Coyotes close to winning division title, Blues struggling, Rangers have shot at President’s Trophy, Stamkos has one last chance at scoring his 60th, Toews will miss season finale, Predators could lock up home ice advantage before they play today, Red Wings could benefit from lower seeding, Capitals goalie woes, Prosser suspended.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Coyotes goalie Mike Smith once again was the start of the show, backstopping his team to a 4-1 win over the struggling St. Louis Blues, inching the Coyotes closer to their first-ever division title. Smith could give the Coyotes their best chance at finally winning a playoff round, while the Blues, having long ago secure a playoff berth, appear to be battling late-season complacency.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are in reach of the President’s Trophy for the first time since 1994. Head coach John Tortorella, meanwhile, was fined $20,000 by the league for disparaging comments toward the Pittsburgh Penguins, particularly Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
TAMPABAY.COM: Lighting star Steven Stamkos has one game left to reach the 60 goal mark. Here’s hoping he makes it, as it’s very rare in today’s NHL for a player to score that many in a season. Last one: Alexander Ovechkin in 2007-08.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews won’t play in his club’s season finale today against Detroit, but is hoping to return for the opening round of the playoffs.
THE TENNESSEAN: If the Blackhawks defeat the Detroit Red Wings today, it’ll secure the fourth overall seed in the Western Conference for the Nashville Predators before they even take to the ice for their season finale tonight against Colorado.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Securing a lower seed might actually be beneficial for the Red Wings.
WASHINGTON POST: Injured Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth will see a doctor today about his leg injury, while backup Braden Holtby gets the start today against the Rangers. It’s possible Holtby and call-up Dany Sabourin could be the Capitals tandem when they open the playoffs next week.
NEWSOBERVER.COM; The Hurricanes are disappointed over missing the playoffs, but point to their strong record since Kirk Muller took over as head coach as a promising sign for next season.
TSN.CA: The league has suspended Minnesota Wild defenseman Nate Prosser one game for head-butting Chicago Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers.