Bruins clinch playoff berth

BOSTON (AP) " David Pastrnak scored twice while Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots as the Boston Bruins clinched their first playoff berth since 2014 with a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Drew Stafford and Zdeno Chara also scored for the Bruins, who extended their season-high winning streak to six games and guaranteed a return to the postseason after missing out the last two years.

Andrei Vasilevskiy kept Tampa Bay close with 34 saves. The loss didn't knock the Lightning out of playoff contention, but Tampa Bay fell dangerously close with just three games remaining.

PENGUINS 4, BLUE JACKETS 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) " Patric Hornqvist scored his 20th goal of the season while Matt Murray finished with 38 saves as Pittsburgh sped past slumping Columbus.

Jake Guentzel and Carter Rowney also scored for Pittsburgh. Brian Dumolin added his first regular-season goal in more than two years as the Penguins moved three points ahead of Columbus in the race to have home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Brandon Dubinsky scored short-handed for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots but the Blue Jackets dropped a season-high fourth straight and have ceded control of the second seed in the Metropolitan Division to Pittsburgh with three games to go.

The teams are almost assured of facing each other when the playoffs begin next week.

CAPITALS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 1

TORONTO (AP) " Lars Eller and Kevin Shattenkirk gave Washington a two-goal lead halfway through the game as the Capitals ended Toronto's four-game winning streak.

Nate Schmidt and Tom Wilson also scored for Washington and Philipp Grubauer stopped 27 shots. The Capitals moved closer to clinching the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the Presidents' Trophy awarded to the team with the NHL's best record.

SENATORS 2, RED WINGS 0

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) " Erik Karlsson and Tom Pyatt scored while Craig Anderson made 24 saves for his fifth shutout of the season as Ottawa defeated Detroit to stop a five-game losing streak.

The Senators need one point in their final three games to clinch a playoff spot.

Jimmy Howard made 22 saves for the Red Wings, who will miss the playoffs for the first time in 25 seasons.

ISLANDERS 2, PREDATORS 1, OT

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) " Thomas Hickey scored 1:25 into overtime as New York beat Nashville to preserve its thin playoff hopes for at least another game.

Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders and Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves as they won their third straight in chasing the Eastern Conference's second wild card. New York moved within five points of Toronto for the final postseason spot in the East.

DEVILS 1, FLYERS 0, OT

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) " John Moore scored 59 seconds into overtime as New Jersey snapped a six-game skid by beating Philadelphia.

Keith Kinkaid made 35 saves in his first shutout of the season to help the Devils win for only the third time in 21 games (3-14-4).

Mason finished with 26 saves for the Flyers, who lost their second straight.

WILD 5, HURRICANES 3

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) " Nino Niederreiter had two goals and an assist to lead Minnesota to a victory over Carolina that clinched second place in the Central Division and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs for the Wild.

Zach Parise scored and had two assists while Charlie Coyle scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period. Devan Dubnyk shook off a shaky first period to stop 27 shots for his 39th win.

Jeff Skinner scored twice to set a career high with 35 goals and Lee Stempniak had a goal and an assist, but the Hurricanes were eliminated from postseason contention.

JETS 5, BLUES 2

ST. LOUIS (AP) " Patrik Laine scored twice and Mark Scheifele had a goal and an assist as Winnipeg beat St. Louis for its season-high fifth straight victory.

Mark Stuart and Nikolaj Ehlers also had a goal and an assist apiece for the Jets while Michael Hutchinson made 24 saves for Winnipeg.

Alex Pietrangelo and Jori Lehtera scored for the Blues, who had their season-best point streak snapped at nine games. Jake Allen made 20 saves before being pulled for Carter Hutton in the third period.

STARS 3, COYOTES 2, OT

DALLAS (AP) " Julius Honka scored his first NHL goal 3:45 into overtime to lift Dallas over Arizona.

Brett Ritchie and Jason Dickinson scored for Dallas in the first period while and Antti Niemi stopped 24 shots.

Christian Dvorak pulled Arizona within one just 12 seconds after Dickinson gave the Stars a 2-0 lead, and Anthony Duclair tied it with 4:27 remaining in regulation. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith finished with 28 saves.

SHARKS 3, CANUCKS 1

SAN JOSE, California (AP) " Kevin Labanc and Joel Ward scored in the first 30 seconds for the quickest two goals in franchise history as San Jose completed a sweep of the five-game series sweep against Vancouver.

Chris Tierney also scored for the playoff-bound Sharks,while Martin Jones stopped 33 shots.

Christopher Tanev scored for the Canucks, who lost their fifth straight, while Richard Bachman finished with 22 saves.

KINGS 6, OILERS 4

LOS ANGELES (AP) " Trevor Lewis and Tanner Pearson scored about 8 1/2 minutes apart in the third period while Jonathan Quick made 23 saves as Los Angeles snapped Edmonton's five-game winning streak.

Nick Shore, Dustin Brown, Nic Dowd and Drew Doughty also scored for Los Angeles in its first game since being eliminated from the playoff race.

Cam Talbot made 20 saves for Edmonton, which is tied with San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division with three games remaining.

DUCKS 3, FLAMES 1

ANAHEIM, California (AP) " Patrick Eaves scored his eighth goal in nine games and John Gibson made 26 saves as Anaheim moved closer to a fifth straight Pacific Division title.

Kevin Bieksa ended his 47-game goal drought and Chris Wagner also scored as the Ducks while Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary.

AVALANCHE 4, BLACKHAWKS 3, OT

DENVER (AP) " Erik Johnson went coast-to-coast to score at 1:57 of overtime as Colorado rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat Chicago.

Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Ryan Hartman scored in the second period for the Blackhawks to give them to a 3-0 lead.

But Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog had short-handed goals for the last-place Avalanche while Mikhail Grigorenko tied it up early in the third period off a pass from Duchene.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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