Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers

Tonight was great for Rangers and awful for Penguins


On paper, the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers should have finished Tuesday night in the same place that they started it, aside from having one less game remaining on their schedules.

Instead, it was an awfully tough night for the Penguins and a great one for the Rangers. New York squeezed out a 3-2 win against a persistent but hopeless Minnesota Wild team while Pittsburgh dropped a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders.

Tough times for Pittsburgh

This gives the Rangers a three-point lead in the Atlantic Division (and thus, the first seed in the East), which honestly seems more like a four point gap when you consider the Blueshirts’ tiebreaker advantages.

If that wasn’t enough, Kukla’s Korner points out that Marc-Andre Fleury took an elbow to the head in the second period and Sidney Crosby might just face some heat from Brendan Shanahan for his ill-advised cross-check.

Saving grace

The Penguins aren’t totally out of the No. 1 seed sweepstakes, though. The key date is April 5 when the Penguins host the Rangers at Consol Energy Center. If Pittsburgh wins that game in regulation, it reduces the Rags’ lead to just a point (or essentially two because of tiebreaker advantages).

In a fitting way, the blow to Pittsburgh’s quest for the top seed isn’t all that different from Washington’s diminished opportunity to get the eighth seed. Both teams still have a shot, but now they’ll need to depend upon Buffalo/New York to lose for things to work out.

Here are highlights of the Rangers’ win:

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Check out video of the Islanders beating the Penguins:

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WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”