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Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning have officially clinched a Stanley Cup playoff spot

Thank you Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks!

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) is congratulated by center Steven Stamkos (91) as they beat the Edmonton Oilers at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts - x

With the win over the Edmonton Oilers, the Tampa Bay Lightning CLINCH a spot in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs!! The 3-1 victory over the lowly Oilers came at a perfect time for the Lightning, whom it felt like had not played a straightforward, controllable 60 minutes in weeks. [Raw Charge]

“The pressure that the Lightning maintained during the second period was impressive. Even after the penalties that broke up the pace they continued to force the puck deep into the Oilers zone, cycle it around, and pepper Montoya with shots. By the end of the second, the Lightning was leading 30-16 in shots. This period was the strongest that the Lightning has had over the past few games.”

Did you hear the news? PLAYOFFS BABY! [NHL dot com]

“The Lightning inched closer to the playoffs after defeating Edmonton 3-1 at AMALIE Arena Sunday evening. The Anaheim Ducks did the rest of the work for the Lightning after the Bolts’ victory, knocking off New Jersey 4-2 at the Honda Center to ensure the Bolts, currently with 102 points, will finish ahead of the Devils in the final regular season standings.”

The Lightning worked on all the little things (penalty kill, shot metrics, puck battles) and you can tell from their post-game quotes that the boys are proud of themselves for it. [Tampa Bay Times]

“I think we worked hard on [the penalty kill],” Point said. “We had guys blocking shots. Look at McDonagh. He blocked I don’t know how many. Some real bombs he blocked, got in front of and that’s a huge sacrifice from our guys who are willing to do that. I think we are committed to paying the price.”

The Anthony DeAngelo trade is a prime example of Steve Yzerman seeing a problem and getting rid of it before it can balloon into a disaster. Have a look at where his trade tree goes. [Raw Charge]

“DeAngelo was a head-case during his time with both Sarnia and Syracuse. While in Sarnia, he was suspended 8 games for “a most inappropriate statement to a teammate.” And while he was an offensive phenom with Syracuse when he was playing (6 goals, 37 assists in 69 games), his defense was absolutely atrocious.”

The Prospects

It appears the Syracuse Crunch Boys were watching Syracuse U play Michigan State in March Madness. Did they win?

Walcott vs Peca. The final round is next!

The Game

The playoff contending Edmonton Oilers bought Montreal Canadiens goaltender Al Montoya at the trade deadline and will have to give up an extra 4th round pick because he played in seven games for Edmonton. Why do the Oilers love hemorrhaging assets? It’s so odd. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

Al Montoya played 30 minutes in a game for the Edmonton Oilers for a seventh time this season, meaning the condition on the fifth-round pick used to acquire him has been met, and the Montreal Canadiens will now obtain Edmonton’s fourth-round selection. The pick gives them two picks in the fourth round, with the potential for another.

The Detroit Red Wings are on a 10-game losing streak, are eliminated from the playoffs, and live in Detroit. What could be worse than that. [Winging it in MoTown]

OK, so Detroit can score 4 goals in 2 minutes to keep the playoff hopes ali........sorry, I’m laughing too hard to keep typing...

And it’s over. 5-1. We’re out of the playoffs, assuming that New Jersey gets one point tonight, so we don’t have to hear from the Fox Sports Detroit people about how we MIGHT make the playoffs!

While one Washington Capitals player ties Jarri Kurri in goals, another gets his first career NHL point! [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

With Evgeny Kuznetsov ailing, rookie Travis Boyd received a huge opportunity to center the first line of Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson. The move paid off.

A fantastic individual play by the longtime Hershey Bear led to the Capitals first goal of the game. Alex Ovechkin scored the goal. It was Ovechkin’s 43rd of the season and 601st of his career. The Russian machine is now tied with Jari Kurri for 19th all time in goals.

The assist was Boyd’s first career NHL point.

Highlight of the Night: The final game. Overtime. You have a breakaway. And you do this: