How eight Eastern Conference teams can get back into playoffs
Panthers, Rangers, Sabres among those who didn't qualify last season
/ NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
For the eight Eastern Conference teams that missed the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, their goal since the second week of April has been determining how to extend their season into May, or even June, like the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
NHL.com examines how those eight teams can take the next step and qualify for the playoffs this season:
The Washington Captials exhibited a range of emotions when they closed out 2018 as Stanley Cup champions. In the end, it was all about having fun, from staying loose going into what turned into the final game of the season, to the non-stop party that followed.
The lasting image of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs will undoubtedly be the pure joy on the face of Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin when he was handed the Stanley Cup by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman following Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7.
WASHINGTON -- Showing no signs of slowing down, the Washington Capitals' Stanley Cup celebration continued at Nationals Park on Saturday.
The Capitals and the Stanley Cup were the Washington Nationals' guests for their 7-5 win against the San Francisco Giants, visiting them in their clubhouse beforehand and cheering them on from a private suite down the third base line.
Capitals rode power-play success, shot blocking to Stanley Cup
Numbers suggest Golden Knights may have held puck more, but Washington's advantage in key areas helped sway Final
/ NHL.com Correspondent
Although the Vegas Golden Knights lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Washington Capitals in five games, they may have controlled the play more often, according to the numbers.
The Capitals power play, the inability of Golden Knights top-six forwards like Jonathan Marchessault to score, a reversal in fortunes for Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Washington's shot blocking were the deciding factors.
LAS VEGAS -- Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee couldn't have put it any better, adeptly describing the vacant feeling of losing in the Stanley Cup Final, coupled with the sense of accomplishment in their inaugural season.
McPhee was proud of his team, and rightly so. But he said the 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday left them running the gamut of emotions.