Red Wings and Wild clinched playoff berths, Blue Jackets eliminated from contention, Martin St. Louis and Alexander Ovechkin make NHL history, and much more.
DETROIT NEWS: Henrik Zetterberg scored twice and set up another as the Red Wings clinched a playoff berth for the 22nd consecutive season, downing the Dallas Stars 3-0. Speaking of the Stars, reports emerged Saturday evening claiming Joe Nieuwendyk would be fired as general manager, and replaced by Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill.
TWINCITIES.COM: 24 hours after falling to the Edmonton Oilers 6-1, the Minnesota Wild clinched a playoff berth by downing the Colorado Avalanche 3-1.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets defeated the Nashville Predators 3-1, but the respective victories by the Red Wings and Wild knocked the Jackets out of playoff contention.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A heartbreaking loss for the Blue Jackets, who were the hottest team in the league over the final two months of this shortened season. Still, this bodes well going forward for the rebuilding Jackets. The Western Conference playoff seeding is now complete, as the Chicago Blackhawks will face the Wild, the Anaheim Ducks will meet the Red Wings, the Vancouver Canucks square off against the San Jose Sharks, and the St. Louis Blues face off against the LA Kings.
TBO.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning fell to the Florida Panthers 5-3, but 37-year-old Lightning forward Martin St. Louis made history, becoming the oldest player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer.
WASHINGTON POST: Mike Green’s two goals set the stage for Eric Fehr’s OT winner as the Washington Capitals edged the Boston Bruins 3-2. Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin became the first player in NHL history to win the Richard Trophy three times as the NHL’s leading goalscorer. Earlier in the day, the Capitals announced the re-signing of goaltender Michal Neuvirth to a two-year, $5 million contract extension.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The NY Rangers blanked the New Jersey Devils 4-0 and will face the Capitals in the opening round of the upcoming postseason.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: James Neal, in his first game back from a concussion, notched a hat trick as the Penguins crushed the Carolina Hurricanes 8-3.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues clinched the fourth overall seed in the Western Conference with a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues will face the Kings in the opening round of the upcoming postseason.
PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers ended their season with a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Earlier in the day, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren got angry when asked again if head coach Peter Laviolette would be fired, insisting he had no plans to replace his coaching staff.
THE SPORTING NEWS: The Florida Panthers have the best odds to land the first overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft lottery.