Game recaps plus updates on Ondrej Palat, Sami Vatanen, Nick Leddy, Scott Darling and more.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Alexander Ovechkin scored twice and Braden Holtby made 28 saves to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Ovechkin now leads the lead in goals with 47.
MIAMI HERALD: Jaromir Jagr tallied his 718th career NHL goal, passing Phil Esposito for fifth on the all-time scoring list, as the Florida Panthers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo, playing his first game since suffering a shoulder injury on March 3, made 25 saves for the win.
THE DENVER POST: Ryan O’Reilly and Gabe Landeskog had two-point nights as the Colorado Avalanche extended their winning streak to three games and remained in the Western Conference playoff chase by downing the Arizona Coyotes 5-2.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Brett Ritchie and Jamie Benn scored as the Dallas Stars kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner.” The Capitals take a five-point lead over the Boston Bruins and are poised to pass the Pittsburgh Penguins for third in the Metropolitan Division. The Panthers move to within five points of the Bruins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. The Avalanche are seven points away from a wild-card berth, while the Stars are eight points out.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning forward Ondrej Palat (foot injury) could return to the lineup tonight against Detroit.
NEWSDAY: Nick Leddy and Jaroslav Halak could return to the New York Islanders lineup for Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen (lower-body injury) is expected to return to action on Friday against the Avalanche.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Scott Darling hopes to strengthen his grasp on the role of Blackhawks backup goalie.
EDMONTON SUN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly doesn’t believe some NHL teams are tanking the season to improve their draft lottery odds.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Daly truly believed teams were tanking, he’s not going to publicly admit it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wuest’s passing is being met with widespread sadness in the NHL community. He was a true hockey internet pioneer. CapGeek was unquestionably the best NHL salary-resource site and was often referenced by pundits, bloggers and even NHL general managers. I never met Matthew, but we did converse a few times over the years via e-mail whenever I had questions regarding salary-cap issues. He always responded promptly and was very helpful, patient and polite. Born in 1979, Matthew was only in his mid-thirties when cancer claimed him. My sincere condolences to his family.