Here are the national morning papers:
- The Senators never seem to be able to beat the Leafs when it matters most, so they will try and conquer those demons tonight, writes Roy MacGregor of the Globe & Mail.
- The Leafs are looking forward to playing spoiler tonight, writes Dave Shoalts.
- If the Canucks are going to make the playoffs, they need the real Roberto Luongo to show up between the pipes, writes Cam Cole of the National Post.
- Kevin Allen of USA Today breaks down all the games that have playoff ramifications this weekend.
- Allen also details who is in the running for Steve Stamkos in Monday’s upcoming draft lottery.
Here are the Atlantic Division morning papers:
- Special teams was the difference last night as the Penguins defeated the Flyers 5-2. Meanwhile, if it comes down to a shootout on Sunday, coach John Stevens isn’t sure who he would tap to play goal.
- The Penguins got great performances from their superstar players and defeated the Flyers 5-2 to capture the Atlantic Division crown. In other news, the Penguins named Evgeni Malkin team MVP for the season.
- If the Rangers win tonight versus the Islanders then they will clinch a playoff spot, and as a result, will be able to give their top ailing players some much-needed rest. The Rangers three remaining games will determine the team’s playoff seeding.
- With a 3-2 shootout win over the Bruins last night, the Devils moved closer to securing home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Lou Lamoriello is allowed to get nostalgic every once in a while.
**There were no Islanders articles this morning**
Here are the Southeast Division morning papers:
- The Lightning were disposed of quite easily last night by the Carolina Hurricanes, writes Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
- Olli Jokinen has played more regular season games than any other current NHL player without playing in a playoff game, but that does not mean he wants out of Florida, writes Steve Gorten. Meanwhile, a number of Panthers players are going to suit up for their respective countries at this year’s World Championships.
- The Hurricanes moved that much closer to clinching a playoff birth last night with a 6-2 victory over the lowly Lightning.
- The Capitals organization are not alone in hoping their team makes the playoffs, writes Tarik El-Bashir. On the injury front, defenseman Shaone Morrisonn will not suit up tonight due to an upper-body injury.
- Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wonders if Thrashers fans should be hoping against their favorite squad come Saturday.
Here are the Northeast Division morning papers:
- The Bruins recorded one point yesterday versus New Jersey, but the good news is that they still control their own fate. The Bruins were not unhappy with the way they played last night, writes Stephen Harris.
- The Sabres were ecstatic with the results of last night’s games because it means they still have a chance to make the playoffs. Jaroslav Spacek will be in the line up tonight for Buffalo.
- The Canadiens penalty kill has improved tremendously over the past month.
- If the Senators miss the playoffs, they will set a record for futility, writes Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun. “I’m confident we are going to win,” said Senators superstar Jason Spezza heading into tonight’s game versus the Leafs.
- Mats Sundin told Toronto reporters he will take some time after the season to decide whether he wants to return next season. The Leafs are definitely looking forward to ruining Ottawa’s season tonight, writes Kevin McGran.
The Western Conference morning papers are soon to follow…
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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