With 10 games remaining in their schedule, the San Jose Sharks are running out of time to make a miracle run for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
They now sit eight points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Not only are they running out of games, there are three other teams ahead of them, one of which is the L.A. Kings.
On Saturday, the Sharks fired 29 shots at Montreal Canadiens star goalie Carey Price, but failed to score. The result was a 2-0 loss. Price has now recorded a single-season career best nine shutouts this season, as well as his 40th win.
He has shutouts in back-to-back games. No. 9 on the season was another massive blow to the Sharks’ playoff hopes.
“Our guys are competing. They’re battling. They are doing the right things to give ourselves a chance to win. It’s all we can ask of them right now. … But, we’re beyond growth right now. It’s all about wins,” said head coach Todd McLellan, as per CSN Bay Area.
Hammond looks to remain unbeaten in regulation
Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators will look for a sixth straight win tonight when they play host to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Hammond enters the game with a 12-0-1 record to go along with a 1.55 goals-against average since getting called up from Binghamton.
The Sens enter tonight’s action two points back of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Since the last meeting between the Leafs and Senators (Jan. 21), Ottawa is 17-6-2 while Toronto has gone 5-17-3.
James Reimer gets the nod for the Leafs.
Blue Jackets at Flames: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Karri Ramo
Canucks at Kings: Eddie Lack vs. Jonathan Quick
Capitals at Jets: Braden Holtby vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Rangers at Hurricanes: Cam Talbot vs. Anton Khudobin
Islanders at Devils: Jaroslav Halak vs. Cory Schneider
Bruins at Panthers: Tuukka Rask vs. Roberto Luongo
Sharks at Canadiens: Antti Niemi vs. Carey Price
Sabres at Predators: Matt Hackett vs. Pekka Rinne
Blackhawks at Stars: Corey Crawford vs. Kari Lehtonen
Penguins at Coyotes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Mike Smith
Flyers at Oilers: Steve Mason vs. Ben Scrivens
The Montreal Canadiens will have Jeff Petry back in the lineup tonight as they try to create some breathing room between themselves and the Tampa Bay Lightning atop the Atlantic Division.
Petry, who missed Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes due to the flu, will replace Nathan Beaulieu when Montreal plays host to the San Jose Sharks.
Petry is averaging 22:24 in ice time in nine games since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers.
The Habs have a two point lead on the Bolts atop the Atlantic and have a one-point lead on the St. Louis Blues for top spot overall.
San Jose enters Saturday’s action six points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card seed and five points back of Calgary for the third spot in the Pacific Division.
The Sharks won the only other meeting between the two clubs this season 4-0 on March 2.
PK Subban has received his second fine of the season for diving, meaning the NHL has identified three such incidents by the Canadiens defenseman in 2014-15.
Here’s the latest one, from a March 12 game versus the Senators, that will cost him $3,000:
And here’s the incident, from a game Jan. 29 versus the Rangers, that earned him his first fine of $2,000 :
Subban was first issued a warning for an incident Jan. 6 versus the Lightning.
The next incident, if there is one, will mean a $4,000 fine for Subban.
And the next fine for any Montreal player will mean a $2,000 fine for coach Michel Therrien.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
The Philadelphia Flyers held a closed-door meeting following their latest lose. Hopefully no one brought up an NHL standings page. (CSNPhilly.com)
Good stuff about how Carey Price’s selfie pal became his pen pal. (Global News.ca)
Why “only x points back” type observations can often be misleading during playoff races:
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To little surprise, many members of the hockey community shared their thoughts on Matthew Wuest, CapGeek’s creator who passed away on Thursday.
The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle had probably the lengthiest account, and it’s worth a read on his old blog (which still provides rushes of nostalgia for those of us who followed the Mirtle blog many moons ago). I provided my condolences at Rotoworld, which admittedly only compliments some of the observations from around the hockey web: