This recap covers the period from March 18th to March 24th.
Winnipeg Jets: The Jets (17-14-2) finished the week with a 2-2 record. Andrew Ladd leads the team in scoring with 32 points (14G/18A). Ondrej Pavelec saw duty in all four games this week. Winnipeg has scored 84 goals and allowed 98 so far this season.
Trending: Down slightly. The Jets started the week off with a big win over the Boston Bruins but were handled twice in a row on home ice by Washington. The Jets finished off the homestand by righting the ship (or plane in this case) with a win over the hapless Lightning to move four points ahead of Carolina but the losses to the Capitals cost Winnipeg a chance to really take command of the division.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes (15-13-2) went 0-2-1 this week. Eric Staal is their leading scorer with 35 points (14G/21A). Dan Ellis started all three games this week and continued to play well in Cam Ward's absence. Carolina has scored 85 goals and given up 86
3/18 @New York Rangers 2 Carolina 1 (SO)
Trending: Down. The Hurricanes offense completely dried up this week as the team was only able to muster 3 goals in three games. Luckily for the Hurricanes, the Jets were not able to take full-advantage and pull away. Carolina still holds three games in hand on Winnipeg. Home losses to Florida and New Jersey dropped the Hurricanes down to the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Washington Capitals: The Capitals (15-16-1) went 3-1 this week. Mike Ribeiro leads the team in scoring with 34 points (10G/24A). Braden Holtby started all four games and was stellar, allowing only five goals. Washington has scored 92 goals and allowed 90.
3/19 @Pittsburgh 2 Washington 1
3/24 Washington 3 @New York Rangers 2 (SO)
Trending: Up. The Capitals started the week off with a tough loss in Pittsburgh but rebounded with three-straight road wins to climb back into the postseason race. A two-game sweep of the Jets in Winnipeg may have saved the Capitals season. Nicklas Backstrom's shootout winner against the Rangers kept the momentum going. Best of all, Alex Ovechkin is really heating for the Caps. Look out above.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning (13-18-1) went 1-3 this week. Steven Stamkos leads the team with 41 points (22G/19A). Tampa Bay played three different goaltenders this week with Anders Lindback picking up the only win. Tampa Bay has scored 103 goals while allowing 98.
3/18 @Tampa Bay 4 Philadelphia 2
Trending: Up. The Lightning started the week off with a nice win at home against Philadelphia but road losses to Toronto and Ottawa cost coach Guy Boucher his job. The coaching change did little to change Tampa Bay's fortunes as they finished the week off by losing to division-leading Winnipeg. With the division and conference still tightly packed, the Lightning can get back into it if they can put together a winning streak but this club has fallen a long way since the beginning of the season and looks incapable of such a feat.
Florida Panthers: The Panthers (9-18-6) went 2-2 this week. Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Kopecky and Tomas Fleischmann share the team lead in points with 20. Jacob Markstrom started three games this week and was superb, coming close to posting his first NHL shutout. Florida has scored 78 goals and given up a league-worst 116.
3/21 Florida 3 @ New York Rangers 1
3/23 @New Jersey Devils 2 Florida 1
3/24 @New York Islanders 3 Florida 0
Trending: Up. The Panthers started the week off with their first two-game winning streak since early in the season. Jacob Markstrom was absolutely superb in backstopping the club to impressive wins in Carolina and Madison Square Garden. Scott Clemmensen returned and was relatively solid against New Jersey but the Devils easily stymied the Panthers' offense. Markstrom again gave the Panthers a chance to win on Long Island but Florida's offensive woes continued as they were unable to beat Evgeni Nabokov. Despite the two tough losses, 2-2 so far on this current road trip is a step up for the Panthers and with Markstrom looking more and more like the answer in net, if Florida can start mustering up some more goals, they might be able to win more often the rest of the way.