Henrique, 24: The New Jersey Devils forward might have fresher legs after the Olympic break, as he recorded three straight two-point games for six points in the past week’s trio of contests. He’s clearly firing more shots on goal, too, as he had 12 in those three games. The Devils’ playoff odds could rise if Henrique provides quality secondary scoring with regularity.
Kuemper, 23: Josh Harding isn’t the only Minnesota Wild to have a surprising hot streak. Kuemper notched a shutout and only allowed one goal in two wins this past week to help Minnesota retain its playoff spot. Extending back before the Olympic break, Kuemper has a four-game winning streak going. The Wild may very well dismiss any urge to grab a goalie at the trade deadline thanks to Kuemper’s strong work while Niklas Backstrom struggles and Harding deals with health complications.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
Trevor Daley, traded to Blackhawks for Sharp & Johns and to #Pens for Scuderi (who was flipped to LA for Ehrhoff) played 28:41 in G4 W.