NHL roundup: Rangers clinch playoff spot

NEW YORK (AP) " Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves, Ryan Callahan had a goal and an assist and the New York Rangers clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

The Rangers, set to close the regular season Sunday in Philadelphia, are fighting Montreal for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens, tied with the Rangers with 93 points, will finish Saturday night against Pittsburgh. The seventh seed will open the playoffs against Washington, and the eighth seed will face Boston.

Markus Naslund also scored for the Rangers, 8-1 in their last nine games at Madison Square Garden. Daniel Briere scored for the Flyers, and Martin Biron made 29 saves.

Bruins 5, Canadiens 4, OT

BOSTON (AP) " Minutes after Montreal clinched a playoff spot by forcing overtime, Mark Recchi scored his second goal of the game to give Boston the victory.

Boston's Zdeno Chara tied it at 4 when he backhanded a shot past Carey Price 5:27 into the third, and Recchi " won also had two assists " won it at 2:42 of overtime.

Phil Kessel scored his 33rd goal, and Patrice Bergeron added a goal and two assists. Matt D'Agostini scored twice for Montreal, and Mathieu Schneider and Alex Kovalev added goals.

Sabres 5, Hurricanes 1

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) " Jason Pominville scored twice, and Ryan Miller made 26 saves to help Buffalo snap Carolina's nine-game winning streak.

Minutes after the game, Buffalo was eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff race when the New York Rangers beat Philadelphia.

Matt Ellis and Jochen Hecht also scored, Derek Roy converted a penalty shot, and Tim Connolly and Daniel Paille had two assists apiece for Buffalo.

Eric Staal scored his 40th goal for Carolina in the final minute.

Panthers 3, Thrashers 2

ATLANTA (AP) " David Booth scored with 4:25 left in the third period to lift Florida, eliminated from playoff contention when Montreal took Boston to overtime.

Nathan Horton and Cory Stillman also scored for Florida. Defenseman Zach Bogosian scored twice for Atlanta.

Coyotes 4, Sharks 1

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) " Al Montoya made 40 saves for his third NHL victory, and Phoenix prevented league-leading San Jose from clinching the Presidents' Trophy.

Scottie Upshall and Peter Mueller each had a goal and an assist, and Ed Jovanovski and Zbynek Michalek also scored for last-place Phoenix.

Travis Moen scored for San Jose.

Capitals 4, Lightning 2

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) " Brooks Laich had two goals, David Steckel and Mike Green also scored and Washington secured the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Washington set a franchise record with 108 points and tied a team mark set in 1985-86 with its 50th win. The Capitals have won 11 consecutive games against Tampa Bay.

Steven Stamkos and Matt Pettinger scored for Tampa Bay. Stamkos set a team record for rookies with his 22nd goal of the season.

Penguins 6, Islanders 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) " Evgeni Malkin picked up two assists to lengthen his lead in the NHL scoring race and Pittsburgh stayed in contention for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, while assuring New York of finishing last in the NHL.

Malkin has 112 points " four more than last season's scoring champion, Alex Ovechkin of Washington. Both players have one game remaining.

The Penguins improved to 17-3-4 under interim coach Dan Bylsma and tied Carolina and Philadelphia with 97 points in the race to finish fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Philippe Boucher, Matt Cooke, Bill Guerin and Tyler Kennedy also scored, and Mathieu Garon made 28 saves, allowing only Frans Nielsen's early power-play goal.

Devils 3, Senators 2, SO

OTTAWA (AP) " Zach Parise and Brendan Shanahan scored in the shootout, and New Jersey clinched first place in the Atlantic Division and third place in the Eastern Conference by getting a point for going into overtime.

Dany Heatley scored his 39th goal to draw Ottawa even at 2 with a minute left in the third period. Martin Brodeur stopped Mike Fisher and Jason Spezza after Daniel Alfredsson scored on Ottawa's first shot in the tiebreaker.

Brian Rolston and Brian Gionta scored for the Devils in regulation.

Jarkko Ruutu also scored for the Senators, who had their franchise-record home winning streak stopped at nine.

Predators 4, Red Wings 3, SO

DETROIT (AP) " Ville Koistinen and Jason Arnott scored in the shootout to complete Nashville's comeback from a two-goal deficit.

Nashville tied St. Louis for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff race with a game left for the Predators. St. Louis has two games remaining.

Arnott had a goal and an assist in regulation, Scott Nichol and J.P. Dumont also scored, and Pekka Rinne made 23 saves. Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall and Johan Franzen scored for Detroit.

Stars 3, Avalanche 2, SO

DENVER (AP) " Mike Ribeiro resorted to trickery in the final shootout attempt, skating in backward and flipping a shot into the net off Peter Budaj to lift Dallas.

Fabian Brunnstrom and James Neal also scored for the Stars in the shootout, while Wojtek Wolski and Milan Hejduk countered for Colorado.

Brunnstrom and Steve Begin scored in regulation for Dallas. Chris Stewart and John-Michael Liles scored for Colorado.

Canucks 1, Kings 0

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) " Roberto Luongo made 20 saves for Vancouver for his career-high eighth shutout, and Ryan Kesler scored on a second-period power play.

The Canucks moved two points ahead of idle Calgary atop the Northwest Division, but the Flames still control their own destiny in race for the third seed in the Western Conference, and can clinch both by matching Vancouver over the final two games.


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