Author: James O'Brien

Henrik Lundqvist

Bruins ruin Lundqvist’s return


The Boston Bruins leave Saturday’s game with their own concerns regarding their top goalie, but they made life difficult for the New York Rangers’ returning No. 1 this afternoon.

After taking a 3-0 lead, the Bruins cruised to a 4-2 win that was probably more lopsided than the score indicated.

Again, plenty of thoughts revolve around Tuukka Rask’s status; the Bruins haven’t been particularly forthcoming regarding his condition. Niklas Svedberg was able to maintain Boston’s lead after taking over early in the second period, yet considering the Bruins’ thin grasp on a wild card spot (Ottawa can go right back ahead by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight), this is a worrisome situation.

On the bright side, the Bruins looked strong for much of this game, as it would be unfair to blame the loss totally on a rusty Henrik Lundqvist.

(That said, it was clear that Lundqvist was rusty.)

The B’s place in the postseason is shaky – Ottawa can knock them back out of the wild card ranks by beating the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs tonight – but this is still a big win.

Note: An earlier version of this post mentioned that Boston’s win clinched for Montreal, but that is not true.

Predators clinch playoff berth after slipping by Caps

Ryan Ellis, Filip Forsberg

The Nashville Predators clinched their playoff spot after beating the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Saturday.

There were some tense moments, mind you. Nashville chased Braden Holtby after scoring three goals in the first period, yet Washington made things interesting. The Predators never trailed in (perhaps fittingly) clinching a postseason berth against former head coach Barry Trotz.

Nashville missed the playoffs the past two seasons, so this is a big turnaround for a team that could win the Central Division and the West’s first seed. They’re the first team in their conference to assure themselves of a playoff spot.

(Click here for other clinching scenarios today.)

The Predators best-ever season standings-wise came in 2006-07, when they went 51-23-8 for 110 points. Could this season ultimately top that, though?

Video: Letang hospitalized after Doan hit (Update)

Pittsburgh Penguins v Colorado Avalanche

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang immediately headed for the locker room following a painful hit by Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan on Saturday.

The latest update is a disturbing one: Letang is undergoing evaluations at a hospital and the team doesn’t anticipate more news until Sunday.

Here’s a look at the hit:

That moment is already generating plenty of debate about Doan’s hit. Some think it was quite late:

Doan was not penalized on the play. Steve Downie fought him later on in the period because of that check. As Shelly Anderson notes, there isn’t an update regarding Letang’s condition just yet.

Considering Letang’s history with concussions and other injuries, this is certainly a concern for a Penguins team that was just getting healthier.

Update: The Penguins won 3-2, but Letang did not return to the game.