Metro movement: Penguins gain, Islanders suffer

James O'Brien
NBC Sports

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Tuesday was a busy night around the NHL, but that was especially true in the Metropolitan Division, as there were some significant games ending in regulation, blowouts, and comebacks. Let’s see who made gains and who failed tonight in the Metro.

(The results go in order of where teams ended the night in the Metro.)

Capitals (first in Metro) see a point slip away:

Mark Scheifele scored two goals, including a tally with 15 seconds remaining in regulation to send this game to overtime. The talented center than grabbed the lone assist on Tyler Myers‘ OT-winner, grabbing a comeback win for the Jets against the Capitals.

Washington remains pretty comfortable at 71 points in 56 games played.

Penguins (second) pummel Senators:

The Pens have now won nine straight games at home, making it clear that they have added incentive to try to grab at least the second seed in the Metro. (They’re 21-7-1 at home versus an ugly 11-15-3 road record.) Zach-Aston Reese scored the first two goals of his career, both assisted – of course – by Sidney Crosby. Crosby ended up with three helpers in Pittsburgh’s 6-3 win against the eventually-Dion-Phaneuf-less Senators.

Pittsburgh is now at 68 points in 58 GP.

Flyers (third) fall to Devils (fourth) in three-point game:

It looked like the Flyers were going to win their fifth in a row while the Devils would see their losing streak extend to five games. Instead, Taylor Hall shook off a huge hit by Radko Gudas to tie things up in the third period with his second goal of the game, helping New Jersey rally for a 5-4 shootout win.

Philly is at 66 points in 57 GP; NJ is at 64 points in 56 GP. New Jersey has the first wild-card spot in the East.

Hurricanes (fifth) blow Kings away

Justin Faulk hasn’t been as explosive this season, so maybe he’s making up for lost time by collecting a hat trick in Carolina’s 7-3 dismantling of the Kings, who might relish shifting the attention to that odd Phaneuf trade.

Hurricanes grab second wild-card spot with 63 points in 57 GP.

Blue Jackets (sixth) bombard Islanders (seventh):

Yikes.

The Islanders’ defensive struggles continued on Tuesday, as they allowed 26 shots on goal in a single period and a whopping 51 overall. Jaroslav Halak held off some of the barrage, but eventually Columbus broke through, and did so in regulation with a 4-1 decision.


Let’s just say things are getting pretty ugly for the Isles.


The Blue Jackets have 62 points in 56 games; the Islanders have 60 points in 58 GP.

Rangers (eighth) lose in regulation

After winning two straight games since management sent out a letter basically acknowledging defeat, the Rangers fell short of collecting any standings points on Tuesday, losing 3-2 in regulation to the Wild. Minnesota scored the first three goals of the game in just a bit more than six minutes, and that ended up being enough to keep the Rangers humble.

Rangers have 59 points in 57 GP.

***

As you can see, there were some noteworthy developments in the Metro tonight, particularly in the case of regulation decisions. There are some other significant head-to-head divisional matches this week, so with things this tight, fortunes can change quickly.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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