NHL Three Stars: Boston No. 1 in East; Canucks live another day; Jets rake Leafs

No. 1: Brad Richardson, Vancouver Canucks

Had Vancouver lost Saturday’s game to the Kings, their (slim) playoff hopes would have been dead in the water. Richardson, against his former team, scored the game winning goal within the final 90 seconds of the game.

No. 2: Ilya Bryzgalov, Minnesota Wild

You’d think the Penguins, of all teams, would know how to solve Ilya Bryzgalov in net. They didn’t Saturday night. Bryz shut-out the Penguins, 4-0; helping the Wild continue to secure their Wild Card spot. Check out Bryz’s unbelievable paddle save on a James Neal shot:

No. 3: Dainius Zubrus, New Jersey Devils

Zubrus scored two goals in New Jersey’s 3-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Thanks to Toronto’s shame-spiral, the Devils have caught up to tie the Leafs in points at 84 and have a game in-hand. Both are a point behind the final wild card spot held by Columbus who have 85 points and five games to go.

Honorable mention: Loui Eriksson assisted on four of the five Bruins goals in their win against Philly … With the win, Boston secures the top spot in the East … Selke race is tight this year, this face-off win and assist by Patrice Bergeron helps his case:

… Joel Ward tied the game for the Caps with 4:55 to go in the third and went to OT with the Islanders; Braden Holtby earned the desperately needed second point for Washington by stonewalling all New York shooters in the shoot-out … Congrats to Islanders rookie John Persson for scoring his first NHL goal … Ryan Suter was a plus-3 for Minnesota … Robin Lehner stopped 41 shots in Ottawa’s 3-2 win over the Rangers … The Blues may have lost this game, but Ryan Miller makes an incredible save on Calder-favorite, Nate MacKinnon:

… Congrats to the Predators Carter Hutton on his first career NHL shut-out, 3-0, against the San Jose Sharks … Detroit came back from an 0-3 deficit to tie Montreal in the third period, but Brian Gionta and Alex Galchenyuk put the Habs back in the lead and win … Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin continue to carry the Stars on their backs and into the post-season by combining for three goals and two assists against the Lightning.

Did you know? Zach Parise earned his 500th and 501st career point (both assists) Saturday night against Pittsburgh.

Dishonorable mention: With a loss to the Senators, the Rangers did not clinch a playoff spot (yet) … Toronto lost to Winnipeg in the Leafs final home game of the season … Joffrey Lupul, Dustin Byfuglien, and Calvin de Haan, left their respective games with injuries … CONTROVERSY! Evander Kane was scratched by Paul Maurice … I feel like this is a true statement:


Here’s the hit that was the basis of Pete’s hypothesis:

… Zach Rinaldo would need plastic surgery to get rid of his crazy eyes … Michael Grabner only 4:35 of his first game back in three-and-a-half weeks (concussion) before being slashed on the arm/wrist area and leaving the game … You be the judge: was Ovi lacking hustle to get back on this Cal Clutterbuck goal:

… Dustin Penner was scratched from the Capitals lineup against the Islanders; there are mixed reports it was a healthy scratch and others are saying he’s injured … Drew Doughty was out of the lineup against Vancouver due to injury, but did travel with the team … Matt Greene had to leave the game and get his foot stitched up after he noticed he had a bloody skate (too squeamish to link) … There were 120 misconduct PIMs handed out in the THIRD PERIOD of the St. Louis and Colorado game.