NHL News: Sharks inch closer to playoffs; 16 Canucks on COVID list; and more

Apr 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Jose Sharks center Dylan Gambrell (7) celebrates with center Patrick Marleau (12) and left wing John Leonard (43) his goal scored against Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) during the third period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There’s just over a month left in the season and playoff races are tightening league wide. One team many thought were done for has won four in a row and climbed to within one point of a playoff spot. The San Jose Sharks took out the L.A. Kings by a 3-2 score thanks to Martin Jones’ 35 saves. His goaltending over his last nine games has been solid with a 7-1-1 record.

NHL News: Playoff races tightening in the West

The Sharks are chasing down the Coyotes for fourth place in the West. Logan Couture who picked up an assist on Evander Kane’s 16th of the season is happy with his team’s recent play.

“I think we’re making strides,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said. “We’re in a spot right now with 19 games left to make a push and see where we end up, so I’m definitely happy with how we’ve played this last stretch.”

NHL.com

Meanwhile the Kings have fallen out of the mix and are now four points behind San Jose. The Blues are also plummeting like a stone as they lost their second straight and are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. Colorado beat them 2-1 last night and extended their point streak to 14 games. The Avalanche win coupled with the Golden Knights 2-1 loss to Minnesota has Colorado in sole possession of first place by four points.

NHL News: Canucks have 16 players and three coaches on the NHL COVID list

canucks covid
Canucks home (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press via AP)

There’s genuine concern around the NHL if the Canucks will be able to complete the season as the COVID outbreak now has 16 players on it. Pierre LeBrun tweeted out information that reveals this is also a variant of the virus and the league is assuming the entire team has it. This was similar to the situation in Dallas to start the year.

Currently the league wanted to conclude the regular season by May 11 but will likely go past that for the North Division. Yesterday the NHL warned all its teams to not let their guard down. There’s also some whispers that the NHL may consider a bubble again to complete the playoffs.

NHL News: Highlights from last night’s action in each division

East Division:

The Bruins took down the Penguins 7-5 on the strength of a Brad Marchand hat-trick. Boston widens their hold on fourth place to four points after both the Rangers and Flyers lost in shootouts last night. The Sabres edged the Rangers while the Islanders did in Philly each by a 3-2 score.

Central Division:

The Lightning beat the Red Wings 2-1 and the Panthers defeated the Blue Jackets 5-2 as they duke it out for first in the division with 54 points each. The Hurricanes fell to the Stars 3-2 and are now 3 points back of first. Meanwhile the Predators have sole possession of fourth after knocking off the Blackhawks 3-0.

North Division:

Only one game last night that saw the Senators take down the Canadiens easily by a score of 6-3.

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