Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Penguins back in the play-offs

The Stanley Cup champions are back - and the Pittsburgh Penguins have made it clear that their defence will not be easing off.

The Stanley Cup champions are back in the play-offs - and the Pittsburgh Penguins have made it clear that their defence will not be easing off. "We need to establish ourselves in these final eight games [before the play-offs]," said Michael Rupp, the Penguins forward, after Pittsburgh had clinched their post-season spot with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. "That's what we did tonight and we look to do it again."

"We want to finish as high as we can in the standings," Dan Bylsma, their coach, said after Sidney Crosby had orchestrated the win with three assists for the Penguins, who are tied with the New Jersey Devils for the Atlantic Division lead. The Devils and the Buffalo Sabres joined the Penguins in sealing post-season berths in the Eastern Conference while the financially troubled Phoenix Coyotes made the play-offs in the West for the first time since 2002.

Martin Brodeur made 25 saves for his 41st win of the campaign as New Jersey made the post-season for the 13th successive year with a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Buffalo, who lead the Northeast Division, secured their first play-off spot since 2007 with a 7-1 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning as netminder Patrick Lalime recorded the 200th win of his career. Two goals by Lee Stempniak, who now has 12 in as many games since being traded from Toronto, helped Phoenix beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 and seal a play-off spot.

"I've only been here a short time but the character in the locker room is unlike anything I've ever seen from another team I've been," said Stempniak. "Everyone knows their role and embraces it." The Coyotes also reached the 100-point mark for the first time in franchise history. The four teams join the Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks, who are already in the play-offs, as the regular season enters its final fortnight. * With agencies

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National