Penguins top Islanders to earn 16th straight playoff berth
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jake Guentzel scored twice, Sidney Crosby also had a goal and the Pittsburgh Penguins earned a playoff berth for the 16th straight season with a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Guentzel scored his 36th and 37th goals and Crosby his 29th as the Penguins extended the longest active postseason streak among teams in major North American professional sports.
Danton Heinen equaled a career high with his 16th goal, while Kris Letang and Brock McGinn also scored for Pittsburgh, which tied Calgary for the seventh-longest playoff streak in the NHL since 1967. Tristan Jarry made 36 saves for the Penguins, who have won two of three overall. Pittsburgh has 11 wins and points in 15 of its last 17 against the Islanders.
Zach Parise, Anders Lee and Zdeno Chara scored for the Islanders, who have lost three of their last five following a four-game winning streak. Ilya Sorokin stopped 22 shots.
LIGHTNING 4, DUCKS 3, OT
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Anthony Cirelli scored 1:58 into overtime and Tampa Bay beat Anaheim to clinch a playoff berth.
Ross Colton, Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 10 saves before being replaced by Brian Elliott, who stopped all 13 shots he faced.
The Lightning qualified for the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons. The two-time defending NHL champions are trying to become the first team to win the Stanley Cup three times in a row since the Islanders won four straight from 1980-83.
Adam Henrique scored twice and Troy Terry added a goal for Anaheim. Anthony Stolarz, making his first career start against Tampa Bay, made 27 saves.
AVALANCHE 3, DEVILS 1
DENVER (AP) — Artturi Lehkonen had a goal and an assist, Logan O’Connor and Andre Burakovsky also scored and NHL-leading Colorado won its eighth straight game.
Pavel Francouz had 26 saves for Colorado, which has a league-best 114 points with eight games remaining. The Avalanche are four points behind the 2000-01 team that set the franchise record for points in a season. That team went on to win the Stanley Cup, beating the Devils in seven games in the finals.
Jesper Bratt scored for New Jersey, which had its two-game winning streak halted. Andrew Hammond stopped 25 shots for the Devils.
MAPLE LEAFS 7, CAPITALS 3
TORONTO (AP) — William Nylander, Michael Bunting and Ilya Mikheyev each scored twice, Auston Matthews had two assists to reach 101 points and Toronto routed Washington.
Ilya Lyubushkin also scored and captain John Tavares had four assists to help the Maple Leafs improve to 48-20-6, a victory shy of the club record set in 2017-18.
Matthews — with 58 goals and 43 assists — became the third player in Toronto history with 100 or more points. Darryl Sittler had 117 in 1977-78, and Doug Gilmour had 127 in 1992-93 and 111 in 1993-94.
Nylander had his 29th and 30th goals. Mitch Marner also had an assist to hit the 60-assist mark for the second time in his career. Jack Campbell made 22 saves for Toronto.
John Carlson, Tom Wilson and Nic Dowd scored for Washington, which had won four in a row.
BLUES 6, SABRES 2
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Vladimir Tarasenko scored three times as part of a career-best five-point outing and St. Louis rolled to its seventh straight win.
Robert Thomas had five assists to extend his point streak to 11 games, during which he has six goals and 23 points. Pavel Buchnevich, Brandon Saad and David Perron also scored for the Blues. The winning streak is the Blues’ longest since an 8-0 run from Feb. 18 to March 3, 2020, and they improved to 9-0-1 in their past 10.
Tarasenko has scored game-winning goals in three straight outings to give him a career-best nine on the season. Jordan Binnington stopped 35 shots for his second straight win after four consecutive losses.
Alex Tuch and Rasmus Asplund scored, and Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots for Buffalo. Defenseman Owen Power set up Tuch’s goal for the 2021 No. 1 draft pick’s first NHL point in his second career game since leaving Michigan to sign with the Sabres.
RED WINGS 3, HURRICANES 0
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Alex Nedeljkovic had 46 saves in a sharp performance against his former team, getting his third shutout of the season and helping Detroit beat Carolina.
Moritz Seider, Adam Erne and Filip Zadina scored for Detroit. The Red Wings were recently eliminated from the postseason chase for the sixth straight year, but managed to push past the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes despite being outplayed much of the way.
