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Lightning Round: Atlantic Division update

The Syracuse Crunch stormed back from a two goal deficit to beat the Amerks.

Arizona Coyotes v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday night featured 11 NHL games. Let’s check in on where things stand in the Atlantic Division after a busy night.

Canucks 6, Sabres 3

The Buffalo Sabres are basically out of the playoff race. They went 3-7-0 in their last 10 games and are sitting in fifth place in the Atlantic Division five points behind the Florida Panthers who have one game in hand. The Sabres can make one last push in the second half of the season, but looking at their inconsistency during the first half, it’s very hard to believe in the,. It doesn’t help that they’ve lost several key players, including Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson. Last night, they were beaten by the Vancouver Canucks after allowing four goals in the third period. Brock Boeser already has 43 points in 45 games.

Canadiens 2, Senators 1 (OT)

The Montreal Canadiens finally won after losing eight consecutive games. Ilya Kovalchuk scored his first goal in the Canadiens jersey. He’s already registered 4 (1+3) points in 4 games with the Habs, showing that he probably wasn’t the problem with the Los Angeles Kings. Meanwhile. the Habs are tied with the Sabres in points and all they can hope for is a high draft pick next summer.

Lightning 1, Flyers 0

The Tampa Bay Lightning went to Philadelphia as the hottest team in the NHL and successfully shutdown the Flyers. The Bolts tied the franchise record for the most consecutive wins in a single season and tonight having a chance to beat it. It was also the 20th career shutout for Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is finally showing confidence after a rough start.

Meanwhile, the Lightning are seven points behind the Boston Bruins and have two games in hand.

Bruins 3, Islanders 2 (OT)

The Bruins are slowly finding their game. December was a hard month for them as they lost 9 of 15 games and let their opponents in the division come a little bit closer to them. Tuukka Rask had a spectacular night against the New York Islanders, making 35 saves and recording an assist on Patrice Bergeron’s game-winning goal.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers were off last night but are playing against each other tonight. With a possible win today, the Panthers can return to a playoff spot.

Lightning Org News

The Syracuse Crunch made a comeback against the Rochester Americans last night after trailing 2-4 early in the third period. Five different players scored a goal and Taylor Raddish was named the first star of the game, recording 3 (1+2) points.

The Orlando Solar Bears couldn’t join the other teams from the Lightning organization in winning on Saturday night and lost to the Norfolk Admirals. The Solar Bears are still in fourth in the ECHL South Division.

No updates on Pat Maroon yet. He left the game last night after being hooked by Kevin Hayes. Jon Cooper expressed hope that he’s ok.