This recap covers the period from February 26th to March 3rd.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes (12-8-1) went 3-1 this week. Eric Staal is their leading scorer with 25 points (12G/13A). Cam Ward started all four games but suffered an injury in the second tilt against Florida and it looks like he is going to be out for an extended period of time. Carolina has scored 63 goals and given up 59.
Trending: Up. The Hurricanes bounced back from last week's poor performance by winning three-straight games after getting shutout in Washington. Eric Staal notched six points during the week and Jiri Tlusty continued his hot play. Cam Ward was very sharp in the big win over the Penguins. The weekend sweep over the lowly Panthers gave the Hurricanes a four-point lead over the Jets.
Winnipeg Jets: The Jets (10-10-1) finished the week with a 2-1 record. Andrew Ladd leads the team in scoring with 20 points (12G/8A). Ondrej Pavelec continued to give the Jets very solid goalkeeping. Winnipeg has scored 55 goals and allowed 64 so far this season.
2/26 Winnipeg 4 @New York Rangers 3
Trending: Up. The Jets started the week off in fine fashion, beating the New York Rangers 4-3 to cap off an impressive 4-1 road trip. The team returned home and defeated the Devils but lost ground to the Hurricanes after getting shutout by Washington on Saturday. Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane continue to provide the bulk of the team's goals so more secondary scoring would help and the Jets need to be better at home.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning (9-11-1) went 0-3 this week. Steven Stamkos leads the team with 32 points (15G/17A). Mathieu Garon started all three games in goal. Tampa Bay has scored 73 goals while allowing 67.
2/28 @New York Rangers 4 Tampa Bay 1
Trending: Down. Tampa Bay's offense dried up again as the club slipped under the .500 mark and fell to third place in the division. Steven Stamkos is second in the league in scoring but he needs more help from the rest of the roster. Mathieu Garon gave the Lightning pretty solid goaltending this week but it wasn't enough to result in any wins. The hot start that Tampa Bay got off to this season is becoming a distant memory but it is still allowing the Lightning to remain close to Carolina and Winnipeg.
Washington Capitals: The Capitals (8-11-1) went 2-1 this week. Mike Ribeiro leads the team in scoring with 24 points (7G/17A). Braden Holtby started all three games for the Caps and posted two shutouts although he got the hook in Philadelphia. Washington has scored 55 goals and allowed 59.
2/27 @Philadelphia 4 Washington 1
Trending: Up. The Capitals are now 6-4 in their last ten games so the worst appears to be over. Braden Holtby is providing them with some pretty stellar netminding as of late and is starting to look like the best goalie in the division. Unfortunately, Alex Ovechkin seems to be stuck in neutral and until that changes, it's hard to see the Capitals climbing out of the early hole they dug themselves.
Florida Panthers: The Panthers (6-11-5) went 1-2-1 this week. Jonathan Huberdeau, Brian Campbell and Tomas Fleischmann share the team lead in points with 15. Scott Clemmensen ended up taking three of the four decisions while appearing in all four games for various durations. Florida has scored 55 goals and given up a league-worst 82.
2/28 Buffalo 4 @Florida 3 (SO)
Trending: Steady (and not in a good way). The Panthers, powered by a Tomas Kopecky hat trick, started the week off with a rousing win over Pittsburgh and a late Brian Campbell goal salvaged a point against Buffalo. Sub-par goaltending and an inexplicable lack of effort cost the Cats dearly in a blowout loss to division-leading Carolina. Florida played better against the Hurricanes in the return match on Sunday but the Carolina combo of Ward and Ellis got the better of Scott Clemmensen. By getting no points in the two games against Carolina, the Cats blew a golden opportunity to close in on the division lead and fell into the cellar. Jacob Markstrom should get a lot of starts with Jose Theodore reportedly out for at least six weeks.