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The First Line: April 3, 2018

Right Wing: Patric Hornqvist- Pittsburgh Penguins

With two games remaining in the regular season the Pens have officially claimed their spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in large part thanks to their veteran right winger.

Hornqvist was continued to be a solid source of offense for the Pens as 2017-18 marks his fifth straight 20+ goals season as he has found the net 27 times and added on 19 assists.

This past week, the 31 year old rally stepped up his game tallying four points via three goals and one assist. Pittsburgh will look for Hornqvist to carry this momentum through the final few games of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Despite projecting as a five seed right now (six seed Blue Jackets only two points back) the Penguins know how to win in April as they have shown over the past few seasons and should be treated as a threat.

Center: Auston Matthews- Toronto Maple Leafs

Since entering the league in the 2016-17 season, Matthews has proven himself to be one of the best young players in the game, with a nice season last year to win the Calder and lift the Leafs into the playoffs.

This year has been more of the same for the all-star center, collecting 33 goals and 27 assists and has yet again been an instrumental part of Toronto locking up a top four seed in the Eastern Conference (tied with three seed Washington with 103 points).

Over the past week Matthews has taken has game to the next level, with four goals and three assists. This is music to the Leafs’ ears as they see their star getting hot at just the right time and hope he can carry that play into the playoffs.

Left Wing: Filip Forsberg- Nashville Predators

For most of the season people around the world were fascinated with the Vegas Golden Knights and their historic first season. But over the past month, the Predators have crept back into first in the West and are a win away from winning the conference.

Forsberg has been clutch for the Preds all season, tallying his fourth straight 20+ goal season (he has 23) and setting a new career high for assists (38). Forsberg continued to shine the last week of March and into April with six points on two goals and four assists.

Much like the two players above, the hope for Forsberg is simple, continue roll through the end of the regular season and help the Predators get off to a hot start in the playoffs. Now that Nashville has ‘some’ postseason experience, there is no reason for Preds fans to think this is not possible.

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