Recaps of games featuring American NHL teams, the NHL Board of Governors approves realignment, Flyers coach gets a vote of confidence, and more.
NHL.COM: The Board of Governors have approved the new four-division realignment plan, which will be implemented for the 2013-14 season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Overall, the plan, along with the new playoff format, has also received the approval of NHL fans. At least it moves the Winnipeg Jets to the Western Conference where they belong.
PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has given head coach Peter Laviolette a vote of confidence.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, that’s Laviolette fired then. Just kidding! Actually, Laviolette cannot be faulted for the Flyers woes this season. He’s doing the best he can with the roster Holmgren put together for him. Their blueline is still suffering from the absences of Chris Pronger (injury) and Matt Carle (free agency), while some of their promising young forwards are struggling, plus injuries have also taken a toll. At least they can’t blame the crappy season on Ilya Bryzgalov.
BOSTON GLOBE/SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Tuukka Rask made 29 saves as the Boston Bruins downed the floundering Florida Panthers, who learned earlier in the day winger Kris Versteeg is gone for the season with a knee injury. He joins Stephen Weiss and Jose Theodore on the sidelines.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Patrick Kane netted the game-winner in a shootout as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Still, the Blue Jackets collected a point, running their March points streak to eight games (5-0-3).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t look now, but the Blue Jackets, who were at the bottom of the Western Conference standings at one point in February, are now only three points out of a playoff berth. Keep an eye on them in the coming weeks.
NEWSDAY/TAMPA BAY TIMES: John Tavares got the game-winner and Evgeni Nabokov collected his second shutout of the season as the NY Islanders blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0. Earlier in the day, the Lightning learned captain Vincent Lecavalier is on IR indefinitely with a lower-body injury.