Game recaps, including the Ducks clinching the Pacific Division crown, the Red Wings and Blue Jackets make the playoffs, plus the latest on Kris Letang, Ben Bishop, Dennis Seidenberg, Pekka Rinne, Ryan McDonagh and more.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Patrick Maroon scored twice and John Gibson made 36 saves as the Anaheim Ducks clinched the Pacific Division crown with a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Jussi Jokinen’s shootout goal proved the winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. By gaining a point, the Red Wings clinched a playoff berth for the 23rd consecutive season. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a stroke in late-January.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Columbus Blue Jackets clinched a playoff berth for only the second time in their history, downing the Dallas Stars 3-1 in a game which had been postponed when Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench to a cardiac incident.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”. The only playoff race remaining is in the Western Conference, where the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes are jockeying for the final wild card berth in the Western Conference.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop (upper-body injury) will miss the final three games of the regular season. It’s also questionable if he’ll be ready to return for the start of their Conference quarterfinal series against the Montreal Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing their starting goalie for the first round could be a serious blow for the Lightning. Bishop’s their MVP this season. Without his stellar play, it’s doubtful they make the playoffs.
BOSTON GLOBE: Injured Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (knee injury) has resumed skating but remains a long way from returning to action.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers coach Alain Vigneault remains mum on the status of defenseman Ryan McDonagh (shoulder injury).
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne needs only one more win to break the franchise record (161) held by Tomas Vokoun.