While the Tampa Bay Lightning punched their ticket into the playoffs on Thursday, the Habs put up a 4-2 win in Carolina that was the second-last "X" on the calendar for the 2015-16 season.
It's definitely been a season the Habs will want to leave behind them, although I'm sure there are many lessons to be learned from it, and hopefully applied over the summer by Marc Bergevin who will be really busy assessing the data and judging what needs to be changed, and whether this injury-plagued season where the Habs lost over 350 man-games to injury was an anomaly or represented the need to do something drastic to improve the team.
The Lightning sit in sixth place with 97 points and have at least sixth place guaranteed for them in the standings, win or lose. The Rangers beat the Red Wings earlier today, and with Boston's loss to the Senators, the Wings are in and will face the Lightning in the first round.
With the Lightning locked into their first playoff series, they may already be looking ahead, which could set the stage for a fun night at the Bell Centre as the Habs bid adieu to their fans for the season.
Lineup Notes: Brian Flynn will return to the lineup after missing 26 games with a lower-body injury he sustained February 10 against the Lightning; Mike Condon gets his 51st start of the season and will be looking for his 21st win.
Draft Lottery Update: The Habs dropped to a 5% chance of winning the first overall pick after the win in Carolina on Thursday. There are now eight other teams with a better probability of drawing the first pick, with the Leafs still having the best chance at 20%. The best chance the Habs can have now is 6.5% if they lose tonight and both the Coyotes and Sabres win their final games.
The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): TVAS
In Canada (English): Sportsnet
In the Lightning region: FS-F
Elsewhere: NHLN, NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Alex Galchenyuk||Brendan Gallagher|
|Lars Eller||Tomas Plekanec||Daniel Carr|
|Phillip Danault||David Desharnais||Sven Andrighetto|
|Paul Byron||Torrey Mitchell||Brian Flynn|
|Andrei Markov||Greg Pateryn|
|Alexei Emelin||Ryan Johnston|
|Joel Hanley||Darren Dietz|
Scratched: Stefan Matteau, Mike Brown
Injuries: Carey Price (lower body), P.K. Subban (neck), Nathan Beaulieu (broken thumb), Mark Baberio (concussion-like symptoms), Jeff Petry (sports hernia), Tom Gilbert(knee), Lucas Lessio (knee), Victor Bartley (lower body), Brett Lernout (upper body)
|Onrej Palat||Tyler Johnson||Nikita Kucherov|
|Alex Killorn||Vladislav Namestnikov||Jonathan Drouin|
|Cedric Paquette||Valtteri Filppula||J.T. Brown|
|Erik Condra||Brian Boyle||Mike Blunden|
|Jason Garrison||Andrej Sustr|
|Matthew Carle||Nikita Nesterov|
|Matt Toarmina||Braydon Coburn|
Scratched: Jonathan Marchessault
Injuries: Steven Stamkos (blood clot/vascular surgery); Anton Stralman (fractured fibula), Victor Hedman (upper body), Ryan Callahan (lower body)
Check out the enemy over at Raw Charge.