Penguins' Surge Continues

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The Stanley Cup won't be handed out until June, but this is the time when we see teams making runs at the playoffs. And you can't win the Cup if you don't make the playoffs. Race for the Cup is your daily check of where your favorite team stands as the season dwindles.

Some big games Wednesday night, but there might not have been a bigger result than the 6-1 beatdown Pittsburgh laid on New Jersey. Not only did it lift the Penguins into a tie for fourth place in the East with Philadelphia, but it keeps the Devils in this tailspin they've been in. Losers of six straight, New Jersey is actually in danger of blowing an Atlantic Division title that looked like an absolute certainty a couple weeks ago.

In the East
Eastern Conference, 4/1
1. y-Boston Bruins
108 pts
2. x-Washington Capitals
99
3. x-New Jersey Devils
98
4. Philadelphia Flyers 92
5. Carolina Hurricanes
91
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
90
7. New York Rangers
89
8. Montreal Canadiens
88
9. Florida Panthers
87
10. Buffalo Sabres
82
Eastern Conference, 4/1 1.y-Boston Bruins
108 pts2.x-Washington Capitals
993.x-New Jersey Devils
984.Philadelphia Flyers925.Carolina Hurricanes
916.Pittsburgh Penguins
907.New York Rangers
898.Montreal Canadiens
889.Florida Panthers
8710.Buffalo Sabres
82
Eastern Conference, 4/2
1. y-Boston Bruins
108 pts
2. x-Washington Capitals
101
3. x-New Jersey Devils
98
4. Philadelphia Flyers 92
5. Pittsburgh Penguins
92
6. Carolina Hurricanes
91
7. New York Rangers
89
8. Montreal Canadiens
88
9. Florida Panthers
87
10. Buffalo Sabres
83
Eastern Conference, 4/2 1.y-Boston Bruins
108 pts2.x-Washington Capitals
1013.x-New Jersey Devils
984.Philadelphia Flyers925.Pittsburgh Penguins
926.Carolina Hurricanes
917.New York Rangers
898.Montreal Canadiens
889.Florida Panthers
8710.Buffalo Sabres
83
Eastern Conference, 4/1
1.y-Boston Bruins
108 pts
2.x-Washington Capitals
99
3.x-New Jersey Devils
98
4.Philadelphia Flyers92
5.Carolina Hurricanes
91
6.Pittsburgh Penguins
90
7.New York Rangers
89
8.Montreal Canadiens
88
9.Florida Panthers
87
10.Buffalo Sabres
82
Eastern Conference, 4/2
1.y-Boston Bruins
108 pts
2.x-Washington Capitals
101
3.x-New Jersey Devils
98
4.Philadelphia Flyers92
5.Pittsburgh Penguins
92
6.Carolina Hurricanes
91
7.New York Rangers
89
8.Montreal Canadiens
88
9.Florida Panthers
87
10.Buffalo Sabres
83

The Penguins have surged to a tie for fourth (fifth thanks to a tiebreaker loss to Philadelphia). The Flyers lost to Toronto, continuing to struggle to gain ground with games they had in hand on the teams near them in the standings.

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Also, Buffalo lost a shootout to Atlanta, meaning they are now five points out of a playoff spot. It's definitely not looking good for the Sabres.

Washington's lead over the Devils is now three points for the second seed.

In the West

Western Conference, 4/1
1. y-San Jose Sharks
111 pts
2. x-Detroit Red Wings 107
3. Vancouver Canucks
93
4. Calgary Flames
92
5. Chicago Blackhawks
91
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
88
7. Anaheim Ducks
84
8. Nashville Predators
84
9. St. Louis Blues
83
10. Minnesota Wild
81
11. Edmonton Oilers
81
Western Conference, 4/1 1.y-San Jose Sharks
111 pts2.x-Detroit Red Wings1073.Vancouver Canucks
934.Calgary Flames
925.Chicago Blackhawks
916.Columbus Blue Jackets
887.Anaheim Ducks
848.Nashville Predators
849.St. Louis Blues
8310.Minnesota Wild
8111.Edmonton Oilers
81
Western Conference, 4/2
1. y-San Jose Sharks
111 pts
2. y-Detroit Red Wings
107
3. Vancouver Canucks
93
4. Chicago Blackhawks
93
5. Calgary Flames
92
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
88
7. Anaheim Ducks
84
8. Nashville Predators 84
9. St. Louis Blues 83
10. Minnesota Wild
81
11. Edmonton Oilers 81
Western Conference, 4/2 1.y-San Jose Sharks
111 pts2.y-Detroit Red Wings
1073.Vancouver Canucks
934.Chicago Blackhawks
935.Calgary Flames
926.Columbus Blue Jackets
887.Anaheim Ducks
848.Nashville Predators 849.St. Louis Blues 8310.Minnesota Wild
8111.Edmonton Oilers81
Western Conference, 4/1
1.y-San Jose Sharks
111 pts
2.x-Detroit Red Wings107
3.Vancouver Canucks
93
4.Calgary Flames
92
5.Chicago Blackhawks
91
6.Columbus Blue Jackets
88
7.Anaheim Ducks
84
8.Nashville Predators
84
9.St. Louis Blues
83
10.Minnesota Wild
81
11.Edmonton Oilers
81
Western Conference, 4/2
1.y-San Jose Sharks
111 pts
2.y-Detroit Red Wings
107
3.Vancouver Canucks
93
4.Chicago Blackhawks
93
5.Calgary Flames
92
6.Columbus Blue Jackets
88
7.Anaheim Ducks
84
8.Nashville Predators 84
9.St. Louis Blues 83
10.Minnesota Wild
81
11.Edmonton Oilers81

Chicago dealt a blow to the Blues' hopes, beating them 3-1 in Chicago. The Blackhawks move ahead of Calgary and into fourth place with that win.

******

.

What's Next

No game on Thursday's schedule is as significant as the matchup in Raleigh between the Rangers and Hurricanes. Carolina can actually move into fourth place in the East with a win. The Rangers, meanwhile, come in just two ahead of ninth-place Florida.

Montreal plays a key road game against the Islanders, as they try to hold on to a playoff spot. The Blues can help themselves significantly with a win at Detroit.

Also, Edmonton tries to stay alive as they host San Jose, Calgary travels to Dallas, and Anaheim plays Vancouver.

x - Clinched Playoff Spot, y - Division Champ, z - Conference Champ; green - Rise in the Standings, red - Fall. The top three teams in each conference are division leaders.

Penguins' Surge Continues originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Thu, 02 Apr 2009 11:20:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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