With a win over the Florida Panthers, the Montreal Canadiens have officially clinched the Atlantic Division title. As it stands they have 101 points, and that coupled with an Ottawa Senators shootout loss in Detroit was enough to lock up first place.
The Canadiens will draw Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers in round one, a rematch several years in the making after the hotly contested 2014 Eastern Conference Championship. It’s sure to be another closely contested affair, despite Montreal owning the season series against the team from Broadway.
With the division title now in hand and just three games remaining, including two against the bottom-feeding Sabres and Red Wings, it’s probable we’ll see Claude Julien rest his stars like Carey Price.
It’s been a great end of the year for the Habs who struggled heading into their bye week, which led to the firing of Michel Therrien. Claude Julien then took over and has guided the Canadiens to a 15-5-1 record, and the division title.