The Pittsburgh Penguins had a two-point lead on the Carolina Hurricanes for third place in the Metropolitan Division entering this contest. Carolina had a chance to knock Pittsburgh back in the standings, but the Penguins stood strong in a 3-1 win over the Hurricanes.
Garret Wilson scored with 9:15 remaining in the first-period for Pittsburgh. Matt Cullen scored with 1:15 remaining in the first-period.
Patric Hornqvist scored 46 seconds into the third-period for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jacoob Slavin scored a power-play goal for Carolina with 7:48 remaining in regulation.
Curtis McElhinney made 25 saves for the Carolina Hurricanes. Matt Murray made 37 saves for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
If the Columbus Blue Jackets defeat the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night, Columbus will jump to the first wild card spot in the east with 94 points and the Carolina Hurricanes will slip to the second wild spot in the east with 93 points.
That would mean Carolina would only have a one-point lead on the Montreal Canadiens for the second wild card spot in the east.
Pittsburgh is currently in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 97 points. They are two points behind the New York Islanders for second place in the Metro.
The Hurricanes and the Penguins both have three games remaining on the schedule. They split the regular season series against each other and the series was tied at two.
Carolina’s next game will be against the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road on Tuesday night. Pittsburgh’s next game will be against the Detroit Red Wings on the road on Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
The magic number for the Pittsburgh Penguins to clinch a playoff spot is two points.