WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Jarome Iginla #12 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his second period goal with teammate Andrej Meszaros #41 against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on March 29, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Iginla celebrates 12th 30-goal season by handing Caps costly loss


With their main competitors struggling, the Washington Capitals had an opportunity to gain some ground in the Wild Card race this afternoon. Instead, they watched as Boston cruised to a 4-2 victory.

Bruins forward Jarome Iginla scored his 29th and 30th markers of 2013-14 to lead the charge. With the playoffs mere weeks away, he’s one of the hottest players in the league with 13 goals in his last 15 contests.

Excluding the shortened season, Iginla has now reached the 30-goal mark in 12 straight campaigns. He has 560 career goals, which puts him in a tie with Guy Lafleur for 24th place on the all-time list.

Carl Soderberg and Patrice Bergeron each scored with the man advantage. Washington’s Braden Holtby started in just his second game since March 6 and stopped 31 of 33 shots.

For the Bruins, this win was about maintaining their momentum and chasing the St. Louis Blues in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. Washington is in a far toughter position. The Capitals entered this game as one of four teams tied with 80 points in the battle for the two Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference.

Two of the other teams in that tie, Detroit and Toronto, will play against each other tonight, so at least one of them will put some distance on the Capitals. As it is, Washington is last among the four squads in end of season tiebreaker (wins minus shootout victories), although for now the Capitals have an edge on the Maple Leafs by virtue of having played in one less contest.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.