Players of the week, Nazem Kadri suspended and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
The Playoff Chase.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers clinched a playoff berth by doubling up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2, but it came at the cost of an apparent hand injury to defenseman Ryan McDonagh. He will be re-evaluted today.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders moved within one game of securing a postseason spot with a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, the Isles lost another defenseman to injury, as Calvin de Haan left the game with a possible right-knee injury.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings dropped their fifth straight road game, falling 3-2 to the Vancouver Canucks. Blueliner Alec Martinez missed the game and is considered day-to-day with an unspecified injury.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues tallied five unanswered goals to down the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. The Blues also learned captain David Backes and goalie Jake Allen will miss the remaining games of the regular season to lower-body injuries. Both will be re-evaluated before the playoffs.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Call-up forward Rocco Grimaldi scored twice to lift the Forida Panthers to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers (97 points) move within three points of the Pittsburgh Penguins for second in the Metropolitan Division with each having three games remaining. The Islanders (95 points) open a four-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blues are once again tied with the Dallas Stars (105 points) but the Stars hold first in the Western Conference on the basis of regulation plus overtime wins. The Kings (97 points) stay one point behind the Anaheim Ducks for first in the Pacific Division with the Ducks holding a game in hand. The Panthers, who clinched a playoff spot earlier in the week, set a franchise record for points with 99.
Notable NHL Headlines.
NHL.COM: Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin, San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Apr.3.
TORONTO STAR: Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri was suspended four games for cross-checking Detroit’s Luke Glendening on Saturday night.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He got what I expected, a season-ending suspension.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (possible leg injury) is unlikely to play tonight when his club faces the Arizona Coyotes, but is expected to return later this week.
PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald might have suffered a concussion when he was slammed into the boards during the club’s 6-2 loss on Saturday to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is staying mum on his plans after this season. It’s been reported the 37-year-old is considering a return to Russia after this season to finish his playing career for personal reasons.