NHL playoffs update: The Senators won a game!

Just three games last night, but two of the outcomes had some major ramifications in the playoffs race in the West. The Ottawa Senators finally — finally! — won a game and stopped the bleeding.

Eastern Conference

DIV GP W L OT L10 Streak
1 Washington Capitals SE 72 48 14 10 7-1-2 Won 1
2 Pittsburgh Penguins ATL 73 42 25 6 5-3-2 Lost 1
3 Buffalo Sabres NE 71 39 22 10 6-3-1 Won 3
4 New Jersey Devils ATL 71 42 25 4 5-4-1 Lost 1
5 Ottawa Senators NE 73 38 30 5 2-7-1 Won 1
6 Philadelphia Flyers ATL 72 37 30 5 4-4-2 Lost 2
7 Montréal Canadiens NE 73 36 30 7 7-2-1 Lost 1
8 Boston Bruins NE 71 32 27 12 5-4-1 Won 1
9 Atlanta Thrashers SE 72 32 29 11 4-5-1 Won 4

 

Ottawa Senators 2, Montreal Canadians 0 – Not only did the Sens win a game, but they did so against a fellow playoff team. How amazing.

Western Conference

DIV GP W L OT Pts GF GA DIFF Home Away L10 Streak
1
Chicago Blackhawks
CEN 71 45 19 7 97 234 179 +55 26-7-3 19-12-4 4-4-2  
2
Phoenix Coyotes
PAC 73 46 22 5 97 201 179 +22 26-10-2 20-12-3 9-1-0 Won 9
3
Vancouver Canucks
NW 72 44 24 4 92 236 187 +49 26-8-2 18-16-2 6-2-2  
4
San Jose Sharks
PAC 72 43 19 10 96 232 192 +40 22-6-8 21-13-2 3-6-1 Lost 5
5
Los Angeles Kings
PAC 71 42 24 5 89 211 188 +23 21-12-3 21-12-2 5-4-1 Won 2
6
Nashville Predators
CEN 73 42 26 5 89 206 203 +3 21-12-2 21-14-3 7-3-0 Won 6
7
Colorado Avalanche
NW 72 40 25 7 87 216 194 +22 22-11-2 18-14-5 5-4-1  
8
Detroit Red Wings
CEN 72 36 23 13 85 196 193 +3 20-10-5 16-13-8 7-2-1 Won 2
9
Calgary Flames
NW 72 36 27 9 81 184 181 +3 18-16-3 18-11-6 6-4-0 Lost 1

 

Pittsburgh 1, Detroit 3 – The Red Wings got revenge for the game 7 loss in last year’s Stanley Cup finals, and opened up another four-point lead on the Calgary Flames. Perhaps putting playoff tickets on sale wasn’t a bad thing after all.

Colorado 3, Los Angeles 4 (OT) – It’s a tight race in the bottom half of the Western conference now, and the LA Kings earned two very important points to try and stay ahead of the pack. The Avs, despite the loss, earned one point to stay two up on the Red Wings.

Scroll Down For:

    Ovechkin shrugs off Caps’ Game 1 loss in very Ovechkin way

    2 Comments

    You know, it happens. Maybe not always in those exact words.

    The Washington Capitals carried the play during portions of their 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and even down 1-0 in the series, just about every player seemed happy with their overall game.

    (Granted, Braden Holtby picked apart two of the three goals he allowed, and so on.)

    Still, Alex Ovechkin shrugged off the disappointment in a way that wasn’t quite Rated R, but probably ranks in the PG-13 range:

    The penalty element is interesting, though.

    When asked after the loss about the lack of power plays, Matt Niskanen merely offered a “no comment.”

    The Penguins experienced some sprawling moments, yet they avoided taking a penalty each time. Often, when a team carries long sequences of play, they’ll go on the PP (especially with home-ice advantage) … but not the Capitals in Game 1.

    via Natural Stat Trick

    It’s a situation to watch as the Capitals hope to even the series against the Penguins with Game 2 coming on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. (You can watch online, via the NBC Sports App and follow the livestream here).

    Holtby takes blame for two big goals in Caps’ loss to Pens

    1 Comment

    It’s just about a consensus that the Washington Capitals believed that they generally played a strong game despite falling 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Braden Holtby‘s teammates likely wouldn’t agree with his assessment that the Game 1 loss is on his shoulders, but the perennial Vezina candidate took the blame for Sidney Crosby‘s first goal of the night and Nick Bonino‘s game-winner.

    Noting that the Penguins are a dangerous rush team – making them a different threat than the Toronto Maple Leafs – Holtby believes that he should have had his glove in position to stop the 1-0 goal. He said he’s capable of making such a stop and “will next time.” Check out Crosby’s two goals below, with Holtby having a beef with the first one:

    It’s really difficult to place too much blame on Holtby for giving up Nick Bonino’s game-winner, as it seemed like a great rush play that few goalies would be able to stop.

    Judge for yourself in the highlights:

    The Penguins were ultimately able to take a 1-0 series lead, but the Capitals seem capable of shrugging off questions about frustrations, even with naysayers starting to gain confidence in claiming that there will be more than the same.

    If Washington’s going to get over this big hurdle, Holtby is likely to be a big part in doing so.

    Fleury, Penguins hang on for Game 1 win against Capitals

    27 Comments

    The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled off a 3-2 Game 1 win against the Washington Capitals, but Thursday’s thriller probably prompted a sigh of relief.

    (Washington, meanwhile, might have uttered a sigh at such unpleasantly familiar feelings.)

    The first period ended 0-0 in part thanks to Jake Guentzel‘s sprawling “kick save.” Business really picked up in the second after Sidney Crosby raced off to two quick goals, only for Alex Ovechkin to give Washington a shot thanks to a booming goal and some physical play.

    It sure felt like this one might head to overtime, especially after Evgeny Kuznetsov was tying things up and flapping his arms like wings. That was not to be, however, as Nick Bonino took advantage of a pretty area pass to beat Braden Holtby for the decisive tally.

    Now, it was only decisive because Marc-Andre Fleury was at the top of his game. Oh, and also because the Penguins did a collective Guentzel impression in frantically denying a tying tally.

    Makes you want to wipe some sweat from your brow, eh?

    The Capitals dominated by just about every statistical measure … except, of course, goals on the scoreboard. Pittsburgh will gladly take that 1-0 series lead, then.

    Expect a desperate Washington team in Game 2, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. You can watch it online and via the NBC Sports App (click here for the livestream link).

    Karlsson makes difference for Senators vs. Lundqvist, Rangers

    9 Comments

    Swedish superstars Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson were both stupendous in Game 1 between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators.

    Still, it was Karlsson’s game-winning goal (from a seemingly impossible angle) against Lundqvist that made the difference as the Senators beat the Rangers 2-1 on Thursday. With that, the Senators are up 1-0 in the series.

    That Karlsson goal really deserves a special look.

    Whether you blame that 2-1 tally on Lundqvist or not, the Rangers would be foolish to do anything but praise their red-hot franchise goalie. He stopped all 21 Senators shots in the first period and ultimately made 41 out of 43 stops in defeat.

    Craig Anderson was strong in his own right, mind you, stopping 34 out of 35 shots (including all 28 at even-strength) to help Ottawa take that tight contest.

    Anderson’s strong play highlights the fact that Rangers – Senators doesn’t merely come down to Lundqvist vs. Karlsson … but even so, both Swedish superstars really did stand out in this one.

    Game 2 airs on NBC at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App; click here for the livestream link.