clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Keeping up with the Metropolitans: Week 22

New, comments

The race to the post season as taken full stage. Check out how the Penguins’ rivals in the Metropolitan division have fared over the last week.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
nhl.com

nhl.com

It’s officially March, and the playoff implications are at stake every single night in the NHL. Last week saw the NHL’s trade deadline, and now the focus is solely on the playoffs.

Pittsburgh started last week off in Columbus without Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang after the ugly Stadium Series game against the Flyers. Jake Guentzel and Jared McCann each scored in the 1st period and Evgeni Malkin would score to make it 3-0 early in the 2nd before the Jackets would get on the board and the Penguins held on for a 5-2 victory on Tuesday night. The road trip continued in Buffalo on Friday for the Penguins. The Penguins scored two 2nd period goals to lead 3-2 going into the 3rd, but Brandon Montour would score with 2:30 remaining to tie the game and force overtime. The complete collapse came four minutes into overtime when former Penguin Conor Sheary would beat Matt Murray from long range with a wrist shot, Sheary’s second goal of the game and third point of the evening. The Penguins were in Montreal 24 hours later and Mike Sullivan took a gamble and put Matt Murray back in net for the second game of a back-to-back on the road. Matt Murray stood tall and the Penguins scored three quick goals in a 5-1 rout in Montreal.

The Montreal game was a much needed victory and effort for the Penguins.The Penguins may not have looked pretty in some of the games, but the Pens are 6-2-2 in the last 10 games and keeping up with the surging Hurricanes and Capitals - now tied for 1st in the Metro. Despite the Penguins struggles this season, and all the doom and gloom after each loss, the Penguins are only four points out of 1st place in the Metropolitan.

It was a high and low week for the Islanders. The Islanders had returned home from a swing through western Canada last week and also began a home stand against a western Canadian team when Calgary was at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night. It was the second meeting between the two teams in a week, and the Flames came away with another victory in a 3-1 win for the Flames in Long Island. The Islanders and their fans were likely looking ahead to their next matchup.

Former captain, and now mortal enemy to Islanders fans, John Tavares returned for the first time to Long Island as an opponent with the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was one of the most hostile environments I’ve ever seen at an NHL game, and the fans had plenty of ammunition to make noise as the Islanders wiped the floor with the Maple Leafs and defeated them 6-1 in a game that will forever be remembered in Islander history.

The high didn’t last very long, however, as the Capitals were in town the very next night. It was a very tightly contested game and the Islanders led 1-0 for most of the game before the Capitals scored two quick goals early in the 3rd period and TJ Oshie would add an empty netter (the easiest goal he’s ever scored) to finish off the Islanders.

The Capitals won all three of their games last week and again are tied for 1st in the Metropolitan after winning their game against the Islanders. The Capitals began last week with a Sunday matinee against the Rangers in DC. The Rangers scored three 3rd period goals, with the tying goal coming in the final 30 seconds, to force overtime before Evgeny Kuznetsov would score in the last minute of overtime to win the game 6-5 for the Capitals. The Capitals played the depleted Ottawa Senators the day after the trade deadline and had their way with them in a 7-2 blowout that actually saw the Senators scoring the first two goals before the Capitals scored the next seven. The Capitals made it a perfect week for them on Friday when they outscored the Islanders in the 3rd period to equal them in points on the season.

The Hurricanes keep ‘storming’ through the league and have now ‘blown’ the doors off the Metropolitan. The Hurricanes went undefeated last week and have now won five straight and 8 out of 10. The Hurricanes now find themselves three points out of the Metropolitan and are one of the hottest teams in the NHL. What a bunch of jerks.

It was a slow start to last week for the Canes after returning home from a short road trip. The Hurricanes hosted the L.A. Kings on Tuesday featuring two teams headed in different directions, and it showed on the scoreboard. The Canes were leading 6-0 after the 2nd period before playing defense and defeated the Kings 6-1. The Blues were next for the Canes, and the Blues have also been trending up for several weeks in the Central Division. Carolina paid them no mind and Sebastian Aho’s short-handed goal in 2nd period to give the Canes a 3-2 lead would be all the Canes need as the Canes would win this game 5-2. Carolina was in Sunrise the next night, and would need overtime to decide the winner against the Panthers. Sebastian Aho scored 1:46 into overtime to secure the win for the Hurricanes, their fifth victory in a row.

