For the first time since 2008, the Chicago Blackhawks will miss the playoffs. We’ve known that would be the case for a while now, but Tuesday night it became official as Chicago is now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
You can’t help but wonder how things might have been different if Corey Crawford had stayed healthy, especially given how well he did perform when he was available. However, the passage of time combined with Chicago’s near constant cap problems has resulting in them losing so much of once made this team look like a dynasty.
While missing the playoffs entirely is a new low for them, they were eliminated in the first round in the previous two years. You have to wonder how much of a bounce back they could hope for under the circumstances. It'll also be interesting to see if they make any major changes over the summer. For example, and this is just speculation, if they decide to trade either of their two aging defensemen signed to long-term deals in Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith in the hopes of engaging in a partial rebuild.
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NY ISLANDERS 4 PENGUINS 1
Matt Murray kicked out 36 of 39 Islanders shots. The game got off to a rough start as he surrendered two goals on 13 shots in the first period and while he stabilized, the Penguins were never able to close the gap.
Adam Pelech scored the game-winning goal. It was his third marker and 15th point in 69 contests.
Mathew Barzal found the back of the net and registered an assist. That gives the rookie 20 goals and 75 points in 73 games.
Conor Sheary scored the lone Penguins goal. He has 15 markers and 25 points in 60 games.
Christopher Gibson stopped 36 of 37 shots for the Islanders. The rookie netminder now has two wins this season and both have been hard earned as he needed to make 50 saves to get the first one back on March 11.
BLUE JACKETS 5 RANGERS 3
Artemi Panarin led the charge with a hat trick and an assist. He’s up to 25 goals and 68 points in 74 games.
Nick Foligno assisted on two of the Blue Jackets’ five goals. He has 15 goals and 33 points in 70 games.
Kevin Hayes scored a shorthanded goal for the Rangers. It was his 21st goals and 37th point in 67 contests.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 of 30 Blue Jackets shots. He’s now surrendered at least three goals in three straight starts.
Sergei Bobrovsky saved 29 of 32 shots last night. That extended his winning streak to six games.
WASHINGTON 4 DALLAS 3
Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and registered two assists. He’s up to 44 goals and 81 points in 73 contests.
T.J. Oshie found the back of the net and registered an assist. That gives him 16 goals and 41 points in 67 games.
Braden Holtby kicked out 24 of 27 Stars shots. This is the third start in a row that he’s surrendered three goals, but at least he’s won two of those contests.
At the other end of the ice, Kari Lehtonen saved 28 of 32 shots. He’s now dropped his last five decisions.
Jamie Benn scored a goal and registered an assist. He has 27 goals and 68 points in 74 games in 2017-18.
EDMONTON 7 CAROLINA 3
Leon Draisaitl scored a goal and registered three assists. That gives him 23 goals and 66 points in 69 contests.
Pontus Aberg also came up big for Edmonton with a goal and two assists. He has three goals and 13 points in 46 games.
Cam Talbot turned aside 30 of 33 shots to earn his second straight win. He’s 27-27-2 with a 2.98 GAA and .908 save percentage in 58 starts.
Sebastian Aho gave Talbot the most trouble by scoring a goal and registering an assist. Aho has 26 goals and 59 points in 69 contests.
Scott Darling stopped 23 of 30 Oilers shots. He has a 12-18-7 record, 3.19 GAA, and .885 save percentage in 39 games this season.
FLORIDA 7 OTTAWA 2
The Panthers offense was fairly spread out, with just three forwards being held off the scoresheet. That said, Jared McCann did have the biggest night with a goal and two assists. He’s up to eight goals and 23 points in 58 contests.
Evgenii Dadonov scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. That gives him 23 goals and 56 points in 63 games.
Marian Gaborik found the back of the net for the Senators. He has four goals and six points in 15 games since being acquired by Ottawa.
At the other end of the ice, James Reimer saved 33 of 35 shots. He’s won his last three starts while allowing just three goals over that span.
