NHL recap: Panthers prevail in opposition to rival Lightning

April 17, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; The Florida Panthers Center Frank Vatrano (77) and the Florida Panthers Center Alex Wennberg (21) fight for control of the puck on the boards in the second round at the Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Vatrano scored his sixth winning goal as team leader when the Florida Panthers beat hosts Tampa Bay Lightning and the league’s top goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy 5-3 on Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Vatrano pulled in and defeated Vasilevskiy – the NHL leader with 26 wins – with a backhand blow in the second half when Lightning’s netminder suffered a defeat on home ice for the first time in 15 games this season.

Brandon Montour scored his first goal with his new team after being taken over by Buffalo. Patric Hornqvist, Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair also scored goals. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 of 31 shots when Florida finished its road trip with a 2-3-1 mark after a winning streak of six games.

Brayden Point from Tampa Bay, Erik Cernak and Mathieu Joseph scored goals. Victor Hedman’s two assists pushed him over 400 for his career with the Lightning, who are 16: 5: 0 at home. Vasilevskiy (26-7-1) made 27 saves in 31 shots.

Coyotes 3, Blues 2

Michael Bunting scored the winning goal when hosts Arizona got past St. Louis in Glendale, Arizona and battled for last place in the West Division playoffs.

The Coyotes erased a 2-0 deficit to end a five-game losing streak and move one point past the Blues to fourth. The Blues, who lost two games in a row, played two games fewer than the Coyotes.

Clayton Keller and Alex Goligoski also scored goals for the Coyotes, who beat the Blues 5-1 to win their season. Coyotes goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves on his first appearance since March 8. Tyler Bozak and Sammy Blais scored one goal for the Blues, and Jordan Binnington scored 26 saves.

Stars 5, blue jackets 1

Dallas drove a four-goal breakout late in the second half in a home win over Columbus.

Jamie Benn, Denis Gurianov, Joe Pavelski, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell all collected a goal and an assist for the win. The goalkeeper Jake Oettinger scored 21 saves for the stars, who roll the dice 4: 0: 2.

Vladislav Gavrikov scored the only goal for the losing side. Starting goalkeeper Joonas Korpisalo stopped 12 of 16 shots before being pulled in favor of Elvis Merzlikins. Merzlikins scored 15 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost five games in a row and are in a 2-10-2 slump.

Wild 5, Sharks 2

Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist as Minnesota beat San Jose’s visit to Minneapolis and spoiled the record breaking night of the shark Patrick Marleau.

Joel Eriksson Ek, Zach Parise, Kirill Kaprisov and Nico Sturm also scored goals for the Wild, who won their third game in a row and improved to 4-1-1 in their last six games. Goalkeeper Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves. Brent Burns and Joel Kellman scored a goal for the Sharks and Martin Jones stopped 19 of 24 shots before being drawn after the second half.

Marleau, the 41-year-old center, played in his 1,767. NHL game of his career and thus linked the league record held by Gordie Howe. Marleau received an ovation from the Minnesota hockey crowd when play was suspended eight minutes into the first period.

Senators 4, Canadiens 0

Drake Batherson had two goals and an assist to lead Ottawa to a win over Montreal.

Matt Murray made 23 saves in the 12th shutout of his NHL career and for the first time since a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars on October 26, 2019 when he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Senators have not had a shutout this season.

Carey Price returned from a six-game absence with a lower body injury, scoring eleven saves for the Canadiens, who are fourth in the North Division, six points from fifth in the Calgary Flames.

Rangers 6, Devils 3

Pavel Buchnevich collected a hat trick for hosts New York on his birthday, which stayed red hot with a win over New Jersey.

The hat trick was the first in the NHL for Buchnevich, who turned 26 on Saturday. He is the first Rangers player to score a hat trick on his birthday, the 14th in NHL history and the second this month. Viktor Arvidsson did this on his 28th birthday for the Nashville Predators on April 8th.

Ryan Strome, Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider also scored a goal on Saturday for the Rangers, who have won the first three games of a four-game series against the Devils and have won 7-2 against four points in their last 10 games the idle Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the East Division.

Capitals 6, Flyer 3

Captain Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and an assist to help Washington beat hosts Philadelphia.

Evgeny Kuznetsov added one goal and two assists, and Conor Sheary, Anthony Mantha and defender Dmitry Orlov also scored goals for the Capitals, who have beaten the Flyers five times in a row. Defender John Carlson set four goals for his first career with four assists.

Defenders Ivan Provorov, James van Riemsdyk and Wade Allison each scored one goal and captain Claude Giroux made two assists for the Flyers.

Penguins 3, sabers 2

Visiting Pittsburgh scored two goals in the second half and then prevailed against Buffalo, who was officially eliminated from the playoffs with the defeat.

Jared McCann, Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust scored a goal for the Penguins, who were 3-1 ahead after two seasons.

Days Thompson and Casey Mittelstadt each scored a goal for the Sabers, who have not played any playoffs since 2010/11.

Hurricanes 3, Predators 1

Jani Hakanpaa drew in just his second game with Carolina in the third half against Nashville in Raleigh, NC

Hakanpaa came on board with the Anaheim Ducks on a trading Monday. The defender hadn’t scored in any of his 42 Ducks appearances this season. Goalkeeper Alex Nedeljkovic made 27 saves for the Hurricanes, who finished their longest homestand of the season with a 5-2-1 record.

Nashville goalkeeper Juuse Saros stopped 45 shots. The Predators lost consecutive games for the first time in a series of three games March 9-13, with two of those setbacks occurring in Carolina.

Oilers 3, Jets 0

Tyson Barrie collected a goal and an assist and goalkeeper Mike Smith recorded the shutout to give Edmonton a shutout win over Winnipeg.

Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson also scored goals for the Oilers, who had a week between games. Smith counted only 26 saves to record his third shutout of the season and 42nd of his career. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each added two templates.

Goalkeeper Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22 shots for the Jets, who looked very much like a tired team after three games in four nights and skating in their first home game after a long road trip.

Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 0

Patrick Kane scored one goal and one assist and Malcolm Subban turned down all 29 shots he had in front of him to help Chicago beat Detroit.

Alex DeBrincat, Pius Suter and defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk also did well, and Vinnie Hinostroza set up three assists for the Blackhawks, who retaliated a 4-1 setback against the Red Wings on Thursday. Chicago ended the season by winning six of its eight games against Detroit.

Jonathan Bernier turned 23 shots aside for the Red Wings, who went 6-0 in the power game. In Detroit, the season’s high streak ended with three wins after being faded out for the sixth time in 2020-21.

– Field level media

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