Here are the Central Division morning papers:
- On Gordie Howe day at the Joe Louis Arena, Johan Franzen broke one of Howe’s records to lead the Wings to a 1-0 overtime victory over Nashville. On the injury front, the Wings are expecting Tomas Holmstrom to return to the line up later this week.
- The Predators got an important point in Detroit yesterday, but John Glennon of the Tennessean wonders if it will end up being enough.
- The Blue Jackets had yesterday’s game until Kris Russell lost an edge and the Blackhawks tied it up; the Hawks eventually went on to win in a shootout. The Jackets may be out of the playoff race in the NHL but the team’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse is tearing it up.
- “We talked after the second period, and we said if we lose that our season was over,” said Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp after his team’s come-from-behind 5-4 shootout victory Columbus.
**There are were no St. Louis Blues articles today**
Here are the Northwest Division morning papers:
- After last night’s 6-2 debacle in Vancouver, the Flames have left themselves basically no chance at winning the Northwest Division. The Flames lost Daymond Langkow prior to puck drop and Craig Conroy only minutes after, writes Randy Sportak.
- The veteran leaders took the bull by the horns last night in Vancouver’s win over Calgary, writes Jason Botchford. Brad Zeimer of the Vancouver Sun says hope is back after last night’s big win.
- The Wild beat the Avalanche in overtime on Sunday, which moved them closer to the Northwest Division title. Michael Russo of the Star Tribune has an interesting piece on Mikko Koivu’s face-off strategy.
- “If they get in, they’re going to be a tough opponent,” said Wings GM Ken Holland about the prospect of facing the Oilers in the first round of the playoffs. Here are the results the Oilers fans are hoping for come Tuesday.
- The Avalanche, sans Peter Forsberg, was happy to at least earn one point in the team’s 3-2 loss at Minnesota on Sunday. Jordan Leopold was also a scratch for last night’s contest.
Here are the Pacific Division morning papers:
- Ryan Clowe’s return ended in a 3-1 victory for the Sharks, writes David Pollak. With the Sharks having sewn up second place in the Western Conference, coach Ron Wilson has decided to spread out the ice time a little more between all four lines.
- The Stars lost 3-2 in a shootout yesterday to the Ducks and, as a result, backed up into a playoff spot.
- The Ducks defeated Dallas last night and moved to within two points of clinching home-ice in the first round of the playoffs, writes Dan Wood.
**There were no L.A. Kings or Phoenix Coyotes articles this morning**
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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