The Bruins upped the playoff race (sorry, Panthers) while the Capitals kept pace, the Leafs played spoiler to the Lightning while the Blue Jackets edged the Devils, the Senators earned a big win while the Jets lost another and the Canucks came away with a hard-earned two points.
There were seven games on Tuesday night, many of which held playoff implications. And while the final scores affect the standings, we’re here for the dramatics.
Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Tuesday night.
Alexander the Great, times six
Alex Ovechkin netted his 50th goal of the season with this beauty as the Washington Capitals took on the Carolina Hurricanes.
With the goal, Ovechkin became just the sixth player in league history to record six 50-goal seasons.
The fact that he accomplished the feat within his first 10 seasons is all the more impressive.
Only Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Guy Lafleur have done the same in as few seasons.
Aside from making league history, Ovechkin’s 472nd goal also tied the Capitals’ franchise scoring record set by Peter Bondra, though No. 8 tallied his goals in just 755 games, compared to Bondra’s 961 with the franchise.
Red Wings’ Miller takes skate to the face
A very scary scene occured during Detroit’s game against the Ottawa Senators when Red Wings forward Drew Miller was slashed by the blade of Mark Stone’s skate. Miller suffered two deep lacerations to the face around his right eye but thankfully did not suffer any eye damage.
Here’s the video. (Warning: Some may consider this video graphic)
The Senators ended up defeating the Red Wings 2-1 in a shootout to earn a crucial two points after their three-game tailspin to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Jets deja vu
It was a familiar scene for the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night: Big game. Tied. Minutes left in regulation.
Except this time, instead of Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks doing them in with 30 seconds to go (Jets fans won’t be forgetting Sunday’s loss anytime soon), it was Chris Kreider and the Rangers with just under four minutes. A frustrating way to lose, for sure — especially when Tuesday marked a big chance for the Jets to pull ahead of the L.A. Kings in the wild-card race. Instead, the 3-2 loss means the Jets remain at 90 points — just two points up on the Kings for that final wild card.
Byfuglien crosses the line
Earlier in Tuesday’s game versus the Rangers, Jets’ big man Dustin Byfuglien delivered what can only be called a vicious cross-check to the back of the head and neck of J.T. Miller.
The play wasn’t initially called by the officials, but it is now being examined by the department of player safety.
Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault was disgusted by the scene, saying it was, “One of the most vicious cross-checks I’ve seen this year.”
Bieksa could get a call
Will Kevin Bieksa be getting a phonecall from the NHL’s department of player safety? He was issued a minor penalty for this illegal check to the head of Nashville’s Viktor Stalberg:
Stalberg returned to the game shortly after the incident, and even scored a goal.
It seemed that incident was only the beginning of a dramatic, penalty-filled game for the Canucks. Late in the third period, Alex Burrows received a five-minute major interference penalty for what looked like a high hit on Paul Gaustad, after which both Burrows and Bieksa were tossed from the game.
Watch the messy scene unfold:
In the end, the Canucks managed to defeat the Predators in a shootout, taking home a big two points with a 5-4 victory.