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3/17/2018 - Edmonton Oilers @ Florida Panthers




Please check out the full article at Below the Goal Line. Thanks for reading!


NHL Game Updates:


Chicago Blackhawks @ Buffalo Sabres, Jack Eichel returned to the lineup for the Sabres, who picked up one assists after missing 15 games. The Sabres score three in the third to pick up the 5-3 win in a match-up of two non-playoff teams.


New Jersey Devils @ Los Angeles Kings, The Devils shut out the Kings, thanks to Kieth Kinkaid's 38 saves, and a shorthanded goal from Michael Grabner, his 27th of the year.


Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs, First NHL goal alert: Andreas Johnsson of the Maple Leafs scored his first NHL goal tonight. This goal was extra insurance for Toronto, who scored four goals, while goaltender Curtis McElhinney stopped all 33 attempts that made it his was for the 4-0 shutout.


Boston Bruins @ Tampa Bay Lightning, The Boston Bruins have been chasing the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first spot in the Atlantic Division all season. It was Boston who was victorious tonight, thanks to 23 saves by Tuukka Rask on what seemed to be a stale bunch of Lightning. David Backes scored before leaving with injury, and the Bruins win 3-0.


Philadelphia Flyers @ Carolina Hurricanes, The desperate Flyers scored four in the final frame to win 4-2. They maintain their spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture: third in the Metro.


Ottawa Senators @ Columbus Blue Jackets, Scary moment when Ryan Dzingel take a shot off the head and leaves the game. We want to wish him the best moving forward. Markus Nutivaara of the Jackets scored his 4th of the year in the second period. That goal turned out to be the difference in a 2-1 win for Columbus. The goal was Nutivaara's first NHL game winning goal.


New York Rangers @ St. Louis Blues, If the Blues have any hope of getting back into the playoff consideration, they need to pick up two point almost every night. That was the case tonight, as Alex Pietrangelo, who opened the scoring in the first, got his second of the game in the third to send the game to overtime. Brayden Schenn scored in overtime to propel the Blues to the 4-3 victory.


Minnesota Wild @ Arizona Coyotes, Devan Dubnyk picks up his 200th NHL win, this time a 3-1 win over the Coyotes. Rookie Clayton Keller scored his 20th for Arizona.


San Jose Sharks @ Vancouver Canucks, The red-hot San Jose Sharks maybe aren't playing their best defense of the season, but are scoring at a higher clip than at any other point this season. After wins in Edmonton and Calgary, the Sharks sweep the Western Canada road trip, beating Vancouver 5-3.


Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers:


The Florida Panthers entered today three points out of a Wild Card spot, but they had two extra games to play over the New Jersey Devils, who hold that last Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Panthers, who are 8-1-1 in their last ten games, have been on fire since the All-Star break, and have rocketed up the Eastern Conference standings. After beating the Boston Bruins on Thursday, they look to keep rolling against a Edmonton Oilers team that has been on the outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference the entire season.


Both teams played a heavy, physical game in this one. Several different big hits happened in the neutral zone. The biggest of the hits in the first period was Michael Haley crunching Zack Kassian, which lead to a fight between Haley and Oiler Jujhar Khaira.


The hitting continued into the second period, where the scoring picked up. Frank Vatrano, former Boston Bruin, scored at 8:02. This after the puck hops over a Oiler defenseman's stick, and Vatrano races in, beats goaltender Cam Talbot to the puck, and scores an easy one into the open net.


Ryan Nugent-Hopkins responded with his 20th goal of the season, this time shorthanded. The goal, at 11:09 of the second, was the result of a 2-on-2 shorthanded with Leon Draisaitl. Nugent-Hopkins sneaks the puck through goalie Roberto Luongo's left side, and the it trickles into the net.


Panther Vincent Trochek answers on a wrister nearly five minutes later. He takes a pass from captain Derek MacKenzie, and fires the puck past Talbot for the 2-1 lead.


Roberto Luongo had the play of the game, however. After making an initial stop, the puck finds Anton Slepyshev, who fires the puck at the net. Luongo, who was sprawled out in front of the net, dove back to his left and got enough of the puck with his stick to keep if from tying the game.


Talbot makes a huge save of his own in the second period. This time, he stops a Aleksander Barkov breakaway chance with a little over a minute left in the second period. Barkov is having a true breakout year offensively this season. The Finnish forward has 25 goals and a career high 45 assists for a career high 70 points in 68 game so far this year.


Unfortunately for the playoff hopefuls, it was all Edmonton in the third period. Goals by Connor McDavid, Adam Larsson, and Ty Rattie pushed the Oilers over the top for the 4-2 win. The Panthers just seemed to run out of gas when the Oilers picked it up in the third period. It was captain Connor McDavid who lead the push for Edmonton, pick up a point on all three goals in the third. He now sits tied for second in the NHL with 89 points.


The Panthers have been on an incredible push since the All-Star break, but it remains to be seen if they have enough in the tank to catch the other teams in the Wild Card race. New Jersey, who sits in the second Wild Card spot, won today, and now sits five points ahead of the Panthers. Next year might yield better results for the Panthers, who will look to get off to a better start to the season. Playing catch up at the end of the year is a lot harder than getting off to a hot start and playing well enough to fend off teams that didn't.


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