Maybe Ryan Suter should send a “Thank you” note to his former teammates in Nashville.
The Minnesota Wild fell 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, but in a broader sense, it didn’t really matter. The Colorado Avalanche lost as well via a 4-3 defeat to the Predators, so the Wild are officially in the playoffs and the Avs are officially done.
This marks Minnesota’s fourth consecutive playoff berth while Colorado has been unable to make the postseason for two straight years.
(Perhaps Patrick Roy will either be on the hot seat or closer to it?)
Injuries were a consideration for the Rangers, too, with bad news about Ryan McDonagh surfacing before this game. They lost another prominent defenseman during the game on Tuesday, as Dan Girardi suffered a scary fall from a hit by former Ranger Brian Boyle.
The good news for the Rangers and Lightning: they’re both in the playoffs. The bad news is that they’re showing some battle scars from these battles of attrition.
Panthers clinch Atlantic Division; John Scott says goodbye to the Habs
This is feeling like a pretty special season for the Florida Panthers, and it shows in the standings.
Most importantly, Tuesday ended with the Panthers officially taking the Atlantic Division title thanks to their 4-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s tough loss to the New York Rangers.
The Cats are looking frisky heading into the playoffs, too, with four straight wins and victories in six of seven games. They generated some serious milestones in the process:
The Tampa Bay Lightning might lose to the New York Rangers despite starting with a 2-0 lead, yet the scoreboard might still provide some relief … assuming they can see some out-of-town results.
(OK, so maybe only Lightning fans will get to utter a sigh of relief, at least for now.)
With the Boston Bruins’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on the docket, the Lightning are guaranteed a spot in the 2016 playoffs. The NHL provided the ‘ol ticket punched graphic and everything:
All of a sudden, the New York Islanders are looking dangerous again, and that’s bad news for the rest of the East considering the fact that they clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday.
It didn’t look like the Islanders would do so, at least by their own power, for some time. The Washington Capitals rode a great start by the line of Alex Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson and T.J. Oshie to a 3-1 lead.
The Isles just wouldn’t stay down, however, with Thomas Hickey‘s overtime goal capping a 4-3 comeback win.
As great as Ovechkin was, John Tavares came through in a big way as well, generating three points in this victory. Now the Islanders have won five of their last six games, often in dramatic fashion.