Latest on the playoff race, injury updates and more in this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Chicago Blackhawks clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Andrew Ladd scored his third goal in two game and goalie Scott Darling made 26 saves. Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov missed the game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day, though he’s not expected to be sidelined for long.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. Phil Kessel netted a goal and an assist for the Penguins, while Eric Staal scored twice in a losing cause for the Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins moved to within three points of the Rangers for second in the Metropolitan Division. The Blackhawks opened a four-point lead over the Nashville Predators for third in the Central Division and to within four points of the Western Conference-leading Dallas Stars.
NBC SPORTS: More bad news for the Colorado Avalanche, as top forward Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene will miss the next two games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Avalanche falling five points behind the Minnesota Wild for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference, losing MacKinnon and Duchene couldn’t come at a worse time.
THE DENVER POST: Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said rookie right wing Mikko Rantanen won’t play his 10th NHL game this season in order to preserve the first year of his entry-level contract.
PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux wasn’t seriously injured after striking his head against the boards during Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, Giroux will be in the lineup for today’s game against Winnipeg.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators winger Clarke MacArthur may have lost this season to a concussion, but he’s hoping to return to action next season.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Center Ryan Kesler will return to the Anaheim Ducks lineup for today’s game against Edmonton after missing the last two games attending to a family matter.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Having been hampered by injury earlier this season, Lightning center Tyler Johnson is returning to form at the right time for his club.
SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri may be garnering a reputation among NHL officials.
ESPN.COM: Multiple sources claims the Wisconsin Badgers will name Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Tony Granato as their new men’s hockey team head coach.