Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Eastern Race Update

The Devils dropped their third straight at Philadelphia 5-4 in overtime. Meaning that yes, the Flyers actually discovered a way to beat their Turnpike rivals. After Flyer killer Brad Lukowich forced OT, Simon Gagne won it 1:47 in with his 36th to send New Jersey to another loss.

On a night when the Penguins restarted their chase for the division by coming back from three down to post a miraculous 5-4 shootout win at heartless Ottawa (Sid the Kid won it with a nifty backhand top shelf), the good news for the Devs is that at least in two of their three defeats, they got a point. That puts them up to 88, still seven better than ther Pens. With games against them in two of the next three, it will probably decide what happens.

In other key Eastern action, the Leafs shutout the hapless Capitals 3-0. Andrew Raycroft stopped all 24 and Darcy Tucker scored his 20th around Yanic Perreault and Alexei Ponikarovsky to help give Toronto the win, tying Carolina with 73 points. But due to having one less game played, the Leafs vaulted into the eighth spot.

Meanwhile, the Bruins had a costly defeat at home to Colorado, being blanked at The Fleet Center 2-0. That leaves them with 69 points.

The Thrashers got goals from Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk and two from recently acquired Keith Tkachuk to post a 4-2 home win over Florida. The win gave Atlanta 80 points and lifted them two points ahead of Tampa Bay. The Lightning were trailing Vancouver 4-1 in the second at last check. So the Thrashers could very well be in first in the Southeast by the end of the night.

Here is the current Eastern playoff race:

*1.Sabres 93 pts 17 GR
*2.Devils 88 pts 15 GR
*3.Atlanta 80 pts 14 GR
4.Ottawa 82 pts 15 GR
5.Pens 81 pts 16 GR
6.Tampa 78 pts 14 GR
7.Isles 76 pts 16 GR
8.Toronto 73 pts 15 GR
9.Carolina 73 pts 14 GR
10.Habs 72 pts 14 GR
11.NYR 71 pts 16 GR
12.Bruins 69 pts 16 GR
13.Florida 67 pts 15 GR

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