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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

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

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3