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East update: Leafs get another OT win to climb ranks

Mar 8, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

With a little more than a month left in the 2013-14 regular season, the jostling for playoff positioning is only heating up, especially in the wide-open East. Here’s a recap of most of the conference’s work from Saturday, with only the Montreal Canadiens still in action (against the San Jose Sharks).

  • The Philadelphia Flyers almost added to their total of 11 comebacks from third-period deficits on Saturday, pushing the Toronto Maple Leafs to overtime. Joffrey Lupul gave the Buds a 4-3 OT win, however, leaving Toronto out of the wild card mix (at least as of tonight). Things look a little brighter for the Maple Leafs tonight.
  • Both Pekka Rinne and Sergei Bobrovsky were strong in their respective nets tonight, but Bob ended up getting a win as the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the Nashville Predators 1-0. Artem Anisimov was the game’s only goalscorer.
  • The Washington Capitals’ hopes looked dim, yet they scored three goals in a little less than five minutes to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2. Read more about that game here.
  • The New Jersey Devils held off a Carolina Hurricanes comeback to win 5-4 thanks to former Canes forward Tuomo Ruutu‘s winner.
  • The Ottawa Senators enjoyed a nice game from Ales Hemsky to beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-3.
  • Above the bubble, the Boston Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in OT. Things have been going well for the B’s lately.
  • Again, the Habs are in action, but they’ll remain at least a point ahead of the Maple Leafs even if they lose in regulation tonight.

Here’s a look at the East from a conference standpoint (via NHL.com):

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And probably most interestingly, here’s a look from a wild card/divisional perspective (also via NHL.com):

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  1. chill1184 - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Going to be an exciting race down the stretch

  2. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    Just wondering how the ref from CENTER ICE can see the puck under Bernier while the ref at the GOAL LINE is signaling “good goal” for Matt Read? Mason got no such help on the 3rd Leaf goal. The Flyers were absolutely robbed of a goal that would’ve been the difference between a win and loss.

    • channelguy - Mar 9, 2014 at 1:10 AM

      The puck was held. The play was done. Some Flyers fans have been complaining about this one on different boards all night, and it only shows they don’t understand the rules.

      This was pretty much a standard Leaf win this year:

      1. Get a two goal lead, but fail to put the game away with a third goal, despite many chances.
      2. Give up a goal late in the second to make it close.
      3. Go into a shell in the third, and be completely dominated. Fail to hold the lead (for the 22nd time this year). As an added wrinkle, score to go ahead, but go back into the shell and give up the lead again.
      4. Win in OT or SO. Of the 22 blown leads, Im sure they have won at least 17 of the games in extra time.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        The point is it’s not the center ice refs call. How often does that official blow the play dead in that situation? It’s especially rare bc he has no idea where the puck is. Especially when the goal line official apparently didn’t think the play was dead and called it a good goal. There have been countless goals across the NHL where a player takes a whack at the puck under a goalie and forces it in… Bernier wasn’t even sure he had it.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      I didn’t like the call but I understood it, what I had a problem with was the hook called on timonen midway through the 3rd, luckily it didn’t affect the outcome but idk where that call came from, some home cookin right there for sure

    • sunderlanding - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Silly thing to say. Who’s to say if that goal counted that the game would’ve played itself out the same way? Refs make mistakes, just like players, get used to it.

  3. nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    “The Washington Capitals’ … scored three goals in a little less than five minutes…”
    The three goals were at 9:45, 10:17 and 14:47. OK, maybe a little MORE than five minutes. Less, more, whatever, it was a spirited rally.

  4. stratomaticfan - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Leafs don’t deserve to be in a playoff spot. If not for the stupid shootout, they’d be clearly on the outside looking in. Heck…they only have 21 wins in regulation. Point system is a joke, and they are taking full advantage of it.

    • elrock7 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      rules are the same for everyone moron!

      • stratomaticfan - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        Nothing like internet tough guys. Just want you to know how hurt my feelings are by your name calling. Not my fault the Leafs will get smoked in the first round.

  5. elrock7 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Philly is going to probably miss the playoffs again anyway.

    P.S thanks for JVR

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