The Penguins played four games last week, and all four games were decided by one goal with three of the games going to extra time. The Flyers were in Pittsburgh to wrap up their season series on Sunday on the back end of home back-to-back. Teddy Blueger opened up the scoring 42 minutes in to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead but James van Riemsdyk would score his 25th of the year with less than 20 seconds left in the game to force overtime. Sean Couturier would put the dagger in the Penguins’ heart with 3.4 seconds left in overtime to give the Penguins their second home loss in as many days.
It was an eerily similar story two nights later in Raleigh as the Penguins and Hurricanes met in a very important game for both teams. Kris Letang scored a very pretty goal with less than five minutes in regulation to give the Pens the 2-1 lead. It would not last, however, as the Hurricanes scored with the extra attacker to force overtime. Both goalies stood tall in overtime to force a shootout and Dougie Hamilton would score as the first shooter in what would be the only goal to give the Hurricanes two points with a 3-2 come from behind shooutout victory over Pittsburgh.
The Penguins were in Nashville two nights later, and for the third straight game the Penguins allowed their opponent to tie the game late in the 3rd period and force overtime. This time, however, the Penguins came away with the victory. Matt Murray played an excellent game and made 28 saves and remained perfect in the shootout while Sidney Crosby scored the only goal in the skills competition to give the Penguins a much needed 2-1 shootout victory.
The Penguins were in Big D on Saturday night and this time did not allow the Stars to tie it with a 3rd period push as Matt Murray shut the door. Jared McCann scored four minutes into the 3rd period, his second goal of the game, to defeat the Stars. McCann’s goal was a short-handed and may be the nicest goal by a Penguins player this season. He has been much more than expected since his arrival and is showing signs why he was a 1st round draft pick. He has 11 goals and 15 points in 26 games with Pittsburgh - three of his 11 goals came short-handed.
The Penguins will get a much needed break this week after playing the Rangers in New York City on Tuesday night, which will be the Pens’ 12th game in 21 days. The Penguins will get a three day break before facing the Predators again, this time in Pittsburgh, to wrap up this week’s only two games.
The Capitals remain in first place in the Metropolitan this week despite losing two out of their three games. They began last week by wrapping up a four game road trip in Newark with an easy 4-1 victory over the Devils that would put them back in the Metropolitan lead. The Capitals were back home the following night to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second time in five days. The game lived up to the hype and the Capitals would tie the game at four on their 56th shot in regulation to force overtime. Victor Hedman would take the puck to the net on a two on one opportunity and made a nice backhand move that fooled Braden Holtby to give the Lightning their sixth straight win. The Capitals set a franchise record with 58 shots on goal, but Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 54 of them, including all 11 from Ovechkin, for the victory.
The two teams will meet again this Saturday night in Tampa to conclude their season series. The Capitals hosted Minnesota on Friday night to close out their week. The two teams traded goals in the 1st and 2nd period before Luke Kunin scored his sixth goal this year, finishing a two on one that would hold up as the game winner in regulation for the Wild. The loser point against the Lightning helped keep the Capitals in first place in the Metro for another week.
The Capitals will finish up a four game home stand this week with the Flyers playing this afternoon on NBC before a huge back-to-back with the Hurricanes starting in DC on Tuesday before heading to Raleigh on Thursday. The Capitals road only gets rougher when they take on the Lightning in Tampa on Saturday night for their third meeting in three weeks.
The Islanders remain one point out of the Metro by splitting their four games last week. They kicked off last week on the second half of a back-to-back in Minnesota last Sunday. Minnesota would tie the game at two in the 3rd period to force overtime before Brock Nelson’s 22nd goal of the season one minute into overtime would catapult the Islanders back into first place in the Metro with a 3-2 road victory.
The Islanders would return home to play the Bruins on Tuesday night. The Bruins completely dominated the Islanders and destroyed them in a 5-0 victory for Boston. Tuukka Rask recorded his easiest shutout of his career, only needing to stop 13 shots from the Islanders in the game. The Islanders were in Montreal two nights later and it was the same story with the Canadiens shutting out the Islanders again, this time 4-0. The Islanders mustered up 28 shots in this game, but Carey Price turned aside each of them and the Canadiens led 4-0 at the midway point before they buckled down defensively to shut the door on the Islanders for the second straight game.
