensuing penalty shot.

4. Will Cam Talbot allow more than two goals?

For just the third time this season a team managed to get more than two shots past the Rangers' goalie. Talbot received the start in place of Henrik Lundqvist who has been a bit under the weather, and he went on to surrender four goals in the Rangers' 5-3 loss (the fifth goal was an empty net goal) that wasted Rick Nash's two-goal effort.

5. Will the Columbus Blue Jackets extend their winning streak to seven games?

They did with their aforementioned 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. You can't stop the Blue Jackets at this point, you can only hope to contain them.

Impact Moment

The one play or moment from Tuesday that will be making headlines over the next couple of days.

Just because it came in a losing effort doesn't make it any less significant, but Rick Nash scored two more goals for the Rangers and is on quite a roll right now. Nash has scored nine goals in his past nine games and is showing why team Canada officials wanted him on their team for the Sochi Olympics. The shots and chances were there for Nash all season but he just wasn't getting anything to bounce his way (as the lowest shooting percentage of his career showed). Now they are, and that can only be a good thing for the Rangers. And team Canada.

Stat of the Night

The New Jersey Devils scored seven goals on Tuesday night and did so against the third-best defensive team in the league. Before Tuesday the Devils hadn't scored seven goals in a game since April 10, 2010. Among the goal-scorers for New Jersey was Jaromir Jagr as he put in career goal No. 697 as he continues his quest for 700.

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