DETROIT 5 PHILADELPHIA 4 (SO)
Petr Mrazek started in his return to Detroit, but it didn’t go as he would have hoped. He allowed three goals on 19 shots before being pulled halfway through the second period. Alex Lyon stepped in and saved 11 of 12 shots the rest of the way, but he lost in the shootout.
Jimmy Howard kicked out 27 of 31 shots in regulation time. He was then perfect in three shootout rounds to pick up the extra point.
Dylan Larkin scored twice and registered an assist for Detroit. That gives him 11 goals and 53 points in 73 contests.
Luke Glendening scored a shorthanded goal in the second period. It was the Red Wings forward’s ninth goal and 17th point in 61 games.
Claude Giroux assisted on three of the Flyers’ four goals. He has 26 goals and 87 points in 74 contests.
TAMPA BAY 4 TORONTO 3
James van Riemsdyk scored a pair of goals for the Maple Leafs. He has 33 markers and 49 points in 72 games.
Frederik Andersen stopped 21 of 25 Lightning shots. He’s 33-19-5 with a 2.82 GAA and .918 save percentage in 59 starts.
Nikita Kucherov found the back of the net for Tampa Bay. It was his 37th goal and 94th point in 71 games.
Alex Killorn scored the game-winning goal. He’s up to 14 markers and 42 points in 73 games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 27 of 30 Maple Leafs shots. He has a 41-14-3 record, 2.54 GAA, and .922 save percentage in 59 contests.
WINNIPEG 2 LOS ANGELES 1 (OT)
Dustin Brown scored the Kings’ only goal. It was his 23rd marker and 51st point in 73 games.
Kyle Connor netted both of Winnipeg’s markers. That gives him 27 goals and 46 points in 67 contests.
Bryan Little registered an assist for the Jets. He has 14 goals and 40 points in 73 games.
Eric Comrie stopped 16 of 17 Kings shots. That allowed him to earn his first win of the season and the second victory of his career.
Jack Campbell kicked out 36 of 38 shots last night. He’s 1-0-2 with a 2.61 GAA and .927 save percentage in four contests.
COLORADO 5 CHICAGO 1
Alexander Kerfoot scored a pair of goals for the Avalanche. That gives him 17 goals and 38 points in 70 games.
Tyson Barrie found the back of the net and registered an assist. The blueliner has 12 goals and 52 points in 59 contests.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 44 of 45 Blackhawks shots. He improved to 22-14-6 with a 2.69 GAA and .919 save percentage in 47 games.
Brent Seabrook accounted for Chicago’s goals. It was his fifth marker and 22nd point in 73 games.
Anton Forsberg turned aside 35 of 39 shots on Tuesday. He has a 9-16-3 record, 3.08 GAA, and .905 save percentage in 32 games.
VEGAS 4 VANCOUVER 1
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped the seven shots he faced after the first period, but he sustained an injury and was shut down for the rest of the game. Malcolm Subban turned aside 22 of 23 shots the rest of the way.
Cody Eakin scored the game-winning goal. He has 10 markers and 25 points in 72 games.
Jonathan Marchessault found the back of the net. He’s up to 23 goals and 67 points in 70 contests.
Brandon Sutter netted Vancouver’s only goal. It was his seventh marker and 18th point in 52 games.
Jacob Markstrom kicked out 24 of 28 Vegas shots. He’s now lost five straight games and has surrendered at least three goals in three consecutive contests.
SAN JOSE 6 NEW JERSEY 2
Taylor Hall scored a goal for the Devils. He has 32 goals and 78 points in 68 contests.
Barclay Goodrow found the back of the net and registered an assist for San Jose. He has seven goals and 12 points in 43 games.
Brent Burns assisted on three of the Sharks’ six goals. He’s up to 10 goals and 58 points in 73 games.
Martin Jones kicked out 26 of 28 Devils shots. He has a 26-18-6 record, 2.50 GAA, and .916 save percentage in 52 starts.