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Wednesday's notes: Playoff picture coming into focus

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It looks like some of the pieces of the NHL's playoff puzzle are finally falling into place, as a few more teams are getting settled into their seeding for the post-season which begins next week. In the East, the New York Rangers locked up the #1 position, while in the West, San Jose dealt a major blow to Dallas, while the Phoenix Coyotes crept ever closer to clinching their spot.

Follow after the jump for all the details!

Nashville Predators News

As always, the morning after a game I encourage you to surf through the "More Predators Sites" box on the left side of the main page here, pretty much every site in town has a recap from last night's game.

Let's start the morning off with a little audio, featuring Pete Weber on Hockey Night in Canada radio:

Pete Weber on HNIC Radio 20120403 (mp3)

Rise and Shine: Well, Ain't 2 Points Fine! - Predlines
Caroline breaks down the scoring plays from last night in detailed fashion.

Habs Fans: Welcome to Smashville | All Habs
Buddy Oakes welcomes Montreal fans to the Nashville bandwagon.

Postgame ponderings - Predators Insider
Finally, Josh mentions the OTHER very good reason why Pekka needed a rest - "There could come a time in the playoffs when the Predators will need Lindback."

Wilson Returns, leads Ads past Checkers | Admirals Roundtable
Kyle Wilson lifted Milwaukee to a 4-0 win.

Pickard’s road to Nashville - Predators Insider
Josh caught up with Chet before he got to dress for his first NHL game as a backup.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Divorce will not affect Canucks’ operations, co-owner’s wife says - The Globe and Mail
What, no Los Angeles Dodgers-style drama?

"Hollywood" audition costs Tom Renney $10,000 | Edmonton Journal
It's pretty much automatic when you call the officials' objectivity into question...

KuklasKorner Video- Carl Gunnarsson Rocked By This Hit From Marcus Foligno
Holy crap, what a hit. Gunnarsson wasn't prepared for this one.

Why the Vancouver Canucks may actually be NHL’s most sportsmanlike team | Puck Daddy
Sorry, not buying it.

The Affinity for Affiliation - View From My Seats
"only five players this season have played in both the ECHL and NHL this season" - might Chet Pickard make six? He backup up Anders Lindback last night, but I highly doubt we'll see him in game action.

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: How to post images - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Here is an awesomely handy guide on how to include images when you're commenting in a Game Thread. I'm going to add this to the Community Guidelines.

Minnesota Wild vs. Nashville Predators: Game Recap - Hockey Wilderness
Up in Minnesota, they weren't disappointed with the effort the Wild put in last night.

Niemi, new acquisitions crucial in Sharks 5-2 stomp of Dallas - Fear The Fin
Dallas could have leapfrogged the Sharks into a playoff spot, but now sit 3 points back with two games to play.

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Phoenix Coyotes: Mike Smith...that is all - Five For Howling
Phoenix did themselves a huge favor by shutting out the Blue Jackets. They need just one more point to punch their playoff ticket.

Ducks At Canucks Recap ; Almost Bruce, Almost (5-4Ws/o) - Nucks Misconduct
Roberto Luongo got pulled before Corey Schneider led Vancouver to victory.

Rangers Vs. Flyers: Rangers Clinch Eastern Conference With Win Over Flyers - Blueshirt Banter
The New York Rangers took an impressive 5-3 win at Philly.

Maple Leafs vs. Sabres Recap: Did The Sabres Really Just Do That? - Die By The Blade
The Buffalo Sabres pulled out an incredible win to tie for 8th place... hey, kids, looks at this! Alexander Sulzer has quietly become a solid defender on this team and could become part of the Sabres future after this season. He is currently on a career high three game point streak and recorded his first multi-point game since January 23, 2011. Good for him.

Panthers blow big early lead; Jets storm back to win in OT - Litter Box Cats
Florida had a chance to clinch their division, but couldn't hold back the Jets.

New Jersey Devils Defeat New York Islanders 3-1; Secure Sixth in East with Help - In Lou We Trust
The Devils are on a collision course with the Panthers, and should steamroll them.

Pens Beat Bruins But Are Playing For The 4th Seed Due To Dumb Seeding Rules - PensBurgh
Just win your division, and there's no need to whine.

Hurricanes 2, Senators 1 - Canes Country
Cam Ward came oh-so-close to earning a shutout on the road.