Game recaps, the Canucks clinch a playoff spot, the Oilers play spoilers, plus updates on Max Pacioretty and David Booth.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators kept their playoff hopes alive with 4-3 comeback win over the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins. Mark Stone scored twice (including the game winner in overtime) while goalie Andrew Hammond stretched his record to 18-1-2 this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are tied with the Boston Bruins with 95 points, but the Bruins hold a game in hand and still hold the final wild-card berth. The Penguins remain one point ahead of both clubs and hold the first wild-card berth, but with only two games remaining in their schedule and their recent decline they’re no longer certain of securing a postseason spot.
CALGARY SUN: Sean Monahan broke a 2-2 deadlock to lift the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Flames can secure a playoff spot with a win on Thursday against the now-struggling Los Angeles Kings.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ondrej Pavelec collected his second straight shutout and Chris Thorburn scored the only goal as the Winnipeg Jets nipped the St. Louis Blues 1-0. The Jets now have control of the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference with two games to play.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers made the most of their opportunity to play postseason spoiler and avenge a recent lopsided loss to the Los Angeles Kings, upsetting the defending Stanley Cup champions 4-2. The Kings are now in danger of missing the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames, Jets and Kings all have two games remaining in the schedule. The Flames (95 points) are two points up on the Kings for third in the Pacific Division, while the Jets hold 96 points. If the Flames beat the Kings on Thursday night, they and the Jets will clinch playoff berths.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Thanks to the Oilers beating the Kings, the Canucks have secured a playoff spot only one year after missing the postseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Canucks got some help from the Oilers, it’s a tribute to their management and coaching changes, as well as the roster moves made since last summer, which turned them back into a playoff team. The rebuilding process is already off to a great start. While the Canucks aren’t Cup contenders, there’s now reason for optimism that the club is finally back on the right path after several years in decline.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty will be evaluated by team doctors to determine the status of his recent head injury. It’s suspected Pacioretty suffered a concussion during a recent game against the Florida Panthers. He will not be in the lineup for the Habs game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
TORONTO SUN: Forward David Booth’s improvement over the second half of this season could earn him a new contract with the Leafs or another club after this season.