It’s OK, you’re allowed to admit that you assumed the Dallas Stars would score a goal in the final two minutes of regulation against the Pittsburgh Penguins and force the game to overtime. At which point, the world would collapse, dogs and cats would live together; mass hysteria. After the Penguins 3-2 win over Dallas, the Penguins magic number is now just eight points. It could dip to six by this afternoon.
Get the PHN Extra player report card and tactical analysis here (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
The Penguins didn’t give up a late goal, instead built on their aggressive PK stance which they used in Nashville, Thursday night. They did not allow Dallas a great chance to tie the game despite the six-on-four attack.
And check out this goofball on the TV–here is the OT segment for 11 on the Ice yesterday (WPXI)
The Penguins are also just one point behind Washington for first place in the Metro. Washington hosts Philadelphia at 12:30 p.m.
The Flyers were crushed after losing to the New York Islanders yesterday (NBC Sports)
The Columbus Blue Jackets are hanging by a thread.
#CBJ itinerary for Saturday evening in Vancouver, via coach John Tortorella:
“We’re going to have a dinner tonight as a team. Sit down as a group, have dinner, have a beer together and get ready to play our next game.” #kokaneeplease
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) March 23, 2019
CBJ trails Montreal by three points for the final playoff spot. Sergei Bobrovsky is dinged up. Nick Foligno is dealing with a family matter and Columbus has been a hot mess since the deadline. At 10 p.m. tonight, they’re in Vancouver for a game which is almost a must-win. Get all of the notes from the GM’s assessment including on John Tortorella (The Athletic)
Columbus plays the New York Islanders Tuesday and Montreal on Thursday, which should fill a hockey lover’s evening.
The Carolina Hurricanes are in Montreal tonight. There are several angles to consider. First, if Montreal wins, they would tie Carolina for the top wild-card. Carolina could end up with Tampa Bay in Round One–if you think Carolina can beat the Penguins, root for Montreal. Second, if you want the Penguins to clinch sooner than later, you root for Montreal. Lastly, if you think Columbus could pull it together and be a dangerous out, then root for Montreal.
Montreal whacked Buffalo, Saturday (Montreal Gazette)
Carolina played basketball with music and a hoop after they beat Minnesota (USA Today)
If fans are coming for hockey and staying for the fun, great. If fans are waiting around for the fun, bad, bad, bad. Attention NHL and member clubs: SELL THE HOCKEY GAME.
On NHL.com, the free game this afternoon is Arizona at the New York Islanders. The Penguins are tied with NYI for second place in the Metro, so a loss helps the Penguins. Also, an Arizona win puts them back in the playoffs because of Minnesota’s loss to Carolina.