Capitals clinch Metropolitan Division, No. 1 seed in Eastern Conference

The Washington Capitals have clinched both the Metropolitan Division crown and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The double dip comes courtesy of a win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night and secures home-ice advantage for the first three rounds of the playoffs, should Washington advance that far.

With a double-digit lead in points over second-place Dallas in the league standings, it appears to be only a matter of time before the Capitals clinch the Presidents' Trophy and therefore home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Final as well.

Washington will now wait to see which team clinches the second wild-card spot, a clinching scenario that may come down to the final days of the season.

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Senators lose Phaneuf to injury, won’t play Wednesday

Ottawa Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf suffered a lower-body injury during Tuesday's game against Washington and was unable to return, the team announced.

Phaneuf saw 16:28 of ice time before exiting the game. He won't play Wednesday, head coach Dave Cameron said, and there's no word on how long he'll be out of the lineup.

In 19 games since being acquired from Toronto, Phaneuf has recorded one goal, seven assists, 28 shots, and 23 penalty minutes.

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Howard pulled after allowing 3 goals in massive game for Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings needed a big game from Jimmy Howard on Tuesday. Unfortunately, they didn't give their goalie much help.

Howard was pulled 33 seconds into the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning, after allowing his third goal on 16 shots. He was replaced by Petr Mrazek.

Detroit had a brutal first period, outshot 15-7. The first shot of the second period went in past Howard, and out he went from the game.

Howard won his last start, Saturday in Florida, but has a save percentage better than .910 in only one of his five March games. He'll be the first to admit he has to be better.

The Red Wings entered Tuesday a point up on the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. A Detroit loss and a Flyers win Tuesday would see the Flyers move into playoff position.

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VIDEO: Blue Jackets’ Boll tossed for late, high hit on Flyers’ Bellemare

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll destroyed Philadelphia Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Tuesday.

Boll got five and a game for the violent collision, and will likely be hearing from the NHL's Department of Player Safety. The hit was late, Bellemare had passed the puck, and Boll's shoulder made primary contact with Bellemare's head.

Bellemare stayed in the game.

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