Updates on the playoff race, visorless players a fading breed and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
NHL Playoff Chase.
THE BOSTON GLOBE/DETROIT FREE PRESS: The desperate Boston Bruins down the tired Detroit Red Wings 5-2 to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Wings, however, are still in the driver’s seat to clinch a playoff berth.
PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers rallied from a 3-1 deficit against the Toronto Maple Leafs, only to fall 4-3 in overtime.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if the Wings lose their final game of the season on Saturday against the New York Rangers, they can still clinch a playoff berth if the Bruins lose their final game and the Flyers drop their final two games.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars downed the Colorado Avalanche 4-2.
STLTODAY.COM: Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars and Blues are tied with 107 points, but the former holds first overall in the Western Conference on the basis of regulation plus overtime wins. Each club has one game remaining in the schedule.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Los Angeles Kings edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1, opening a two-point lead over the Ducks for first in the Pacific Division. The Ducks, however, hold a game in hand.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks fell 5-4 to the Winnipeg Jets, ensuring they’ll finish third in the Pacific Division.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NEWSDAY: The New York Rangers fell to fourth in the Metropolitan Division and into a wild-card spot with a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders. It was a costly win for the Isles, losing forward Anders Lee to a fractured leg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs are tied with 99 points, but the Isles have two games remaining while the Rangers have only one. Both clubs have clinched playoff berths.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals, who had overcome a 3-0 deficit to force the extra frame. The victory secures second place in the Eastern Conference for the Penguins and assures them of home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has two games remaining to tie or break Martin Brodeur’s single season wins record of 48. Teammate Alex Ovechkin (46 goals) has two games to reach the 50-goal plateau for the seventh time in his career.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Jonathan Drouin made his mark after being recalled by the Tampa Bay Lightning, tallying the game winner to give his club a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
YAHOO SPORTS: Roman Josi scored in overtime as the Nashville Predators rallied to down the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. Shea Weber netted his 20th goal of the season while Filip Forsberg tied the single-season franchise goal record with his 33rd of the year.
Notable NHL Headlines.
TORONTO SUN: The number of visorless players in the NHL is now down to just nine percent. Visors have been mandatory for players entering the league since 2013-14. The rule is being grandfathered in, but only 67 players now skate without one.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the overwhelming majority of NHL players have common sense regarding eye protection. As for the so-called “die hards” who refuse to wear one, here’s hoping their decision doesn’t prove costly over the remainder of their NHL careers.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla plans to return next season, which is also the final year of his contract. The 38-year-old has 21 goals this season.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: After missing most of this season to a concussion, Sabres forward Tyler Ennis is finally skating with his teammates. However, he won’t play in the club’s final two games of this season. Ennis hopes to return to action this fall.
AZCENTRAL.COM’s Sarah McLellan reports Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal will remains sidelined for the remainder of this season.