Latest on the playoff chase, stars of the week and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines. 

The Playoff Chase.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux scores in overtime against the Jets.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux scores in overtime against the Jets.

PHILLY.COM: Claude Giroux’s overtime goal lifted the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

DETROIT FREE PRESS:  After celebrating Gordie Howe’s upcoming 88th birthday, the Detroit Red Wings nearly blew a 3-0 lead but held on for a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche kept their playoff hopes alive, holding off a late-game surge by the Nashville Predators for a 4-3 win.

THE WASHINGTON POST: The Washington Capitals clinched their second Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history with a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, marking the earliest in a season a team has taken the regular-season title since 2002.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS:  Three first-period goals helped the San Jose Sharks clinch a playoff berth, downing the Los Angeles Kings 5-2.

THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop made 34 saves to shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: John Gibson made 27 saves backstopping the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers and Red Wings remain tied with 87 points, but the Flyers hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth on the basis of games played. The Lightning are tied with the Florida Panthers but the latter holds onto first in the Atlantic Division because they have a game in hand. In the Western Conference, the Avalanche move to within three points of the Minnesota Wild for the last wild-card spot. The Ducks move to within a point of the Kings for top spot in the Pacific Division, while the Sharks move to within four points of the Ducks for second. The Predators remain four points back of the Chicago Blackhawks for third in the Central Division. 

Injury Updates

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators yesterday announced winger Clarke MacArthur (concussion symptoms) and defenseman Dion Phaneuf (oblique and foot injuries) will miss the remainder of the regular season.

 

ARIZONA SPORTS:  Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone (knee injury) is done for the season.

ESPN.COM: Alexander Steen is returning to the St. Louis Blues lineup after missing the last 15 games with an upper-body injury.

Notable NHL Headlines

NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise, St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott and Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Phil Kessel were named NHL stars of the week.

MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers line of Vincent Trocheck, Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith have been red hot this month, tallying  17 goals and 41 points.

CBS SPORTS:  An early list of nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

NBC SPORTS: Anaheim Ducks goalie Anton Khudobin will head to the KHL next season

TSN.CA:  Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey has decided to exercise his right to unrestricted free agency on August 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators GM David Poile was surprised by the decision. I’ll have more on Vesey later today in the Rumors section.

TSN:  A U.S. federal court in Minneapolis unsealed a number of sensitive NHL e-mails revealing league officials in 2011 discussed a possible link of fighting in hockey “to concussions, depression, and “personal tragedies.” The league faces a lawsuit by a number of former players regarding head trauma suffered during their NHL careers.