The Islanders finished the week off with a positive against the Flyers in Philadelphia on Saturday. Josh Bailey scored two goals 1:23 apart late in the 3rd period to break the 2-2 tie and secure two points for the Islanders to keep them within one point of the Metropolitan lead.
The Islanders begin this week in the second of a back-to-back against the Coyotes this afternoon. They will play a huge game against the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Tuesday night before heading to Winnipeg to play the Jets on Thursday night. The Islanders will conclude this week at home against Buffalo on Saturday night.
The Hurricanes have had a favorable schedule in March and are taking full advantage of it. They are in the middle of a five game home stand and will play seven of eight at home during this stretch. The Canes began last week with a huge game against the Penguins. Pittsburgh thought they had the game won with a beautiful goal from Kris Letang with less than five minutes remaining in the game, but Carolina had different plans. Justin Williams would tie the game at two with his 22nd goal this season with less than two minutes remaining and their net empty. The game would head to a shootout and Dougie Hamilton’s goal in the first round would seal the deal for Carolina and secure two much needed points in the standings.
The Hurricanes had a measuring stick game against the Lightning two nights later and were leading 3-2 after two periods before the Lightning ran away with the game in the 3rd period with four goals. The Canes dropped that game by a 6-3 final score. The Hurricanes rebounded nicely two days later when the Minnesota Wild were in Raleigh. Jordan Staal opened the scoring for Carolina early in the 2nd period and the Hurricanes never took their foot off the gas pedal in a 5-1 defeat over the Wild to bring their point total to 89 on the year, two more than Montreal in the Wild Card and four points behind the Islanders and Penguins in the Metro.
The Hurricanes have another important game today to finish up a weekend back-to-back. The Hurricanes play the second Wild Card team Montreal Canadiens this evening. A regulation loss for Carolina would bring both teams to 89 points. The second place team gets the privilege of taking on Tampa Bay who is having one of the greatest seasons in the history on the NHL, so both teams will be holding nothing back in that game. The Canes will then play a home-and-home with the Capitals on Tuesday in DC and Thursday in Raleigh. All games are important this time of year, and the Canes can control their own destiny if they were to fare well in those three games.
The Hurricanes wrap this week up with a back-to-back against the two Pennsylvania teams. Carolina will host the Flyers on Saturday afternoon before flying to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins next Sunday evening in yet another massive game for the Hurricanes.
Columbus had a very quiet week last week, only playing in two games and not playing since Thursday night. They began the week in Calgary on Tuesday and the Flames would come away with the victory in that game. Zach Werenski opened the scoring 10 minutes into the 1st period, but the Flames would answer two minutes later and would score the games next three goals, finishing off the Jackets by a 4-2 final score. Edmonton hosted Columbus on Thursday, and again the Blue Jackets would score first with David Savard’s sixth goal a little past the midway point in the game. Edmonton would tie it two minutes later before the Oilers took the game over in the 3rd period with three goals to send the Jackets packing in a 4-1 victory for the Oil.
Columbus only played two games, but finished the week with zero points in the standings and are now three points behind Montreal in the Wild Card race. They are very much in danger of not making the playoffs this year.
Columbus has a much busier week this week and have several large matchups. They wrap up their western Canadian trip tonight against Vancouver before returning home for the two biggest games of their season so far. The Islanders will be waiting in Columbus on Tuesday night and the Canadiens are next at Nationwide on Thursday night in a must-win for Columbus. The Jackets will only play one more home game this season after the Canadiens game. Columbus will finish this week off in Nashville on Saturday in the first game of a back-to-back with Buffalo next Sunday evening.
The playoffs have officially begun in Columbus, and every game for them is not a must-win, but the Canadiens game will be the most important game of the year until that point for the Jackets.
It was an up-and-down week for the Flyers last week, and the door has finally closed on their playoff dreams. It’s not official yet, but it may as well be. The Flyers began last week in Pittsburgh on Sunday, and again stunned the Penguins with two late goals. The Penguins allowed the Flyers to tie the game at one with only 19 seconds remaining before Sean Couturier would score with only 3.4 seconds remaining in overtime to steal another victory away from the Penguins. The Flyers returned home against Montreal two nights later, and the Canadiens scored a goal in each period to put away the Flyers by a 3-1 final to keep Montreal in the Wild Card discussion still. The Canadiens have a three point lead over Columbus for the final Wild Card position as of this morning.
