And then there were 23.
The Rangers now will leave the bubble and return to their respective homes and are the first of eight teams to have a 12.5 percent chance to win the draft lottery and select Alexis Lafreniere.
The bubble in Toronto just got a little bit smaller.
There were six games in the NHL Tuesday.
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NEW YORK ISLANDERS 4 FLORIDA 2 (Islanders lead series 2-0)
Jordan Eberle scored twice to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 win over Florida and take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five qualifying series.
The Panthers are on the verge of elimination as the Islanders once again outplayed them.
Florida actually got off to a good start when Mike Hoffman opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period with a terrific wrist shot, as Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle drew the assists.
The Islanders tied it up at the 6:12 mark of the second as the fourth line came through. Tom Kuhnhackl made a drop pass between his legs to Matt Martin who ripped it past Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky had been outstanding to that point, turning aside all 16 shots, many of them amazing.
The Panthers took their last lead of the contest as Aleksander Barkov scored on the power play as his shot picked the top corner on the short side with a perfect shot.
The Islander then tied it when Ryan Pulock’s shot eluded Bobrovsky on the power play and Eberle with his first, gave New York a lead they would not relinquish.
Eberle scored on the power play in the third to complete the scoring.
Semyon Varlamov was great in the Islanders cage as he stopped 26 shots to go to 2-0 this series with a 1.50 GAA and a .946 save percentage.
Despite the loss, Bobrovsky did give the Panthers an opportunity to win as he was great early on, keeping the Cats in the contest. He ended up stopping 30 shots but is now 0-2 with a 3.09 GAA and a .903 save percentage.
Keith Yandle had a pair of assists in the game.
Brian Boyle had 12 penalty minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct near the end of the second period.
Pulock had a two-point night as he assisted on Eberle’s game winner.
NASHVILLE 4 ARIZONA 2 (Series tied at 1)
The Predators jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back as the upended the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 to tie the series at 1 apiece.
It was not as close as the score indicated as Arizona scored nine seconds apart in the final minute of play in the third to cost Juuse Saros the shutout.
Nick Bonino opened the scoring when he whipped a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot past Darcy Kuemper. Rocco Grimaldi (whenever I hear that name I think of the royal family of Monaco) picked up one assist.
Ryan Johansen made it 2-0 with an unassisted effort as he beat Kuemper through the legs on a bad goal.
Viktor Arvidsson made it 4-0, ripping a high shot past the Arizona netminder.
It remained that way until Clayton Keller broke the shutout with 57 seconds to go as he snuck the puck past Saros.
On the ensuing faceoff, the Coyotes cut the lead to two goals when Lawson Crouse snapped a shot from the slot past Saros but that was all she wrote.
Saros evened his record at 1 in the post-season as he made 24 saves. He has a 3.04 GAA and a .905 save percentage but was full value for this win as he has taken over from Pekka Rinne in the Nashville net.
Kuemper took the loss and is also 1-1. He made 24 saves and has a 3.55 GAA and a .901 save percentage.
Taylor Hall took four minors and was a minus-two on the night.
The Predators blocked 21 shots, led by Bonino who had five.
Antti Raanta apparently was injured in the pre-game warmup and left the bench in the second period. He was replaced by third-string goaltender Adin Hill. Consider Raanta day-to-day as he is ‘unfit to play’.
TORONTO 3 COLUMBUS 0 (Series tied at 1)
The Maple Leafs needed almost five periods to finally solve Columbus netminder Joonas Korpisalo and after the Columbus goaltender made 55 straight saves over 96:00 of action, Auston Matthews finally beat him to give Toronto their first goal of the series as he deflected a Zach Hyman pass past Korpisalo on the longside.
Toronto outplayed Columbus in every way Tuesday as they evened the series at a game apiece.
Frederik Andersen made 21 saves for the shutout. He has given up only one goal in the two games and is 1-1 with a 0.50 GAA and a .982 save percentage.
Korpisalo made 36 saves in the loss and once again was spectacular in goal. He is 1-1 with a 1.02 GAA and a .970 save percentage.
You can’t complain if you own either goaltender in a pool.
John Tavares had seven shots on goal in the first two periods and could not get anything by Korpisalo but scored on his eighth shot of the game as he had a breakaway from his own blueline and put the puck under the arm of the goaltender to make it 2-0.
Morgan Rielly scored from 180 feet away into the empty net to clinch the game.
