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Rangers 4, Jets 2
A great individual effort by captain Ryan Callahan helped the New York Rangers snap a two-game losing streak, and keep pace in the chase for a playoff spot.
Derek Stepan scored twice, including the go-ahead goal in the third period, as Rangers beat Winnipeg on Monday night.
The momentum shifted in the Rangers favor long before Stepan put them ahead to stay. It turned when Callahan scored short-handed to tie the game at 2 early in the second period.
"It was a huge play in the game," said Rangers coach John Tortorella. "Not only to kill the penalties, but to have the wherewithal to keep the puck and score a big goal like that, I think we took off from there. We took over the game from there."
Callahan sped into the Winnipeg zone as Mats Zuccarello returned to the ice after New York killed off the first half a Jets 5-on-3 power play. Showing great patience, Callahan first deked a Winnipeg defender, and then goalie Ondrej Pavelec, to the ice before depositing a backhander at 3:11.
"I think anytime you get a short-handed goal, it lifts a team up," said Callahan who also equaled his single game high with three assists. "Getting that one, we started to get going."
The win was crucial as it kept the Rangers in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers also kept pace with the New York Islanders, who beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Both New York clubs have 37 points, though the Rangers hold the higher seed having played one less game than their metropolitan area rivals.
Rick Nash also scored for New York and Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves.
While the Rangers could breathe a little easier, the pressure is mounting on the Southeast Division-leading Jets following a third straight loss.
Winnipeg got goals from Nik Antropov and Zach Bogosian, while Pavelec stopped 31 shots.
"We have to stop it," Pavelec said. "We've lost three in a row. We could be in trouble. It's not going to be easy but we have to find a way."
The Rangers found their way, thanks to Callahan.
"He made a great play and it changes the dynamic of the game," said Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey. "You have an opportunity to go up 3-1. Instead it's 2-2 off a great individual play. We did a great job at the start, but from that point on, it was the opposite."
Stepan broke the 2-2 deadlock in the third as he pounced on the rebound of Anton Stralman's shot from the left point and knocked the puck past Pavelec at 5:46.
Nash gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead at 13:07.
The Jets led 2-1 after dominating the opening period.
The Rangers struck first as Stepan slipped behind the Winnipeg defense to beat Pavelec 19 seconds in, New York's first goal in three games. The Rangers were blanked by identical 3-0 scores in their prior two games in Ottawa and Montreal.
The lead soon evaporated as Antropov, left all alone in the slot, swept Kyle Wellwood's centering pass between Lundqvist's pads at 1:15.
Winnipeg took the lead at 12:54 as Bogosian fired a point shot that appeared to deflect of someone before it flew past Lundqvist.
Islanders 3, Devils 1
Frans Nielsen set up two early goals, Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves and New York continued its playoff push with a victory over New Jersey.
Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic were the beneficiaries of Nielsen's passes, and John Tavares added his 22nd goal of the season as the Islanders won for the fourth time in five games. New York's only loss was a 2-0 setback to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the winners of 15 straight games.
Alexei Ponikarovsky scored for the Devils, who are 0-1-3 since forward Ilya Kovalchuk was sidelined with a shoulder injury more than a week ago. Martin Brodeur finished with 18 saves. Matt Martin had a knockout of Devils forward Tom Kostopoulos midway through the first period.
Canadiens 4, Hurricanes 1
Carey Price made 18 saves in his 300th NHL game to lead Montreal over Carolina.
Max Pacioretty scored twice, while Andrei Markov and Jeff Halpern also scored for Montreal, which swept the season series and remains unbeaten in 10 games against the Southeast Division this season.
Jordan Staal scored and Justin Peters stopped 25 shots for the Hurricanes, who have only one victory in their past nine games.
The win gives Montreal a three-point lead over the idle Boston Bruins in the race for the Northeast Division title.
Montreal's Colby Armstrong had to be helped off the ice after a hard collision in the third.
Blackhawks 3, Predators 2
Defenseman Michal Rozsival scored in the fifth round of shootout after Jonathan Toews also connected in the tiebreaker, and Chicago pulled out a win.
Rozsival, who hasn't scored a regulation goal this season, beat Pekka Rinne with a high shot in his first attempt in a shootout this season.
Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 19th goal and rookie Brandon Saad scored in regulation to help the Blackhawks win their second straight.
The Predators were outshot 27-11 through the first two periods, but stormed back in the third to erase a 2-0 deficit on goals by Dave Legwand and rookie Taylor Beck and force overtime.
Craig Smith scored in the second round of the shootout for Nashville, but the Predators dropped their third straight (0-1-2).
Corey Crawford made 25 saves for Chicago, while Rinne stopped 38 shots for Nashville.
Blues 4, Wild 1
Jaden Schwartz and Andy McDonald each had a goal and an assist, Brian Elliott stepped in and made 19 saves, and St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Minnesota.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Barret Jackman also had goals for St. Louis.
Dany Heatley scored for the Wild, whose home winning streak ended at four games. Minnesota lost for just the sixth time in its last 21 games overall.
St. Louis began the day out of the playoffs and staring at a stretch with six of its next seven games coming on the road.
Ducks 4, Stars 0
Viktor Fasth made 26 saves for his third shutout of the season, and Bobby Ryan had a goal and an assist to lead Anaheim over reeling Dallas.
Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey also scored and Ryan Getzlaf added two assists for the Ducks, who completed a four-game road trip (2-1-1). Teemu Selanne had an empty-netter in the last minute.
Despite having to travel, it was the Pacific Division-leading Ducks that displayed more energy and passion.
Kari Lehtonen, making his 15th straight start, came up with 26 saves for Dallas, which is 1-3-0 in its last four outings — allowing 16 goals in the process.
Red Wings 3, Avalanche 2
Damien Brunner ended his 15-game scoring drought and Jimmy Howard made a late save to help Detroit hold off Colorado.
Justin Abdelkader scored late in the first period, Danny Cleary put Detroit ahead by two at 6:28 of the second and Brunner had a one-timer a few minutes later.
Colorado avoided a shutout with a power-play goal at 14:08 of the third period when Jamie McGinn's backhander from between the circles sailed over a sprawling Howard. Matt Duchene made it 3-2 with 1:18 left, but Howard's glove save on PA Parenteau with 7 seconds left prevented overtime.
Howard finished with 22 saves for Detroit, which had lost two straight.
Oilers 4, Flames 1
Justin Schultz had a goal and two assists and Edmonton continued its drive for a playoff spot by winning its fourth in a row.
Taylor Hall, Ryan Jones and Nail Yakupov also scored for the Oilers, who have gone 7-2-2 in their past 11 games.
With the win, the Oilers kept pace in the tight Western Conference playoff race, sitting in a tie with Columbus, one point back of the eighth-place St. Louis Blues.
Brian McGratton scored for the Flames.
The Flames have lost two in a row and six of their past eight.
Sharks 3, Canucks 2
Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist during a second-period scoring flurry and San Jose earned its fifth straight victory.
San Jose broke a scoreless tie with three goals in a span of 2:13 against Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider, then held on and completed a season sweep of Vancouver.
Chris Higgins and Alexandre Burrows scored to pull Vancouver within one, but the Sharks prevailed and extended their longest win streak since taking seven straight to open the season.
San Jose remains in the No. 6 playoff position in the Western Conference but trails Los Angeles by just one point for the fifth spot.
Defenseman Bouwmeester traded to Blues
Calgary traded defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to St. Louis.
In return, the Flames got a first-round pick and two prospects — defenseman Mark Cundari and goaltender Reto Berra.
If St. Louis does not qualify for this year’s playoffs, the Flames will receive St. Louis’ fourth-round selection in this summer’s draft, with the first-round pick being deferred to 2014.
The move comes after Calgary started to rebuild by trading captain Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh last week.
The NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Bouwmeester, who has an annual cap hit of $6.68 million through to the end of next season, has six goals and nine assists in 33 games in 2013.
Bouwmeester joined Calgary in 2009 after being drafted third overall by the Florida Panthers in 2002. He has 71 goals and 229 assists in 10 seasons with the Flames and Panthers.
Kings acquire defenseman Regehr from Buffalo
Los Angeles has acquired defenseman Robyn Regehr from Buffalo in a trade for two second-round draft picks.
The defending Stanley Cup champions announced the deal on their Twitter account, saying the trade is contingent on Regehr passing a medical exam.
In exchange, the Sabres acquired the Kings second-round picks in 2014 and 2015.
The 13-year NHL veteran will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and waived his no-trade clause to approve the deal.
He has two assists in 29 games this season, but Los Angeles covets Regehr’s physical defensive play while defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell remain out with long-term injuries.
Regehr spent the past two seasons with Buffalo after 11 seasons with Calgary, where he played for Kings coach Darryl Sutter.
Flyers trade Zolneirczyk to Anaheim for Rosehill
Philadelphia acquired forward Jay Rosehill from Anaheim for forward Harry Zolnierczyk.
Zolnierczyk played in 44 regular-season games over two years for the Flyers. He had three goals and seven points this season.
Rosehill has spent the season with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, where he had four goals and eight points, and 90 penalty minutes in 33 games. He did not score a point in 31 career NHL games with Toronto.
Blackhawks acquire center Handzus from Sharks
San Jose dealt center Michal Handzus to Chicago for a fourth-round draft pick.
The deal Monday is the second the Sharks have made in the past week. San Jose traded defenseman Douglas Murray to Pittsburgh last week for two draft picks.
Handzus had one goal and one assist in 28 games. His biggest contributions came in shootouts where he converted three of seven chances. He was benched the last six games as the Sharks tried to get more speed in the lineup.
The pick San Jose got is one they sent to Chicago during last year’s draft.
The 36-year-old Handzus is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He played eight games for Chicago in 2006-07 before being sidelined by a season-ending knee injury.