Chicago hosted the Flyers on Thursday night, and Philly scored the only goals in the 3rd period to put away the Blackhawks 3-1 behind a 40 save performance from Carter Hart. The Islanders were waiting for the Flyers in Philadelphia on Saturday, and Josh Bailey would score two goals in the final five minutes of the game to break a 2-2 tie and secure the victory for the Islanders to keep them in second place in the Metro this week.
The Flyers are back in action today for the second of a back-to-back in Washington DC. The puck drops at 12:30 in that game. The Flyers return home for a game against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday before closing out next week on the road against the Hurricanes in the first of a back-to-back before playing the Rangers at home next Sunday afternoon.
The New York Rangers had a very light week with only two games last week after playing four road games in six days the previous week. The Ranger kicked things off at home against the Red Wings at MSG on Tuesday night. The Red Wings would score in the 1st and 2nd period before the Rangers made things interesting with a power play goal late in the 3rd period to make it a 2-1 game. The Red Wings added an empty net goal that would turn out to be the game winner as New York scored with 10 seconds remaining to make it a 3-2 final score. That loss was the Rangers’ 11th loss in their last 12 games.
The Rangers were in Toronto on Saturday night, and the game was scoreless through two periods before Pavel Buchnevich’s 18th goal of the season 19 seconds into the 3rd period gave the Rangers the lead. Zach Hyman would answer 8 minutes later for Toronto with his 19th of the year and the game would need overtime to decide the winner. Ryan Strome would score his 15th goal this season less than two minutes into overtime to give the Rangers the victory. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 44 shots, including 19 in the 3rd period to steal a victory for the Rangers.
The Rangers only have three games this week, but it’s against tough opponents. The Penguins will be under the bright NYC lights on Monday night at MSG before the Rangers hit the road to Boston on Wednesday night. The Rangers wrap up next week on Friday night at home against the Blues. The Rangers are tied with Buffalo with 71 points, but the Sabres are higher in the standings giving the Rangers the fifth best odds for the Hughes lottery with an 8.5% chance of winning the jackpot.
The Devils started last week by wrapping up a four game road trip on Sunday that began the previous Tuesday. The Avalanche seemed dead in the water for a long stretch this season but shutout the Devils 3-0 to keep Colorado in the Wild Card race in the Western Conference. That shutout was Phillipp Grubauer’s third in five starts and the Avalanche find themselves in the second Wild Card as of today after a great week last week. The Devils returned home on Tuesday night to begin a four game home stand, starting with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals would regain the Metro lead in that game thanks to a three goal 2nd period to down the Devils 4-1.
Boston was next in New Jersey on Thursday night and the Bruins ran away with the game with three 3rd period goals after leading 2-1 after 40 minutes to extend their lead over Toronto in the Atlantic Division. New Jersey would finally get one in the win column on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes. Both teams would score a goal in the 1st period and neither team would score another goal until the 9th shooter for the Devils in the shootout. Arizona would also score in the fifth round before Pavel Zacha sent the home fans home happy and the Coyotes disappointed with a 2-1 shootout victory to wrap up last week for the Devils.
The Devils will wrap up their four game home stand on Monday night against Buffalo before have a three day break. The pick up action again on Friday night in Detroit in the first half of a back-to-back that will seem them return to Newark to play the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. As of this morning, the Devils sit 29th in the NHL and have a 9.5% chance of winning the Jack Hughes sweepstakes.
As always, thanks for reading and be sure to come back next week to see how the Metropolitan will be shaping up for the final week of the regular season!
41-24-11; 94pts; 256 Goals For (6th in the NHL; T-5th last week); 226 Goals Against (16th)
2-0-2 record last week
PHI: 2 OT
Pens blow another late lead in 2-1 overtime loss to the Flyers
CAR: 3 SO
Another point gained but another blown lead in shootout loss
PIT: 2 SO
Pittsburgh fights to a shootout win in Nashville
Murray and McCann Outshine the Stars, Pens Earn 3-2 Victory
Monday, March 26 - @ NYR, 7 p.m. ET
Friday, March 29 - vs NSH, 7 p.m.
