Canadiens clinch playoff spot, East Division matchups set, and more NHL action

The Montreal Canadiens are the last NHL team to clinch a playoff berth by picking up a point in an OT loss to the Edmonton Oilers. For Montreal, they will face either the Toronto Maple Leafs or Oilers in the opening round of the playoffs.

Canadiens clinch playoff spot

Arturri Lehkonen’s third period tying goal was enough to put the Habs into the postseason. This will undoubtedly help Marc Bergevin conversations as he talks with ownership about his future. For now, Montreal can still surpass the faltering Jets in the standings as they are down by a point with one game left to play.

“We were pretty confident we were going to clinch this by either this game or the next game,” Lehkonen said. “But now that we’re done, we’ve just got to keep building on toward the end of the season.”

Winnipeg not the other hand lost again yesterday 3-1 to the Canucks. Paul Maurice’s charges are 1-9 in their last 10 games and despite already being in the playoffs, he could be on the hot seat this summer.

Just a little side note, it was Connor McDavid who beat the Canadiens in OT. He also added an assist and has 102 points in 54 games. Staggeringly spectacular.

East Division playoffs matchups set

east division playoffs
Mar 3, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Former Boston Bruins captain and Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) skates before the game against the Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins defeated the New York Islanders on OT 3-2 and locked the East Division matchups for round one. The Pittsburgh Penguins will open up against the Isles while the B’s will lock horns with the Washington Capitals. Both teams will face each other tonight to close out their regular seasons.

It was always a possibility, but Zdeno Chara now has a chance to eliminate his old team from the playoffs. A nice little side story for round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Flyers also concluded their season with a 4-2 win over the Devils.

Meanwhile, the biggest news to come out of the East yesterday was Jack Eichel essentially making a public trade request.

West top spot up in the air, same for Presidents Trophy

The Colorado Avalanche took down the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 and close in on first place down to 2 points. The Knights will play the Sharks to close out the season and could finish with 82 points. Meanwhile the Avalanche have two games against the Kings which could be good for 84 points. If so the Avs will take the division and the Presidents Trophy for best team in the NHL. The Hurricanes lost their final game of the year to the Predators 5-4 and remain at 80 points.

Remaining NHL action:

  • Panthers beat Lightning 4-0
  • Stars edge Blackhawks 5-4 in OT
  • Blues top Kings 2-1 in OT