- The Vegas Golden Knights probably couldn’t have clinched the Pacific Division in a more fitting way: on a dramatic, shorthanded goal by William Karlsson. Karlsson scored his 42nd goal of 2017-18 with incredible style, confounding Martin Jones with a ridiculous between-the-legs shot. See that goal in the highlight of the night section.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be able to defend their repeat title (in other words, go for a “threepeat”) after clinching their 12th consecutive trip to the playoffs.
- Nashville wasn’t able to clinch the Central Division, but the Winnipeg Jets will finish no worse than second after winning against Toronto. So, a franchise without a single playoff win will get at least one round of home-ice advantage.
- Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The Stars kept their slim odds alive.
Ryan Suter, Viktor Arvidsson, Travis Dermott, Brandon Carlo, and Victor Antipin rank among players with injury worries. Find out more here and here.
Highlights of the Night
This Karlsson goal is just ridiculous.
Let’s watch it from another angle.
There were a lot of ugly moments for Nashville in its 7-4 loss to Buffalo, with Scott Hartnell hurting Victor Antipin. This was pretty, however:
[The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 11 on the networks of NBC]
Players of the Night
- Jack Eichel collected a ridiculous five assists in Buffalo’s win against Nashville, crossing the 100-assist barrier for his career. Sam Reinhart generated a hat trick for the Sabres, too.
- Antti Raanta collected a 34-save shutout as the Coyotes shocked the Blues 6-0. Solid night for spoilers.
- The Blue Jackets lost in overtime, but don’t blame their top guys. Seth Jones scored a goal and three assists while Artemi Panarin collected four helpers as Columbus generated a key standing point.
It hasn’t been a great season for Milan Lucic, but hey, at least he handled heavyweight bruiser Tanner Glass in this brutal fight:
Bruins 5, Panthers 1
Red Wings 2, Senators 0
Canucks 5, Blue Jackets 4 (OT)
Jets 3, Maple Leafs 1
Devils 4, Islanders 3
Penguins 5, Canadiens 2
Rangers 2, Hurricanes 1
Sabres 7, Predators 4
Stars 4, Wild 1
Coyotes 6, Blues 0
Flames 3, Oilers 2
Golden Knights 3, Sharks 2
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.