- 2/11/19, D Olli Maatta - IR; Upper-body injury
- 2/25/19, D Chad Ruhwedel - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
- 3/9/19, LW Zach Aston-Reee - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
- 3/16/19, C Evgeni Malkin - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
43-24-8, 94 pts; 257 GF (5th; T-5th); 233 GA (19th; T-20th)
1-1-1 record last week
Caps Drop Devils in 4-1 Victory
TBL: 5 OT
Lightning Sting Caps in 5-4 OT loss
Power Play Woes Sink Washington 2-1
Sunday, March 24 - vs PHI, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26 - vs CAR, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 28 - @ CAR, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 - @ TBL, 7 p.m.
- 3/19/19, D Michal Kempny - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
- 3/21/19, LW Carl Hagelin - Day-to-day; Illness
43-25-7, 93 pts; 210 GF (21st); 184 GA (1st)
2-2 record last week
NYI: 3 OT
Nelson secures the extra point, New York back into tie for first
I’m not allowed to curse in the headline
Much needed win in Philly
Sunday, March 24 - vs ARI, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26 - @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 28 - @ WPG, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 - vs BUF, 7 p.m.
- 3/18/19, C Valtteri Filppula - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
41-26-7, 89 pts; 223 GF (T-15th; T-17th); 205 GA (T-6th; 7th)
2-1 record last week
CAR: 3 SO
Canes come back to steal 3-2 shootout win
The Turbo Show
Sunday, March 24 - vs MTL, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26 - @ WSH, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 28 - vs WSH, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 - vs PHI, 1:30 p.m.
40-30-4, 84 pts; 223 GF (T-15th; T-11th); 218 GA (T-12th; 11th)
0-2 record last week
Blue Jackets Flame Out in Calgary, Lose 4-2
Sunday, March 24 - @ VAN, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26 - vs NYI, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 28 - vs MTL, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 - @ NSH, 8 p.m.
- 2/17/19, D Ryan Murray - IR; Upper-body injury
- 3/15/19, LW Nick Foligno - Day-to-day; Personal reasons
- 3/20/19, G Sergei Bobrovsky - Day-to-day; Undisclosed injury
36-31-8, 80 pts; 228 GF (13th; T-11th); 249 GA (25th; 26th)
2-2 record last week
PHI: 2 OT
Couturier’s winner sinks Penguins in overtime, keeps Flyers playoff hopes alive
Flyers’ playoff hopes dealt serious blow in 3-1 setback to Canadiens
Carter Hart once again plays the role of Superman
Have we reached the acceptance stage yet?
Sunday, March 24 - @ WSH, 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 27 - vs TOR, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 - @ CAR, 1:30 p.m.
- 1/3/19, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Lower-body injury
- 3/18/19, D Samuel Morin - Day-to-day; Illness
29-32-13, 71 pts; 206 GF (T-24th; 22nd); 245 GA (24th; 27th)
1-1 record last week
Rangers Lose Fifth Straight in Loss to Red Wings 3-2
NYR: 2 OT
Ryan Strome Scores OT Winner as Rangers Steal Win in Toronto
Monday, March 25 - vs PIT, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 27 - @ BOS, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 29 - vs STL, 7 p.m.
- 3/9/19, D Libor Hajek - Day-to-day; Separated shoulder
- 3/18/19, RW Jesper Fast - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
- 3/20/19, LW Chris Kreider - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
28-39-9, 65 pts; 208 GF (22nd; T-19th); 259 GA (29th; 28th)
1-3 record last week
New Jersey Devils Suffered a Decisive Loss Against Boston Bruins
NJD: 2 SO
Healthy Devils Return, Take Down the Coyotes 2-1 in the Shootout
Monday, March 25 - vs BUF, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 29 - @ DET, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 - vs STL, 7 p.m.
- 12/26/18, LW Taylor Hall - IR; Lower-body injury
- 3/3/19, RW Nathan Bastian - Day-to-day; Undisclosed injury
- 3/4/19, RW Jesper Bratt - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
- 3/20/19, D Will Butcher - Day-to-day; Illness
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
3.24.19 - PHI @ WSH, 12:30 p.m. ET
3.24.19 - MTL @ CAR, 7 p.m.
3.25.19 - PIT @ NYR, 7 p.m.
3.26.19 - NYI @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
3.26/28.19 - CAR @ WSH, 7 p.m. / WSH @ CAR, 7 p.m.
3.28.19 - MTL @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
3.29.19 - NSH @ PIT, 7 p.m.
3.30.19 - PHI @ CAR, 1:30 p.m.
3.30.19 - WSH @ TBL, 7 p.m.