The Capitals’ clinching scenario for Tuesday is simple- a regulation or overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets and Washington will secure its fifth Southeast Division title in six years.
The Capitals saw their division lead trimmed to one point Monday as the Jets beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in Western New York. Including Tuesday’s tilt at Verizon Center, the Capitals have three games remaining while the Jets have two games left.
Should the Capitals beat the Jets in regulation on Tuesday, it will be mathematically impossible for Winnipeg to make up what would be a three point deficit with only one home game against the Montreal Canadiens left on their schedule.
Should the Capitals beat the Jets in overtime, Winnipeg could still finish tied with the Capitals atop the Southeast Division at season’s end with same amount of points and ROWs (regulation and overtime wins). Washington would own the next tiebreaker though which takes into account the teams’ head-to-head season series.
The Capitals swept a two-game series in Winnipeg on March 21-22, the genesis of Washington’s current 13-2-1 stretch.
The Jets have also played well of late, going 6-0-1 in their last seven games overall.
BIG NIGHT FOR FORMER CAPS:
As Adam Oates looks to join Bryan Murray, Ron Wilson and Bruce Boudreau as the only coaches in Capitals history to win a division title, Boudreau added another division crown to his resume on Monday.
The Ducks beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 Monday to clinch their first Pacific Division title since the 2006-07 season. Boudreau’s Ducks are guaranteed the No.2 seed in the Western Conference.
Meanwhile, despite having already locked up the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to roll. The Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Monday for their seventh straight win.
Former Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun appeared in his 700th career game and became the 28th goalie in NHL history to earn 300 career wins.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma also hit a milestone with his 200th career win.
CAPS PROSPECT EARNS WEEKLY HONOR:
Capitals prospect Tom Wilson (first-round, 16th overall, 2012 NHL Draft) was named the Ontario Hockey League’s Player of the Week on Monday less than 24 hours after recording his first career OHL hat-trick.
Wilson’s three goals on Sunday helped the Plymouth Whalers earn a 4-3 double overtime win against Dale Hunter’s London Knights in Game 2 of the OHL’s Western Conference Final.
In nine playoff games this spring, Wilson has six goals and 12 points.