The Canadiens' post-season chances were snuffed out Friday night when the Columbus Blue Jackets locked up the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot with a 3-2 shootout win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden
Nic Dowd put Washington ahead for good early in the second period, Braden Holtby made 33 stops and the Capitals clinched the Metropolitan Division title with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
With a season-ending schedule against four of the NHL's top teams, the Montreal Canadiens knew their push for a playoff spot wouldn't be easy. Halfway there, they have picked up four points, but the prize remains elusive.
Artturi Lehkonen and Max Domi scored third-period goals to give the Canadiens a 4-2 win over the league-best Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, keeping the Canadiens within reach for a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Montreal didn't need all 240 characters to express on Twitter the importance of beating the Flyers: "Les Canadiens remportent une grosse victoire !" In any language, this much was clear for a team making a desperate playoff push, the Canadiens won a big one.
The New York Islanders have been winning this season thanks largely to stalwart defence and strong goaltending. A timely goal from their captain also proved huge for their playoff push in another close victory.