Wednesday, March 20, 2019
The Skinny on the Metro Playoff Race
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in the final minute to force OT but Victor Hedman's overtime goal gives Tampa Bay a 5-4 win over the Caps for their sixth straight win in the only game involving a Metro team on Wednesday.
The loser point gives the Caps a 3-point lead over the Isles; Washington has played 74 games and the Isles 73.
So the standings through Wednesday's play looks like this:
Metro Playoff Watch
1. Caps 94 points/74 games/39 ROW (Friday vs. Minnesota, Sunday vs. Philadelphia)
2. Isles 91 points/73 games/38 ROW (Thursday at Montreal, Saturday at Philadelphia)
3. Penguins 89 points/74 games/38 ROW (Thursday at Nashville, Saturday at Dallas)
4. Hurricanes 87 points/72 games/38 ROW (Thursday vs Tampa Bay, Saturday vs. Minnesota)
5. Blue Jackets 84 points/73 games/39 ROW (Thursday at Edmonton, Sunday at Vancouver)
6. Flyers 78 points/73 games/33 ROW (Thursday at Chicago, Saturday vs. Isles)
Also in Wild Card Race
Canadiens 83 points/73 games/36 ROW (Thursday vs. Isles, Saturday vs. Buffalo)
The Blue Jackets currently hold the second Wild Card, so five Metropolitan Division teams are currently in playoff spots.
The Isles' Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot is 11. It could go as low as 7 (with a win vs. Montreal) on Thursday.
The Isles' Magic Number to clinch the Metropolitan Division is 20. It could go as low as 18 on Thursday. [Washington's magic number to clinch the division is now 16.]
With the Caps losing by one goal tonight, the Isles now have a +30 goal differential to Washington’s +27. It is this tie-breaker that had the Isles in first place in the Metro Division entering play on Tuesday.