The Washington Capitals can thank the Detroit Red Wings for home ice in the first round.
The Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night. Not only did third-place Pittsburgh (97 standings points) miss out on clinching a playoff spot, but they also can no longer mathematically catch up to the Capitals’ 102 points.
No matter where the Capitals finish in the Metropolitan Division, they’re now guaranteed to have home ice advantage in the first round of the 2018-19 playoffs.
— Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) April 3, 2019
This marks the second season in a row the Penguins have indirectly helped the Capitals. Last season, a Sidney Crosby goal clinched a playoff spot for the Caps.
The Capitals can clinch the Metropolitan Division with a win against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night though that will not be easy. The Canadiens are playing for their playoff lives.
Here are the standings as of Wednesday morning.
Both the Penguins and the Blue Jackets had the opportunity to clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday night, but both teams lost while the Canadiens defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, making the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference a sprint to the finish in the last two games of the season.
Penguins and Blue Jackets had chance to clinch playoff berths tonight, but neither will happen with both losing and Carolina and Montreal winning.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) April 3, 2019
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