The NHL is working on a realignment plan for next season that will consist of two conferences, with two divisions in each, according to TSN in Canada and ESPN reports Tuesday.
The plan remains tentative, although the NHL and the Players’ Association have been formulating the plan for three weeks.
A proposed divisional playoff format would be the top three teams in each division, and the remaining four spots go to wild-card teams, the top two in each conference.
The Stanley Cup Finals remain Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference.
The proposal must be approved by the NHL Board of Governors.
Capitals 3, Hurricanes 0 — Washington shut down former teammate Alexander Semin and beat Carolina, 3-0, at home in its quest to make a quick last-to-first move in the Southeast Division.
Nicklas Backstrom scored in the first period and supplied the pass for John Erskine’s goal in the second — the first Backstrom-to-Erskine score in their six seasons as teammates. John Carlson scored in the third and Braden Holtby made 33 saves for his fifth career shutout for the Capitals.
After a miserable start to the season, Washington has back-to-back wins by more than one goal for the first time this season. The victory moved the Capitals within 4 points of the Hurricanes, who led the NHL’s weakling division at the start of the day’s play.
Cam Ward, under pressure for much of the game, kept it from turning into an ugly rout by making 37 saves for the Hurricaness.
Jets 4, Rangers 3 — Olli Jokinen scored twice and Evander Kane had two goals and one assist in the second period for surging Winnipeg, which completed a dominant road trip with a win over host New York.
After a scoreless first period, Jokinen broke the deadlock 5:55 into the second off an assist from Kane, who then gave Winnipeg a 2-0 lead 1:07 later with his eighth goal of the season. Anthony Peluso also had two assists in the period.
Kane added his second of the game and ninth of the season in the third period — in between a pair of Rangers tallies — as three goals were scored in a span of 1:13 that brought New York within 4-3.
Panthers 6, Penguins 4 — Tomas Kopecky recorded his first career hat trick and Tomas Fleischmann netted the go-ahead score for his 100th career goal, lifting host Florida.
Brian Campbell and Marcel Goc also scored goals and Fleischmann also had two assists for the Panthers.
Scott Clemmensen stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third after replacing Jose Theodore during the second intermission.