-The Penguins enter their final homestand at Mellon Arena.
-They have six more regular season games left at the Igloo. How many of the 12 points available with they get (PG+)?
-The Penguins' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now one (PG+). Basically if the Penguins get at least one point in their next game or if the Thrashers fail to get two in their next game, the Penguins are officially in the postseason.
-Another night. Another honor for Evgeni Malkin. He received the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year last night.
-Click here for a video of Dan Bylsma's introduction and Malkin's acceptance speech. Highlights include Dan Bylsma making a Joe Biden reference, a contract offer to Bruno Sammartino and Malkin citing the need to live at Sergei Gonchar house because the spare room at Mario Lemieux's house was already accounted for.
-The Penguins want fans to vote for their all-time team.
-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson (right). Acquired from the Whalers along with Ron Francis and Grant Jennings at the 1991 trade deadline in a deal which sent John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski to Hartford, Samuelsson spent parts of five seasons in Pittsburgh. One of the most physical and popluar (in Pittsburgh at least) players in team history, Samuelsson was a vital player in the franchise's first two Stanley Cup Championship. In fact, he scored the Cup-clinching goal in Game 6 of the 1991 final, an 8-0 rout at Minnesota. He led the 1993-94 team with 199 penalty minutes Despite his rugged style, Samuelsson was a very durable player as he appeared in 201 of the team's 216 games over his final three seasons in Pittsburgh. In the 1995 offseason, he was traded to the Rangers along with Luc Robitaille in exchange for Petr Nedved and Sergei Zubov. In 277 games with the Penguins, He 94 points and 804 penalty minutes, eighth most in franchise history. Currently an assistant coach with the Coyotes, he is the father of Boston College defenseman Philip Samuelsson, the Penguins' second-round draft pick in 2009.
-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Former Penguin Erik Christensen's (above, beating New Jersey's Martin Brodeur) shootout goal gave the Rangers a 4-3 win against the rival Devils. Christensen also had the primary assist on Chris Drury's goal which tied the game with 17 second left in regulation. Fire Ray Shero. Michael Del Zotto had two assists for New York while Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves in the victory. Patrik Elias led New Jersey with a goal and an assist. The Devils are in first place in the Atlantic Division with 91 points, just as many as the second-place Penguins. The Devils are ahead of the Penguins on account of having played fewer games and recording more wins.
-New York's Marc Staal stucks New Jersey's David Clarkson on his wallet:
-Brodeur having a moment:
-New Jersey's Andrew Peters rocked the world of New York's Jody Shelley:
-"I was 90 percent sure." - Christensen on his goal which required a video review.
-"He's not a factor in the game. He just walks around and talks." - Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk on Rangers forward Sean Avery.
-Martin Biron made 21 saves and led the Islanders to a 3-2 win against the Flames. Mark Streit led New York with a goal and an assist. Eric Nystrom, son of former Islanders star Bob Nystrom, led Calgary with a goal and an assist.
-Islanders defenseman Bruno Gervais suffered a groin injury.
-With defenseman Dustin Kohn dealing with a head injury, the Islanders recalled defenseman Mark Flood from Bridgeport of the AHL on an emergency basis.
-Rangers forward Brian Boyle is dealing with an undisclosed injury.
-Brian Gionta scored two goals and led the Canadiens to a 4-1 win against the Panthers. Jaroslav Halak (above, stopping Florida's Nathan Horton) made 23 saves in the victory which snapped a three-game losing streak for Montreal.
-Panthers forward David Booth was hospitalized when he was hit in he had on a shoulder check from the front by Canadiens forward Jaroslav Spacek:
-Booth, who missed 45 games earlier this season due to a concussion suffered in October, was coherent, clear and alert at the hospital according to Panthers general manager Randy Sexton.
-The skate of Florida's Nick Tarnasky got a little to close to the face of Montreal's Marc-Andre Bergeron here:
-After nearly losing an eye earlier this week, Canadiens forward Travis Moen wore a visor for the first time as an NHLer.
-Mikhail Grabovski's overtime goal gave the Maple Leafs a 2-1 win at Atlanta. Jonas Gustavsson made a whopping 19 saves in the victory. The Thrashers are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 76 points, two fewer than eighth place Boston.
-Check out the re-direction on Grabovski's goal:
-Happy times for the Maple Leafs:
-Gustavsson kept his eyes on this puck:
-Atlanta's Ondrej Pavelec had issues with this puck:
-Less so with this one:
-"The playoffs are on the line. We have to be better, collectively, we have to be better." - Thrashers coach John Anderson.
-Since the 2004-05 lockout, the Senators are 24-6-4 against the Sabres.
-Senators forward and former Penguin Alex Kovalev is dealing with a "lower-body" injury.
-As you might imagine, the Bruins are fans of the NHL's new head shot rule.
-The Bruins recalled forward Trent Whitfield from Providence of the AHL.
-Well someone with a Staal brother can beat the Capitals in a shootout. Goals by Ray Whitney and Chad LaRose (above, beating Washington's Semyon Varlamov) in the shootout gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 win against the Capitals. Jussi Jokinen had two assists for Carolina while Manny Legace made a whopping 41 saves in the victory.
