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.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?