Saturday's NHL Capsules
Originally published April 10, 2011 at 1:08 a.m., updated April 10, 2011 at 1:22 a.m.
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Christian Ehrhoff scored at 2:31 of overtime to help playoff-bound Vancouver wrap up the best regular season in franchise history.
After rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the third, the Canucks got the victory when Ehrhoff’s slapshot from the blue line beat Henrik Karlsson between his pads.
Daniel Sedin had a pair of assists to clinch the NHL scoring race with 41 goals and 63 assists. Sedin’s 104 points are the fewest for an Art Ross Trophy winner since Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis won it with 94 in 2003-04.
Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows also scored for Vancouver (54-19-9), which finishes the season with a team-record 117 points. The playoffs begin on Wednesday, but the Canucks will not know their first-round opponent until Sunday.
Jarome Iginla and Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary, which missed the playoffs for the second season in a row.
Sharks 3, Coyotes 1
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Joe Pavelski scored his 20th goal of the season and Antti Niemi made 35 saves as San Jose wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the West.
Ian White and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who are assured of home-ice advantage for at least the first two rounds. The Sharks will not know their first-round opponent until after Chicago’s season finale against Detroit on Sunday.
The Coyotes missed out on a chance to finish fourth in the conference and having home ice for the first round. Depending on Sunday’s results, Phoenix could meet the Sharks again in the first round, having lost nine of 10 games to their Pacific Division rivals.
Lauri Korpikoski scored for the Coyotes, who lost their third in four games.
Flyers 7, Islanders 4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Scott Hartnell and Andrej Meszaros each scored two goals to help Philadelphia clinch the Atlantic Division and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia opens defense of its conference championship next week against the seventh-seeded Buffalo Sabres.
The Flyers won the division for the first time since 2003-04 — a minor consolation after they squandered their lead atop the East to Washington with the late-season swoon.
Kimmo Timonen and Danny Briere also scored for the Flyers. Darroll Powe added an empty-netter with 1 second left.
Michael Grabner, Travis Hamonic, John Tavares and P.A. Parenteau scored for the Islanders.
Ducks 3, Kings 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Saku Koivu had a goal and an assist, and Dan Ellis made 43 saves to help Anaheim claim the fourth seed in the Western playoffs.
Brandon McMillan and Francois Beauchemin also scored for the Ducks, who didn’t even clinch a playoff spot until Friday’s 2-1 home win over the Kings. After sweeping the weekend to cap their 15-5-0 finish, the Ducks will host a postseason series.
Nashville and Phoenix both lost Saturday before Anaheim won, leaving all three clubs with 99 points. The Ducks own the tiebreakers against both clubs and even Chicago — if the Blackhawks beat Detroit on Sunday.
Ryan Smyth scored and Jonathan Quick stopped 17 shots for the playoff-bound Kings.
Rangers 5, Devils 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Captain Chris Drury scored his first goal of the season in a surprise return to the lineup and Ryan McDonagh netted the first of his career as New York rallied for the win, then got some help to reach the playoffs.
The Rangers had to wait several hours to see if they would claim the No. 8 seed in the East, and they did when Carolina lost at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2. New York edged out Carolina by two points and will face Washington in the first round.
Wojtek Wolski, Brandon Prust and Vinny Prospal also scored, and Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves as New York improved to 29-0 when leading after two periods.
Nick Palmieri and Ilya Kovalchuk scored for the Devils.
Lightning 6, Hurricanes 2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and an assist, and quick-starting Tampa Bay eliminated Carolina from playoff contention.
Lecavalier, Dominic Moore and Steven Stamkos scored during a 6-minute, 32-second flurry in the first period. The Lightning led 4-0 midway through the second and held on to send the New York Rangers into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the East.
Tampa Bay, the East’s No. 5 seed, will play fourth-seeded Pittsburgh in the first round.
Martin St. Louis had two assists before he and Simon Gagne scored empty-netters in the final 2 1/2 minutes. Mike Smith made 42 saves as the Lightning matched a club record with win No. 46.
Cory Stillman and Chad LaRose scored and Cam Ward stopped 29 shots for Carolina.
Panthers 1, Capitals 0
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Bill Thomas scored with 6:05 remaining and Tomas Vokoun made 28 saves to help Florida close the season by snapping a 10-game losing streak.
Washington, which lost for only the third time in 20 games (16-3-1), had clinched the top seed in the East on Friday when Philadelphia lost to Buffalo.
Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves for the Capitals.
The victory was the Panthers’ first since a 4-0 shutout over Toronto on March 17 and helped them avoid matching the NHL’s longest season-ending slide since the 1967 expansion. The 2003-04 Kings and 1976-77 Red Wings both ended the season with 11 consecutive losses.
Bruins 3, Senators 1
BOSTON (AP) — Nathan Horton scored a tiebreaking goal early in the second period and Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots to help Boston win its regular-season home finale.
It was the Bruins’ seventh win in 10 games and left them in contention for the East’s second seed with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Boston must win its regular-season finale Sunday in New Jersey to have a chance.
Daniel Paille and Rich Peverley had Boston’s other goals.
Bobby Butler scored for the Senators, who missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and fired coach Cory Clouston and two assistants after the loss.
Blues 2, Predators 0
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaroslav Halak shut out playoff-bound Nashville for the third time this season and T.J. Oshie scored from his knees early in the second period for St. Louis.
Pekka Rinne made 24 saves for the Predators, who finished in a three-way tie with 99 points and must wait until Chicago plays Sunday to find out where they’ll be seeded.
Halak stopped 24 shots for his seventh shutout, and also blanked Nashville on Dec. 26 at home and Oct. 28 on the road.
Alex Steen scored his 100th career goal with 49 seconds to go to clinch it for the Blues, who missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.
Sabres 5, Blue Jackets 4
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Paul Gaustad scored the winner late on a power play, and four other Buffalo players scored in the season finale for both teams.
With the game tied 3-3, Drew Stafford and Gaustad, who also had an assist, scored on a five-minute major to former Buffalo captain Craig Rivet for cross-checking Tyler Ennis.
Jason Pominville added a goal and an assist, and Chris Butler and Ennis also scored for Buffalo, which holds the No. 7 seed in the East. Brad Boyes added three assists for the Sabres.
Kristian Huselius scored twice, and Derek Dorsett and Jared Boll also scored for Columbus.
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1
TORONTO (AP) — Brian Gionta scored two goals and Carey Price made 27 saves to help Montreal close the season as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern playoffs.
Ryan White and Tomas Plekanec also scored for the Canadiens, who could have slipped to seventh with a loss but instead set up a first-round matchup against the rival Boston Bruins.
Phil Kessel scored for Toronto, which missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
Price picked up his 38th win of the season, becoming the first Montreal goalie since Ken Dryden in 1976-77 to accomplish that feat. Price watched last year’s playoff run from the bench, but will likely play a major role in the team’s success or failure this spring.