Mar 20, 2014, 9:19 AM EDT
While there were only four games on the slate on Wednesday, the parity in the NHL means that every night can make a difference. Here’s a look at how those contests affected the outlook in the East and West:
- OK, there was only one game for the East, but it was a substantial one. The Tampa Bay Lightning rode Steven Stamkos‘ hat trick to a 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bolts have won four in a row while the Buds have dropped three consecutive contests.
Here’s the refreshed conference outlook, via NBC Sports:
- It was a busy night for the Central Division. At the higher ranks, the Colorado Avalanche grabbed a charity point in an OT loss to the Winnipeg Jets while the Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-0. Chicago has one more point than Colorado for the second spot in the division, but losing Patrick Kane for multiple weeks is obviously bad news.
- Again, the Jets grabbed an important two points, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive.
- Speaking of shaky hopes, the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Nashville Predators 2-0 to stay in the picture as well.
Take a look at the Western Conference races via NBC Sports:
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- It’s San Jose Sharks Day at PHT 25
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance 95
- Gio won’t go: Flames extend Giordano for six years, $40.5M 13
- Pens’ plan for now: Crosby starts as Kessel’s center 25
- O, Dear: Russia fined $85K for skipping Canadian anthem 31
- Kings ink Ehrhoff to a one-year, $1.5 million deal 27
- Quebec City, Vegas advance to final phase of NHL expansion process 50
- Here’s the full NHL 2015 preseason schedule, starting Sept. 20 5