Carolina finished with a 46-22 edge in shots on goal, including a long stretch of the second period played in the Detroit end of the ice. But Nedeljkovic stood up against every swarming push or breakaway by Carolina. Raanta finished with 19 saves for the Hurricanes.
SENATORS 3, BRUINS 2
BOSTON (AP) — Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris and Tim Stützle each scored a goal in the second period and Ottawa sent Boston to its first three-game losing streak this season.
Jesper Froden scored his first NHL goal for Boston, and Marc McLaughlin added his third, just six games into his NHL career. The Bruins had won eight of 10 before the skid.
The Senators wiped out a 2-0 deficit with the second-period goals for their second consecutive win. Anton Forsberg stopped 40 shots for the Senators.
Boston’s Jeremy Swayman allowed a goal on the first shot he faced and finished with 21 saves after starter Linus Ullmark left following one period with an undisclosed injury.
OILERS 4, PREDATORS 0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Leon Draisaitl had three goals and Mike Smith made 30 saves, leading Edmonton past Nashville.
Draisaitl’s hat trick gave him 54 goals this season, four behind NHL-leading Auston Matthews (58) of Toronto.
Darnell Nurse also scored and Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had two assists for Edmonton, which snapped a two-game losing streak. The Oilers swept the three-game season series with Nashville and have beaten the Predators six straight games.
The shutout was Smith’s first of the season and the 43rd of his career.
Juuse Saros made 28 saves for Nashville, which has lost three of four.
WILD 3, STARS 2, OT
DALLAS (AP) — Frederick Gaudreau scored at 1:40 overtime after assisting on Kevin Fiala’s two regulation goals in Minnesota’s victory over Dallas.
Gaudreau picked up a loose puck, skated into the Dallas zone and sent the puck past goalie Scott Wedgewood.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves for Minnesota, allowing only Jason Robertson’s two goals. Wedgewood stopped 24 shots.
Minnesota remained two points behind St. Louis for second place in the Central Division. The Blues won at Buffalo on Thursday night. Dallas earned a point for the overtime loss, moving the Stars into a tie with Nashville, which lost to Edmonton on Thursday night, in the Western Conference wild-card race. The Stars and Predators each have eight games remaining.
BLACKHAWKS 5, SHARKS 4, SO
CHICAGO (AP) — Alex DeBrincat scored the lone goal in the shootout after having three assists in regulation and Chicago snapped an eight-game losing streak.
DeBrincat beat James Reimer with an in-tight move in the third round of the shootout. Chicago’s Kevin Lankinen followed by stopping Erik Karlsson’s shot from the slot as Chicago ended an 0-6-2 slide.
Jaycob Megna scored on a rebound from a flurry in front with 3:25 left in the third to tie it at 4 and send it to overtime.
Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal and added two assists for Chicago. Dylan Strome notched his career-high 21st goal and had an assist, and Taylor Raddysh and Calvin de Haan scored.
Timo Meier scored his team-leading 32nd goal for the Sharks, who have lost eight in a row (0-5-3). Scott Reedy and Rudolfs Balcers also scored for San Jose.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6, FLAMES 1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Calgary native Logan Thompson made 35 saves, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson each had a goal and two assists for Vegas.
With seven games left in the regular season, the Golden Knights are two points behind Western Conference wild-card leaders Dallas and Nashville. The Flames still need a single point to wrap up a playoff spot.
Jack Eichel, Evgeni Dadonov, Michal Amadio and Nicolas Roy also scored for Vegas, and Mattias Janmark had two assists.
Dillon Dube scored for Calgary. Flames starter Jacob Markstrom was pulled midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Dan Vladar stopped six of eight shots in relief.
CANUCKS 7, COYOTES 1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — J.T. Miller had a career-high five assists and Vancouver extended its winning streak to five games to keep alive its faint playoff hopes.
Vancouver is five points behind the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars, who hold the two Western Conference wild-card spots.
Rookie Vasily Podkolzin had two goals and an assist, Alex Chiasson scored twice, and Sheldon Dries, Elias Pettersson and Conor Garland added goals for the Canucks. Quinn Hughes had three assists. Thatcher Demko made 21 saves.
Andrew Ladd scored for the Coyotes, who lost their fifth straight. Karel Vejmelka stopped 16 of 22 shots before being replaced by Harri Sateri at the start of the third period. Sateri made four saves in relief.
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