Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets

Penguins clinch playoff berth with win over Blue Jackets


Not much of a surprise here, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Yes, Sidney Crosby and his bunch clinched a post-season berth with a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

The Penguins got goals from Chris Kunitz and Beau Bennett only 47 seconds apart in the third period to defeat the Blue Jackets by a final score of 2-1. The Penguins, having also put to an end a three-game losing streak, are still well out in front of the Metropolitan Division with 99 points.

However, the loss could have a huge impact on the Blue Jackets, and their playoff aspirations. Columbus is one of four teams currently tied with 80 points, but looking to grab the two Wild Card spots in the East. The math: two of those four teams, at some points, are going to pull ahead and grab those remaining spots.

The other two, well, it will be the opposite.

The Blue Jackets did get some help, as the Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Philadelphia Flyers and have now been defeated in seven straight games.

This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career

Dougie Hamilton
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Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.

(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)

You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …

… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.

Senators lose Michalek, Zibanejad to injuries vs. Flyers

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It remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators can avoid losing against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but either way, it’s been a costly night.

The Senators saw two forwards leave the game with injuries, as Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were banged up on Tuesday.

Michalek may have gotten hurt blocking a shot while a Radko Gudas hit on Zibanejad left the Senators forward with an upper-body injury.

Gudas may get a call from the league for his infractions.

Patrick Kane gets so much time, extends streak to 20 games


In hockey terms, Patrick Kane was like a star basketball player left alone for an almost strange amount of time to score. Sometimes you miss that opportunity out of the sheer shock of getting that much time and space.

Devan Dubnyk wasn’t so lucky, however, as Kane beat him to score a 1-1 goal.

You can watch the whole sequence in the video above, including an absolutely fantastic play by Duncan Keith.

With that tally, Kane’s scoring streak is now at 20 games, leaving him one game behind Bobby Hull’s Chicago Blackhawks record.

PHT discusses Kane’s streak and his place among the all-time great runs in the clip below.

Video: Pekka Rinne’s zero-margin-of-error stick save

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Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.

Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.

You can also see it up close via this GIF:

Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:

At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.