-Reflective times for Washington captain Alex Ovechkin:
-Despite the loss, the Capitals did set a new franchise record with their 109th point of the season.
-Paul Szczechura and Steven Stamkos each had two goals and led the Lightning to a 5-3 win at Boston. Teammate Martin St. Louis added a goal and an assist while Antero Nittymaki made a whopping 47 saves in the victory. David Krejci led Boston with two assists.
-Niittymaki reached out to grab this puck:
-Boston's Tuukka Rask had issues with this puck:
-Lightning defensemen Kurtis Foster (upper body), David Hale (lower body) and forward Steve Downie (knee) all left the game with knee injuries.
-Florida investigators who arrested a Virginia chiropractor who is connected to the Capitals and is a focus of a steroid investigation said no member of the team is believed to be connected to any sort of performance-enhancing drugs.
-Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and the estate of former owner Abe Pollin reached an agreement on a price for Leonsis to purchase Pollin's shares of the NBA's Wizards and the Verizon Center. Leonsis' group already owns 44 percent of the Wizards and Verizon Center.
-In a potential first-round match-up, shootout goals by Cal O'Reilly and David Legwand gave the Predators a 4-3 win against the Coyotes. Patric Hornqvist and Steve Sullivan (above, with Hornqvist) each had a goal and an assist in regulation for Nashville while teammate Marcel Goc added two assists. Pekka Rinne made 32 saves in the victory. Keith Yandle led Phoenix with a goal and two assists.
-This was the surprise of the night. Antoine Vermette had two goals and an assist for the Blue Jackets in an 8-3 rout of the Blackhawks. Jakub Voracek added a goal and two assists for Columbus while teammate Kristian Huselius scored two goals. Steve Mason made 38 saves in the victory.
-Chicago's Adam Burish had a pretty spirited fight with Columbus' Derek Dorsett:
-Happy times for the Blue Jackets. Not so much for Chicago's Cristobal Huet:
-"When it's Commodore scoring, it's usually going to be a good night." - Vermette on teammate Mike Commodore scoring his first goal in over a year.
-Despite the loss, Calgary's loss clinched a playoff spot for the Blackhawks.
-Paul Kariya had a goal and an assist for the Blues in a 3-1 defeat of the Kings. Chris Mason made 30 saves in the victory which kept St. Louis' faint playoff hopes alive. The Blues are in 10th place in the Western Conference with 79 points, eight fewer than eighth place Detroit.
-Mason kept his eyes on this puck:
-Kyle Brodziak's overtime goal gave the Wild a 4-3 comeback win at Philadelphia. Martin Havlat led Minnesota with a goal and an assist while teammate Antti Miettinen recorded two assists. Niklas Backstrom (above) made 32 saves in the victory. The Flyers have lost four consecutive games.
-Backstrom had issues with this puck shot by Philadelphia's Daniel Carcillo:
-Happy times for the Wild:
-Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck went all Luke Skywalker on this puck:
-Sad times for Philadelphia's Brian Boucher:
-Boucher kept his eyes on this puck:
-Not so much with this one:
-As far as we're concerned, Minnesota's Brent Burns performed a public service here against Philadelphia's Ville Leino:
-"It's almost embarrassing, losing like that at home." - Flyers forward Scott Hartnell on his team blowing a 3-1 third period lead.
-With captain Mikko Koivu dealing with an arm injury, the Wild recalled forward Cody Almond from Houston of the AHL.
-Since being acquired from the Coyotes at the trade deadline, forward Peter Mueller has 15 points in 11 games with the Avalanche.
-Cody Gamble, the son of former Canucks goaltender Troy Gamble, was killed while serving the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
-Evgeni Nabokov (above, stopping Dallas' Brandon Segal) made 27 saves and led the Sharks to a 3-0 shutout of the Stars. It was his 50th career shutout. Dan Boyle recorded a goal and an assist. The win clinched a playoff spot for San Jose.
-Happy times for San Jose captain Rob Blake:
-Dallas' Marty Turco had issues with this puck:
-Turco getting sprayed down with ice by San Jose's Logan Couture:
-Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf's wonky left ankle has flared up again.
-After farming out their prospects to other AHL affiliates this season, the Ducks have reached a three-year affiliation agreement with the Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch has served as the Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate for the past 10 years.
-Former Major League Baseball Players Association head Donald Fehr is being coy about the potential of leading the NHLPA.
-Just to be clear, here's the NHL's new rules on head shots:
-In case you're wondering, even former NHL tough guy Rob Ray is scared of "Pierre" McGuire:
-Happy 81st birthday to former Pittsburgh Hornets forward Bob Hassard.
(Photos: Samuelsson-Photobucket; Rangers/Devils-Bill Kostroun/Associated Press and Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images; Panthers/Canadiens-Canadian Press; Lightning/Bruins-Charles Krupa/Associated Press; Maple Leafs/Thrashers-John Bazemore/Associated Press and Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images; Capitals/Hurricanes-Gerry Broome/Associated Press; Coyotes/Predators-Frederick Breedon/Associated Press; Blackhawks/Blue Jackets-Terry Gilliam/Associated Press; Kings/Blues-Tom Gannam/Associated Press; Wild/Flyers-Matt Slocum/Associated Press; Stars/Sharks-Ben Margot/Associated Press)