It wasn’t supposed to go down like that. The Pittsburgh Penguins–with second place on the line and home-ice advantage in that Round One series were supposed to be better. They weren’t. As a result, the Penguins magic number remained two points after they lost to the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens broke the leash in the third period and beat the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Carolina also spanked Toronto just to keep it all interesting.
First, analysis of the Penguins loss and player report cards (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Montreal will not go quietly into that good night. They are now tied with Columbus for the final playoff spot and just one point behind Carolina. Montreal is getting excited (Montreal Gazette)
Like the Penguins, the Columbus Blue Jackets also laid an egg with a chance to vault ahead. Boston hammered them 6-2 (1st Ohio Battery)
The Washington Capitals got more bad news. They will not have top pairing defenseman Michael Kempny until next season (Washington Post)
The Penguins loss guaranteed Washington home ice for the First Round (NBC Sports)
Newsday did a little analysis. The Islanders actually have some playoff experience (Newsday)
Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon pulled the plug on the AAF. Good. Striped footballs never work (Raleigh News & Observer)
In the Hurricanes race for the playoffs, a familiar name is making waves… Jordan Staal is red hot (WRAL)
And, the Philadelphia Flyers are still eliminated.