The Detroit Red Wings put themselves in a prime position to clinch a playoff spot by beating the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Thursday.
It’s not a sure thing yet, however. The Red Wings’ spot would be guaranteed tonight if the Dallas Stars beat the Columbus Blue Jackets (even in a shootout).
Detroit might want to keep the Stars from finding out what this win did to their chances, then. The Stars cannot leap over Detroit (54 points) or the Minnesota Wild (53 points), so they’ve been mathematically eliminated.
Teams that suddenly have “nothing but pride” to play for have been doing pretty well in the last couple days. Most prominently, the Phoenix Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Wednesday even though their postseason hopes officially faded.
Either way, the Red Wings (cliche alert) control their destiny. Even if the Blue Jackets win out, Detroit only needs one point against the Dallas Stars on Saturday to guarantee a spot.
In other words, the Red Wings’ can’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet, but this was clearly a significant win.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger