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Sunday Standings: Eastern Division shakes COVID chains, gets back to business

A look at what happened in the last week across the Eastern division

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

With the NHL season riddled by postponements and game interruptions, this week presented perhaps a turning point with all the teams coming back and playing in the Eastern Division. That’s no small feat with New Jersey, Buffalo and Philadelphia all enduring and eventually overcoming a bunch of COVID issues in the past week.

Good news is good news, and we’ll see how they go from here. This is how the standings look as of now:

Here are the records of the week:

Boston 0-1-0
Philadelphia: 0-0-1
Washington: 2-2-0
Pittsburgh: 3-1-0
New York Islanders: 2-2-0
New York Rangers: 2-1-0
New Jersey: 2-1-0
Buffalo: 1-3-0

It was a good week for the Penguins to have a good week, recording a division best three wins. Even better for them is that it came against Washington and NYI, who will be playoff competitors for them when the season ends up.

It was a bit of a “come back to the pack” type of week with Boston and Philly not playing many games, but not winning either. Washington, Pittsburgh and NYI all picking up a bit of steam on them.

The big trouble looks like it’s setting in for Buffalo. They were able to salvage a bit by winning on Saturday against the Devils, but after coming back from their COVID break, it was a rude welcome back with three straight losses to the Isles (x2) and Washington before that.

It was a good bounce-back from the Rangers who have won their last two games, after going 0-3-1 before that and looking in danger of falling out of the chase. Two wins gives them a bit of momentum moving forward.

Overall, the Pens can feel really pleased about two straight home wins against the Isles to end the week. But Pittsburgh is 7-1 at home, and the next four games next week are all on the road against NYI and WSH. Those two teams have a combined 9-3-2 record in their home barns, leading for a very tough road ahead for the Pens. If they can find a way to scrape out some points next week it will do very well for their future prospects, but it’s certainly shaping up to be a very challenging week ahead.