Hurricanes clinch playoff spot, Matthews sets Leafs record

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal each scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits to beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Thursday night and clinch a playoff berth.

Aho’s go-ahead goal came with 8:21 remaining, propelling the Hurricanes to the 100-point mark (46-17-8) for the just the second time in franchise history. They have 11 games remaining.

Teuvo Teravainen also scored for the Hurricanes, while Staal’s second goal was an empty-netter with 54.3 seconds to play. Antti Raanta stopped 18 for his first victory since March 26.

Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch and Victor Olofsson scored for the Sabres, who lost in regulation for the second time in last 11 games. Former Hurricanes standout Jeff Skinner set up Buffalo’s first two goals. Craig Anderson made 27 saves.


DALLAS (AP) -- Auston Matthews has the most goals ever in a single season for the Toronto Maple Leafs — and the most in the NHL by an American-born player.

Matthews set the franchise record with his 55th goal in regulation, then scored No. 56 in overtime to break the American record and give the Maple Leafs the victory over Dallas.

Matthews, who tied Rick Vaive’s 40-year-old mark of 54 goals two games earlier, broke that with his one-timer from the bottom of the circle to the left of goalie Scott Wedgewood after taking a pass back from Mark Giordano on a power play for a 2-1 lead with 1:02 left in the second period. The winner came when he took a pass from William Nylander — who also scored earlier — and was able to swipe the puck around Wedgewood in overtime.

Dallas tied it at 2 with 14:17 left on a laser shot by John Klingberg on a pass from Joe Pavelski. The Maple Leafs went ahead 3-2 on Morgan Rielly’s goal just less than five minutes later, but Pavelski tied it again on his 26th goal with 2:23 left in regulation.

Tyler Seguin scored his 21st goal for the Stars, who remained in the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot.


NEW YORK (AP) — Frank Vatrano and Artemi Panarin scored in the second period, Igor Shesterkin stopped 30 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and New York beat Pittsburgh.

Dryden Hunt added an empty-net goal in the final minute and Mika Zibanejad had two assists for New York, which is 6-1-1 in its last eight games — including three victories against Pittsburgh.

With Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby a late scratch with a non-COVID illness, the Penguins produced a meek attack against the Rangers. Tristan Jarry had 21 saves for Pittsburgh, which has lost four of five and is 2-5-1 in its last eight.

The Rangers inched closer to their first playoff berth since 2017, moving six points ahead of the Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division — and home-ice advantage in the first round —with 10 games remaining.

The Rangers improved to 23-7-4 at home with a 10-3-2 mark in their last 15 games on Garden ice. They reached 98 points for the 11th time in franchise history and the first time since 2016-17.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Connor McDavid set a career high with his 42nd goal and became the seventh player in NHL history to record multiple point streaks of at least 15 games in a season as Edmonton defeated Los Angeles.

McDavid, who also had an assist, remained the league’s top scorer with 109 points. McDavid extended his goal streak to six straight games 3:17 into the first period. He’s the first player since Wayne Gretzky in 1990-91 to have at least two point streaks of at least 15 games in a season. Gretzky did it seven times, while Mike Bossy, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, Denis Savard and Bobby Orr were the others.

Evan Bouchard also had a goal and two assists for the Oilers, who have won six straight to take a three-point lead over the Kings for second place in the Pacific Division. Warren Foegele also scored for Edmonton, and Mike Smith stopped 30 shots.

Trevor Moore had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, which has dropped two straight and four of its last six. Viktor Arvidsson also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves.


OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Roman Josi had three assists and Nashville erased a one-goal deficit in the third period to defeat Ottawa.

Ryan Johansen scored on the power play at 12:38 of the third period, but it came with some controversy. Josi’s point shot appeared to be knocked down by a high stick from Matt Duchesne before Johansen tapped the puck in. The play was reviewed, but the goal stood to give the Predators the lead.

Duschene and Tanner Jeannot had Nashville’s other goals, and Juuse Saros made 28 saves.

Mathieu Joseph and Josh Norris scored for the Senators, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Anton Forsberg made 31 saves.


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Kale Clague had a goal and two assists, Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki each had a goal and an assist as part of a three-goal first period and Montreal beat New Jersey.

Christian Dvorak had a goal and two assists, and Chris Wideman, Joel Armia and Jake Evans also scored for the Canadiens. Jake Allen stopped 33 shots to help Montreal win for the second time in three games.

Jesper Bratt, Ty Smith, Tomas Tatar and AJ Greer scored for New Jersey. Andrew Hammond allowed six goals on 19 shots before he was pulled early in the third period. The Devils dropped their fifth straight game, and 10th in their past 12, going 0-3-1 on their four-game homestand.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Kevin Connauton, Owen Tippett and Noah Cates scored in Philadelphia’s three-goal second period and the Flyers beat Columbus for their second straight road win.

Travis Konecny added a goal in the third period, Martin Jones stopped 26 shots and Kevin Hayes had a pair of assists for Philadelphia, which has won two of its last three games overall.

Eric Robinson scored Columbus’ lone goal and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 27 shots in the Blue Jackets’ third straight home loss and eighth in nine games.


CHICAGO (AP) — Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves for Seattle’s second shutout, and the expansion Kraken blanked Chicago.

Alex Wennberg scored his 10th goal in the second period and Jordan Eberle added his 18th late in the third to seal it.

Grubauer was only lightly tested by the Blackhawks, who dropped their sixth straight game (0-4-2) and occasionally were booed by their home crowd. Grubauer, who recorded his 20th career shutout, also was in net for the Kraken’s first shutout on Feb. 2 against the Islanders in New York.

Chicago goalie Kevin Lankinen stopped 29 shots.


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Bo Horvat and Alex Chiasson each had two goals and an assist and Vancouver continued a late playoff push with a victory over Arizona.

Elias Pettersson had a goal and two assists for the Canucks, who have won two straight and earned five points in their last three games. The Canucks have 78 points, six behind Dallas for the second wild card in the Western Conference with 10 games to play. Las Vegas has 82 points. The Stars have two games in hand on both.

Jaroslav Halak made 28 saves and is 11-3-2 in 16 career games against Arizona.

Nick Schmaltz scored his career-high 22nd goal for the Coyotes, who have lost nine of 11. Harri Sateri made 27 saves in his first game with Arizona and his 10th in the NHL, his first since Feb. 9, 2018, while with Florida. He was claimed off waivers from Toronto on March 21.


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Elias Lindholm scored twice, Matthew Tkachuk added a goal and two assists, and Calgary beat San Jose.

Trevor Lewis also scored for Calgary, which won its third straight game. Dan Vladar made 31 saves to earn his 10th win.

Nick Bonino and Logan Couture scored for San Jose, which lost its fifth in a row. James Reimer made 32 saves before leaving with an injury in the third period following a collision with Couture in the crease. He was able to skate off under his own power. Kaapo Kahkonen stopped all five shots he faced in relief.

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