NHL Wrap: Isles win, inch closer to playoffs

NHL Wrap: Isles win, inch closer to playoffs
April 17, 2013, 12:45 am
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Michael Grabner scored two goals in the Islanders' 5-2 victory over the Panthers. (USA Today Images)

CSNPhilly.com/AP

The Flyers kept their slim playoff chances alive on Tuesday night with a 4-2 victory over the Rangers (see recap).

They can thank goalie Steve Mason, who recorded 38 saves in his home debut.

“Yeah, it was an important game for myself and the team,” Mason said. “As a hockey player, you want to be part of it. It was a must-win. A playoff race with them being the eighth playoff spot right now. It was a good performance to win.”

Now, here's a quick recap of the other action Tuesday night in the NHL:

Islanders win, move closer to playoff berth
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Michael Grabner scored twice and Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves as the New York Islanders moved closer to a playoff berth with a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Playing before a boisterous crowd at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders earned their ninth time in 12 games while playing their final regular-season home game. The Islanders, 10-11-3 at home after starting 2-8-1, will begin a season-ending, five-game trip on Thursday in Toronto.

With a 14-5-3 mark since March 1, the Islanders hold seventh place in the Eastern Conference. New York, seeing its first postseason appearance since 2007, has allowed two goals or fewer in nine straight games.

Matt Moulson, Mark Streit and Radek Martinek also scored for the Islanders, who bounced back from a 1-0 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday (see full recap).

-The Associated Press

Red-hot Capitals win eighth straight
WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 28th goal, and the Washington Capitals enjoyed a rare feeling of dominance outside their division Tuesday night, winning their eighth straight with a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jack Hillen, Martin Erat, Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson also scored, and Braden Holtby made 29 saves for the Southeast Division-leading Capitals.

The Capitals have moved into playoff position by feasting on the weak Southeast, going 14-3 within the division, but they entered Tuesday's game just 9-14-2 against the rest of the Eastern Conference. All but two of those nine wins were by one goal.

So it was a major morale boost that they were able to manhandle Toronto, which is closing in on the franchise's first playoff berth since 2004 (see full recap).

-The Associated Press

Blues take down Canucks in shootout
ST. LOUIS -- Jay Bouwmeester tied the score midway through the third period, and Andy McDonald and Alex Steen scored in the shootout to lead the Blues to a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

Brian Elliott made 21 saves in regulation and stopped Derek Roy and Alexandre Burrows in the shootout, solidifying the Blues' chances in a tight Western Conference race. Bowmeester's goal was his first since joining the Blues in a trade-deadline deal.

Alexander Edler scored on a power play late in the second period for Vancouver. Cory Schneider made 35 saves in regulation but surrendered two goals on three shootout chances.

The Canucks played for the third time in four nights, all on the road (see full recap).

-The Associated Press

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