Game recaps, injury updates, bidding farewell to Edmonton’s Rexall Place and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
NHL Playoff Race.
STLTODAY.COM: Brian Elliott picked up his third straight shutout backstopping the St. Louis Blues to a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, clinching their fifth consecutive playoff berth.
TAMPA TRIBUNE: The Tampa Bay Lightning thumped the New York Islanders 7-4 to regain first place in the Atlantic Division. It was a costly win, as Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left fibula and is sidelined indefinitely.
THE WASHINGTON POST: John Carlson’s one-timer lifted the Washington Capitals to a 1-0 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning are tied with the Florida Panthers in points (91) but the Bolts sit first in the Atlantic Division on the basis of wins. Losing Stralman is a significant loss for their defense. The Blues are tied with the Dallas Stars in points with 97, but the Stars sit first overall in the Western Conference due to goal differential and regulation plus overtime wins.
Injuries and Fines.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Goalie Corey Crawford (upper-body injury) will miss the Blackhawks latest road trip, but center Marcus Kruger (dislocated left wrist) rejoins the lineup for the first time since Dec. 17.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson was fined over $2,400.00 for making a throat-slashing gesture toward Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri.
Notable NHL Headlines.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Former Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen reflected on his time with his old club, the circumstances leading to his trade to the Nashville Predators and his happiness with his current club. Johansen maintains he was also happy as a Blue Jacket and wished he and the club had had a better start to the season.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The offseason trade that saw winger Reilly Smith traded from the Boston Bruins to the Florida Panthers could be the steal of the season. Smith’s gone on to become a key part of the Panthers’ improvement this season.
NBC SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed defenseman Dalton Prout to a two-year, $3.15 million contract extension.
TORONTO SUN: Forgotten Maple Leafs forward Raffi Torres remains hopeful of continuing his playing career beyond this season. An ongoing knee injury and lengthy suspensions have limited him to only 16 NHL games since 2012-13
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Marty Klinkenberg bids farewell to Edmonton’s Rexall Place (formerly Northlands Coliseum), known as the House That Gretzky Built.