It seemed like Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen was playing real life NHL 19 the last few weeks and was trading for every player available, throwing out all the prospects and draft picks he could get his hands on. Those players are coming from many different teams in different situations and will need time to get acquainted with the Blue Jackets. The Jackets haven’t been getting the immediate returns they were hoping for and lost two out of three games last week.

The Blue Jackets were coming off back-to-back shutout victories and had just added seemingly every player on the market before hosting the Penguins in Columbus on Tuesday. The Penguins have been the Jackets kryptonite, and the latest game between the two was the same old story. The game was action packed, but the Penguins came away with the 5-2 victory. The Jackets faced the other Pennsylvania team two nights later in Columbus, and the result would be different for Columbus. The game would need overtime and Seth Jones would rocket home his eighth goal of the season with 30 seconds left in overtime to seal the deal for the Jackets by a 4-3 final score over the Flyers. The week ended on a sour note for the Jackets when Connor McDavid and his crew came in to Columbus and shut the door on the Jackets in a 4-0 beat down, keeping the Jackets two points out of the final Wild Card position.

The Flyers finally put an end the the Wayne Simmonds chapter in their storybook, with his last game coming at the expense of Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang, so you know Flyers fans are okay with the way things ended. The Flyers had a good week, and also set an NHL record when Cam Talbot became the 8th Flyers goalie to play in the NHL this season. The Flyers hosted the Sabres on Tuesday and made quick work of them before finishing them off by a 5-2 final. The Flyers were in Columbus two nights later and forced overtime but could not come away with the win over the Jackets. The Flyers took on the Devils in Newark on Friday, and easily took care of the Devils to the tune of a 6-3 score.

The Flyers will have a tough week this week, with two road games against the Islanders sandwiched around a home game against the Capitals on Wednesday. Penguin fans have some ill feelings towards the Flyers, but will be rooting for them this week.

The Rangers finished trading away all their spare parts and would lose all their games last week. There’s not a lot for the Rangers to play for, but they certainly aren’t letting their opponents off easy. The Rangers will host the Capitals this afternoon at home before playing seven out of their next nine games on the road including a trip to western Canada. The Rangers are likely to have an even bigger drop-off in standings during this stretch.

It was another losing week for the Devils, and news broke that Taylor Hall had knee surgery and officially ended his season although he hasn’t played since the end of December. Not a lot of good news coming from New Jersey, as this off-season will likely be a more exciting time for the Devils. At least Cory Schneider is winning games again.


The schedule the rest of the way is obviously very important in deciding which teams will make or miss the playoffs. Below I’ll list the road for each team in the final 17-18 games for each Wild Card hopeful team in the Metro. It’ll be broken down into home game and road games, and also by teams in the playoffs and teams outside of the playoffs as of today.

Penguins

17 games remaining - 10 home; 7 road

Home games:
vs Playoff teams: CBJ 3/7, BOS 3/10, WSH 3/12, STL 3/16, NSH 3/29, CAR 3/31
vs non-Playoff teams: FLA 3/5, PHI 3/17, DET 4/4, NYR 4/6

Road games:
at Playoff teams: CBJ 3/9, CAR 3/19, NSH 3/21
at non-Playoff teams: BUF 3/14, DAL 3/23, NYR 3/25, DET 4/2

Islanders

18 games remaining - 9 home, 9 away

Home games:
vs Playoff teams: CBJ 3/11, MTL 3/14, BOS 3/19, TOR 4/1
vs non-Playoff teams: PHI 3/3, OTT 3/5, PHI 3/9, ARI 3/24, BUF 3/30

Road games:
at Playoff teams: MIN 3/17, MTL 3/21, CBJ 3/26, WPG 3/28, WSH 4/6
at non-Playoff teams: OTT 3/7, DET 3/16, PHI 3/23. FLA 4/4

Capitals

17 games remaining - 8 home, 9 away

Home games:
vs Playoff teams: WPG 3/10, TBL 3/20, MIN 3/22, CAR 3/26, MTL 4/4, NYI 4/6
vs non-Playoff teams: NJD 3/8, PHI 3/24,

