You didn’t think this would be as easy as watching the Columbus Blue Jackets flame out and the Pittsburgh Penguins be handed a playoff spot, did you? Well, actually I thought it was possible, too. However, Columbus has responded well to the adversity of losing Nick Foligno and facing an early end to a season which will precede an offseason mass exodus.
Olli Maatta could return for the Penguins on Friday. He’ll be a game-time decision. What will the Penguins do with Maatta? Mike Sullivan was asked, but did he answer? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
The New York Islanders could have claimed second place in the Metro Division with a point or a win. Instead, Columbus shut them out 4-0. And “Bob” is on fire, too (1st Ohio Battery)
More bad news for the Islanders which are already without Valtteri Filppula, Andrew Ladd is out with a torn ACL (Newsday)
The Islanders may be out of gas a month too soon? The Islanders loss gave the Penguins second place in the Metro Division.
The Washington Capitals turned it on in the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes and won 4-1. Welcome to the big leagues, Carolina. When the Capitals attack in the third period at home, it’s the most sustained, intense attack in the NHL. (USA Today)
Also, Tom Wilson wants to swim in the White House fountain if the Capitals win back-to-back Cups (RMB)
The Capitals win gives them a three-point lead over the Penguins in the Metro.
Montreal spanked Florida, 6-1. And Carey Price has regained his swagger (Sportsnet)
The Edmonton Oilers long ago gave up the ghost of a playoff chase. Last night, they did embarrass the LA Kings who will be out of the playoff chase for a few years. Double Hat Tricks–Draisaitl and RNH (NHL.com)
The Arizona Coyotes aren’t dead yet (quiet, you). Arizona effectively ended Chicago’s chances but resuscitated their own chances with a 1-0 win over the ‘Hawks (AZ Sports)
Arizona is tied with Colorado for the final playoff spot but Colorado has a game in hand. Still, it is an extraordinary coaching job by Rick Tocchet.