NHL Three Stars: Isles lock series with Caps; CBJ ensures Buffalo’s last place finish

No. 1 Star: Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders

The Penguins needed this game to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Halak and the rest of the Islanders would have none of that. The netminder made 37 saves in the Isles 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh.

No. 2 Star: John Tavares, New York Islanders

The captain tied Sidney Crosby for tops in the league in scoring with his 37th goal of the season. (Should they remain tied, the trophy would go to Tavares because he has more goals.) Here’s Tavares’ game winner off a massive rebound from Marc-Andre Fleury:

No. 3 Star: Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnson registered 2 assists, was a plus-3 and was second on the team in TOI at 21:34 in the Jackets 4-2 win against Buffalo. His first assist came on CBJ’s second goal after great passing by Johnson and his teammates:

Honorable Mention: Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky connected for the first goal of the game just 14-seconds in:

Cam Atkinson netted the game winner for Columbus midway through the third. The score could have been much more lopsided if it weren’t for the 36 saves put up by Anders Lindback … Rob Scuderi scored his first goal in his current run with the Penguins. The last time he scored, he was on the Kings and it was January 19, 2013. With Casey Cizikas’s shorty, the Islanders tied the Lightning for most SHGs in the league at 10. Here’s the goal:

Did You Know: The Penguins have not won a game in the month of April (0-4-1).

Dishonorable Mention: With the loss, Buffalo secures the first spot in the draft lottery … Travis Hamonic left the game with 3:46 remaining in the first due to an undisclosed injury. Jack Capuono said he’d be re-evaluated on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin was a team worst minus-3.