Road games:
at Playoff teams: PIT 3/12, TBL 3/16, CAR 3/28, TBL 3/30, FLA 4/1
at non-Playoff teams: NYR 3/3, PHI 3/6, PHI 3/14. NJD 3/19

Carolina

17 games remaining - 9 home, 8 away

Home games:
vs Playoff teams: WPG 3/8, PIT 3/19, TBL 3/21, MIN 3/23, MTL 3/24, WSH 3/28
vs non-Playoff teams: BUF 3/16, PHI 3/30, NJD 4/4

Road games:
at Playoff teams: BOS 3/5, NSH 3/9, COL 3/11, CBJ 3/15, WSH 3/26, PIT 3/31, TOR 4/2
at non-Playoff teams: PHI 4/6

Columbus

17 games remaining - 6 home, 11 road

Home games:
vs Playoff teams: PIT 3/9, BOS 3/12, CAR 3/15, NYI 3/26, MTL 3/28, BOS 4/2

Road games:
at Playoff teams: PIT 3/7, NYI 3/11, BOS 3/16, CGY 3/19, NSH 3/30
at non-Playoff teams: NJD 3/5, EDM 3/21, VAN 3/24, BUF 3/31, NYR 4/5, OTT 4/6


(4)Pittsburgh Penguins

34-22-9; 77 pts; 226 Goals For (5th in the NHL; 5th last week); 202 Goals Against (T-16th; 20th)
2-0-1 record last week

2/26/19
PIT: 5
CBJ: 2
GRIT and HEART. Short handed Pens pull out CLUTCH win

3/1/19
PIT: 3
BUF: 4 OT
Pittsburgh squanders another late lead, falls in overtime

3/2/19
PIT: 5
MTL: 1
Crosby and Guentzel each net four points in big Pittsburgh win

Week Ahead:

Tuesday, March 5 - vs FLA, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 7 - vs CBJ, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 - @ CBJ, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 2/11/19, D Olli Maatta - IR; Upper-body injury
  • 2/23/19, D Kris Letang - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
  • 2/23/19, D Brian Dumoulin - Day-to-day; Concussion
  • 2/25/19, D Chad Ruhwedel - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
  • 2/25/19, RW Bryan Rust - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury

(1)New York Islanders

37-20-7, 81 pts; 186 GF (23rd; T-21st); 153 GA (1st)
1-2 record last week

2/26/19
CGY: 1
NYI: 3
New York outmatched by Calgary again

2/28/19
TOR: 1
NYI: 6
“We Don’t Need You!”

3/1/19
WSH: 3
NYI: 1
Out of gas and ideas

Week ahead:

Sunday, March 3 - vs PHI, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5 - vs OTT, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 7 - @ OTT, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 - vs PHI, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 2/28/19, LW Matt Martin - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury

(2)Washington Capitals

37-21-7, 81 pts; 223 GF (6th; 8th); 206 GA (T-20th; 23rd)
3-0 record last week

2/24/19
NYR: 5
WSH: 6 OT
Evgeny Kuznetsov Strikes in OT to Drop Rangers, 6-5

3/26/19
OTT: 2
WSH: 7
Seven Straight Goals Give Washington Win

3/1/19
WSH: 3
NYI: 1
Ovechkin’s 45th Goal Lifts the Capitals Past the Islanders, 3-1

Week Ahead:

Sunday, March 3 - @ NYR, 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday. March 6 - @ PHI, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 8 - vs NJD, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • None

(3)Carolina Hurricanes

36-23-6, 78 pts; 196 GF (16th; T-19th); 176 GA (5th; T-6th)
3-0 record last week

2/26/19
LAK: 1
CAR: 6
Canes dominate Kings in 6-1 win

3/1/19
STL: 2
CAR: 5
Hurricanes knock out Blues

3/2/19
CAR: 4 OT
FLA: 3
Hurricanes comeback for unbelievable overtime win in Florida

Week Ahead:

Tuesday, March 5 - @ BOS, 7 p.m.

Friday, March 8 - vs WPG, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 - @ NSH, 8 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 2/26/19, D Calvin de Daan - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury


(5)Columbus Blue Jackets

36-25-3, 75 pts; 201 GF (T-11th; 11th); 192 GA (14th; 11th)
1-2 record last week

2/26/19
PIT: 5
CBJ: 2
Ryan Dzingel Makes Blue Jackets Debut in Pivotal Matchup vs Penguins

2/28/19
PHI: 3
CBJ: 4 OT
Seth Jones, Blue Jackets Bury Flyers in Overtime, 4-3

3/2/19
EDM: 4
CBJ: 0
Oilers Blank Blue Jackets, 4-0

Week Ahead:

Sunday, March 3 - vs WPG, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5 - @ NJD, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 7 - @ PIT, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 - vs PIT, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 2/17/19, D Ryan Murray - IR; Upper-body injury

(6)Philadelphia Flyers

31-26-8, 70 pts; 197 GF (15th; 17th); 218 GA (26th; 28th)
2-0-1 record last week

2/26/19
BUF: 2
PHI: 5
Ryan Hartman really wants you to like him

2/28/19
PHI: 3
CBJ: 4 OT
Blue Jackets down Flyers in overtime yet again, this one 4-3

3/1/19
PHI: 6
NJD: 3
Getting mad On Ice

Week Ahead:

Sunday, March 3 - @ NYI, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, March 6 - vs WSH, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 - @ NYI, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 1/3/19, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 2/22/19, G Carter Hart - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury

(7)New York Rangers

27-27-10, 64 pts; 188 GF (T-19th; T-21st); 215 GA (25th; 24th)
0-1-2 record last week

2/24/19
NYR: 5
WSH: 6 OT
Rangers Battle Back But Fall to Washington 6-5 in Overtime

2/27/19
TBL: 4 OT
NYR: 3
Rangers Fight Back But Fall to Lightning in Overtime

2/1/19
MTL: 4
NYR: 2
Montreal Scores Three Unanswered to Top Rangers at MSG

Week Ahead:

Sunday, March 3 - vs WSH, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5 - @ DAL, 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 7 - @ DET, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 - vs NJD, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 1/29/19, C Brett Howden - IR; Sprained MCL


(8)New Jersey Devils

25-33-8, 58 pts; 188 GF (18th; T-21st); 223 GA (29th)
1-3 record last week

2/25/19
MTL: 1
NJD: 2
Close, Ugly & Proud: New Jersey Devils Swept Montreal Canadiens with 2-1 Win

2/27/19
CGY: 2
NJD: 1
Injury-Riddled New Jersey Devils Only Lost Closely to a Hot Calgary Flames Squad

3/1/19
PHI: 6
NJD: 3
Tempers Flared as New Jersey Devils Were Burned by the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-6

3/2/19
NJD: 0
BOS: 1
New Jersey Devils Edged by Boston Bruins in a Goaltender’s Duel

Week Ahead:

Tuesday, February 5 - vs CBJ, 7 p.m.

Friday, February 8 - @ WSH, 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 9 - @ NYR, 7 p.m.

Injuries:

  • 12/26/18, LW Taylor Hall - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 1/13/19, RW Stefan Noesen - IR; Lower-body injuryinjury
  • 2/16/19, C Pavel Zacha - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
  • 2/24/19, LW Miles Wood - Day-to-day; Fractured ankle
  • 2/25/19, LW John Quenneville - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
  • 2/26/19, D Mirco Mueller - Day-to-day; Shoulder
  • 2/26/19, RW Kyle Palmieri - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury

  • Standings via NHL.com as of 3/3/19
  • Injuries via TSN as of 3/3/19

Poll

Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    3.3.19 - WSH @ NYR; 12:30 p.m. ET
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    3.3.19 - PHI @ NYI; 3 p.m.
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    3.5.19 - CBJ @ NJD, 7 p.m.
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    3.5.19 - CAR @ BOS, 7 p.m.
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    3.6.19 - WSH @ PHI, 7:30 p.m.
    (9 votes)
  • 84%
    3.7.19/3.9.19 - CBJ @ PIT; 7 p.m. / PIT @ CBJ; 7 p.m.
    (121 votes)
  • 0%
    3.8.19 - NJD @ WSH, 7 p.m.
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    3.9.19 - PHI @ NYR, 7 p.m.
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    3.9.19 - CAR @ NSH, 8 p.m.
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (1 vote)
144 votes total Vote Now