The NHL regular season still has another two weeks to go but the playoff scenarios — at least for the Florida Panthers — are starting to clear up.
On Sunday, the Washington Capitals were the eighth and final team to clinch a spot on the Eastern Conference side of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Caps could be headed south to face Florida — although Washington could still move up and leave Pittsburgh or Boston on tap for the Panthers.
This will be the eighth consecutive trip to the postseason for the Capitals, but since they won the Stanley Cup in 2018, the team has been knocked out in the first round.
Per Washington Hockey Now, the Caps currently have 13 members of the Cup-winning team still on the roster.
The Islanders, who play host to the Panthers on Tuesday, were eliminated from the postseason race with their loss to the Maple Leafs on Sunday allowing the Capitals to clinch.
Speaking of the playoffs, the Panthers continue to close in on the top seed in the East after steamrolling the Red Wings in Detroit City on Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers are just absolutely smoking teams right now. Yeah, we know it was the Red Wings, but Sunday was still pretty impressive.
Florida can lock up the top spot in the east this week as they try to add to its 10-game winning streak.
— Andrew Brunette says his team is so much fun to be around, he’s jealous he can’t play with them.
These are the good times, folks. Enjoy this special team while you can.
— Jonathan Huberdeau and Claude Giroux really look good together.
— Gus Forsling had a goal Sunday and remains red-hot this month.
— The Heat and Panthers have never had a deep playoff run together in the same year. Perhaps this is the one?
— Catch yesterday’s Panthers Postgame Show as well as hear from Anton Lundell, Spencer Knight and Brunette as we have their postgame remarks on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube page.
If you like what you see on the YouTube page, please subscribe to it; we’re trying to get to 1,000 subscribers so we can start doing live shows and the like. We’re close!
AROUND THE NHL
The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without goalie Tristan Jarry for a bit with former Lightning backup Louis Domingue up for a while.
— The Boston Bruins clinched a playoff spot by beating the Penguins.
— The Carolina Hurricanes had a tough loss in Denver as Jordan Staal and Frederik Andersen were hurt in a costly loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT NEW YORK ISLANDERS
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: UBS Arena; Elmont, N.Y.
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: 790-AM The Ticket
- All-time regular season series: Panthers lead 74-48-17, 10 ties
- Last season: Did not play
- Season series — Florida leads 1-0: @Florida 5, Islanders 1 (Oct. 15); @Florida 6, Islanders 0 (Nov. 16)