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Washington Capitals clinch Southeast Division

Thursday, 03.11.2010 / 9:34 PM / News
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Washington Capitals clinch Southeast Division
The Washington Capitals didn't have to do anything on Thursday night to become the first NHL team to clinch a division title and one of the 16 berths in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Caps, who lead the overall NHL standings with 99 points, were assured of the Southeast title when the Atlanta Thrashers lost 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. The Thrashers, second in the Southeast, have 66 points with 16 games remaining, meaning they could earn a maximum of 98.

Washington is also closing in on assuring itself of first place in the Eastern Conference. The Caps lead second-place Pittsburgh, the leader in the Atlantic Division, by 14 points (99-85); both teams have 15 games remaining. The Penguins lost 4-3 in overtime at Carolina.

The next team likely to clinch a division title is the Chicago Blackhawks, who entered Thursday leading the Central Division by 16 points over second-place Nashville, with both teams having 16 games remaining. The Hawks would be the first team other than the Detroit Red Wings to win the Central since St. Louis in 1999-2000.

Quote of the Day

He's been one of our top players all year. Tonight he was by far our best player. There wasn't anybody in the same universe as him.

— Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz on goalie Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0
World Cup of Hockey 2016