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Sunday Standings: Key injuries creeping into Metropolitan Division

It was all smiles (pictured) for the Penguins last night in San Jose, but significant injuries to key players are popping up around the division these days..

Pittsburgh Penguins v San Jose Sharks Photo by Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images

It was a week of pain in the Metropolitan Division. From Jack Hughes to Adam Fox and Nicklas Backstrom, Sean Couturier and Igor Shesterkin, teams saw significant hits to their club that will leave a lasting effect in the days and weeks ahead. Here’s how the division standings look this morning.

Let’s go around the division to quickly recap the latest, with records from the last week in parenthesis.

New York Rangers (2-0-1): The Rangers have been finding themselves in close games lately, taking one-goal victories this week over Winnipeg and Carolina before blowing a third period lead and falling 5-4 in a shootout to Minnesota last night to end a six-game winning streak. Injuries are starting to pile up, Adam Fox is on LTR and out until at least the end of this month. Filip Chytil is on the regular IR and out for at least a week, and Igor Shesterkin has a minor injury as well. That six-game winning streak should serve them well, it could be a tough short-term future ahead.

Carolina (2-1-0): It turned out to be a ‘get right’ week for Carolina, shrugging off the road loss to the Rangers by climbing out of a 3-0 hole against the Islanders and earning a 4-3 OT win last night. The Hurricanes haven’t had the smoothest of starts but have weathered the storm (pun intended) of playing nine of their first 12 games on the road. It hasn’t been the best of starts for the ‘Canes, but last night’s big comeback win could serve as a turning point toward getting on track.

New Jersey (2-1-0): The Devils won their first two games of the week but then suffered more than one loss on Friday. They dropped the game 4-1 to St. Louis which was small potatoes compared to Jack Hughes crashing hard into the boards. Luckily, it looks like a “worst case scenario” and serious injury has been avoided, but Hughes put up 20 points in the first 10 games and will miss some action, which becomes a huge storyline for how long he is out, considering he was starting at an MVP-esque pace.

New York Islanders (1-0-2): It could have been even better for the Isles after taking that 3-0 lead against Carolina last night but at least they got a point out of it. They’re getting results but the overall picture isn’t quite as rosy; even in their 3-0 shutout win against Washington this week NYI was significantly out-shot and out-chanced. Credit to them to avoid regulation losses but the sustainability question is lingering after the big blown lead.

Washington (2-1-0): Washington took wins over San Jose and Columbus this week, losing to NYI. They also move on without Nicklas Backstrom, who bowed away from the team due to his hip situation. It won’t be a big loss on the ice since Backstrom has been a shell of himself in recent years but will be a change and his absence in presence will be felt.

Philadelphia (1-3-0): An early season hot start that saw Philadelphia in first place just two weeks ago has completely faded away, the Flyers have more than fallen back to the pack with losses in three of four games this week. It doesn’t look like Sean Couturier will be out for too long, but without him the Flyers have found themselves in familiar positions trailing in games.

Columbus (1-2-0): The Blue Jackets pulled out a solid 4-2 win mid-week over Tampa but then fell 2-1 in Washington last night. Johnny Gaudreau only has one goal in 11 games to start the season and was benched for most of the third period and got called out by coach Pascal Vincent for his play after the game. You would think that’s a momentary blip on the radar but Columbus is going to need a quick positive response from one of their top players to start playing like it if they have any hopes of moving back up the standings.

Pittsburgh (1-2-0): Gotta start somewhere and for the Pens they’ll hope that reset was a win in San Jose last night. Literally everyone beats the Sharks these days, but Pittsburgh can at least hope to build on the rest of their California trip this week with the momentum of a win.