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.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.