There was a scary moment late in the third period when the Leafs Jake Muzzin was crosschecked from behind by Pierre-Luc Dubois that caused him to fall awkwardly. He banged his head into the knee of Oliver Bjorkstrand. He was stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital as the Leafs team doctor’s did not want to take any chances. The good news was that Muzzin was moving all his extremities. The bad news could be that Muzzin may have to quarantine and miss a few games if he is okay as he went outside the bubble when he was taken to hospital. The NHL and league doctors will decide how long he will have to quarantine. We hope that the defenseman is okay and back playing as soon as possible.
Mitch Marner had five shots on goal after he couldn’t manage any in Game 1.
CALGARY 6 WINNIPEG 2 (Calgary leads series 2-1)
Nikolaj Elhers gave the Jets a 1-0 just past the halfway point of the first but it took Calgary only 18 seconds to even the score as Lindholm scored on the power play after Mathieu Perreault was sent to the penalty box nine seconds earlier for tripping Dillon Dube.
The second period saw the Flames outscore Winnipeg 3-1 as Backlund, Monahan and Tkachuk scored with Andrew Copp replying for the Jets.
The Flames scored the only two goals of the third with Milan Lucic scoring his first of the post-season while Gaudreau clinched it with an empty net goal.
Cam Talbot got the start and made 34 saves. He is 2-1 with a 2.02 GAA and a .925 save percentage.
Connor Hellebuyck gave up five goals while stopping 26 shots. He is 1-2 with a 3.37 GAA and a .897 save percentage. The Jets need Hellebuyck to steal a couple of games as they are still missing Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine and Mason Appleton who were all injured in Game 1.
The Jets picked up another injury in the second period as Perreault was forced to leave the contest with what seemed to be a lower-body injury 13 minutes into the second stanza after a huge hit at the hands of Sam Bennett.
Andrew Mangiapane and Monahan each had two assists.
Ehlers had six shots on goal.
The Flames were 3-of-4 on the power play while Winnipeg scored on one of two chances.
CAROLINA 4 NEW YORK RANGERS 1 (Carolina wins series 3-0)
Sebastian Aho scored twice and added an assist to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers, sweeping the series in three straight games.
The Rangers went with goaltender Igor Shesterkin as Henrik Lundqvist’s 129 game streak as a starting goaltender in the playoffs came to an end. Shesterkin made 27 saves but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Hurricanes.
James Reimer got his first start of the series as both teams were playing their third game in four nights. Reimer was great, turning aside 38-of-39 shots for his first win of the post-season.
Chris Kreider opened the scoring for the Rangers at the 12 second mark of the second period but Teravainen tied it up just 3:06 later. That was all the scoring in the second as both teams had 14 shots on goal.
But Carolina took over in the third as Foegele gave them a 2-1 lead and then Aho scored twice, the second one going into the empty net as a shorthanded effort.
Brendan Smith had nine hits in the contest while Kreider had six shots on goal. New York outhit Carolina 39-17.
Tony DeAngelo was a minus-four on the night.
VANCOUVER 4 MINNESOTA 3 (Series tied at 1)
Jacob Markstrom made 32 saves to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 win over Minnesota to even his record and the series at 1 in the best-of-five play-in series. Markstrom has a 2.52 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
Tanner Pearson got the Canucks off to a quick lead as he scored at the 24 second mark of the first period. The Wild came back to tie it near the end of the period as Luke Kunin ripped a shot from the top of the circle, beating a surprised Jacob Markstrom.
Vancouver scored twice in the second as J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser each scored their first of the post-season and the Canucks extended their lead in the third with Bo Horvat tipping in a Quinn Hughes point shot on the power play to make it 4-1.
Kevin Fiala scored twice late, including a blast with 8.3 seconds to go but that was as close as the Wild came.
Alex Stalock made 24 saves in taking the loss.
Tyler Toffoli was not in the Vancouver lineup and was spotted in the bubble wearing a walking boot.
Jordan Eberle – 2
Kevin Fiala -2
Sebastian Aho - 2
Alexander Edler – 2
Zach Parise – 2
Eric Staal -2
Keith Yandle – 2
Sean Monahan – 2
Shots on Goal
John Tavares – 8
Filip Forsberg – 6
Nikolaj Ehlers – 6
Chris Kreider - 6
Brendan Smith – 9
Jarred Tinordi – 6
Austin Watson - 6
Brian Boyle – 12
Taylor Hall - 8