Capitals Clinch Playoff Berth; Kings Beat Dallas in Battle of 1st Place Teams
It has pretty much been the Washington Capitals followed (distantly) by everyone else in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division—actually, the whole Eastern Conference—so, it’s no surprise that the Capitals became the first team in the league to clinch a playoff berth. Washington hosted the Carolina on March 15th, and the Capitals beat the Hurricanes 2-1 as Alex Ovechkin (of course it was Ovechkin) scored the game winner in overtime.
Washington is in great shape to win the top overall seed in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals have 105 points; the next best team in the conference is Florida with 87. The battle is for the #2 seed, with Boston right behind Florida with 86 points. After that, the Rangers, Islanders, and Tampa Bay have 85 points, and Pittsburgh has 82.
There was also a game of note in the Western Conference on the 15th. The Los Angeles Kings, leading in the Pacific Division, took on the Central Division leading Dallas Stars in Dallas. L.A. starting goalie Jonathan Quick had the night off, but there was no drop off with backup Jhonas Enroth in goal. Enroth had 24 saves as the Kings beat the Stars 5-2. Los Angeles (89 points) has a four point lead over Anaheim in the Pacific Division, and trails Dallas and St. Louis by two points for the top seed in the West.