Rangers clinch their first playoff spot since 2017 | Ap Sports


NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Kreider scored twice, Artemi Panarin added a goal and two assists and the New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Saturday night to clinch their first playoff spot since 2017.

Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp also scored and Igor Shesterkin needed just 21 saves to thwart the Senators as the surging Rangers improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine and held off. tied with Carolina for the top of the Metropolitan Division with 100 points. The Rangers have nine games to play, while the Hurricanes have 10. The teams meet Tuesday night in New York.

Shesterkin improved to 34-10-4, becoming the fourth goaltender in franchise history with 34 wins in a season, joining Henrik Lundqvist, Ed Giacomin and Mike Richter.

Austin Watson scored the only goal for the Senators, who led 1-0 early in the first period.

MAPLE LEAFS 3, CANADIANS 2

TORONTO (AP) — Auston Matthews scored his 57th and 58th NHL-leading goals 27 seconds apart in the first period to help Toronto edge past Montreal, clinch a playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season and reach 100 points in the ranking.

Matthews’ opener marked his 50th goal in his last 50 games, making him the first player to accomplish the feat since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96. Matthews extended his point streak to 16 games (21 goals, 10 assists). His linemate Mitch Marner has a 13-game streak (eight goals, 20 assists).

John Tavares also scored for Toronto and Erik Kallgren made 24 saves.

Cole Caufield and Joel Edmundson scored for Montreal. Jake Allen stopped the first 14 shots he faced before leaving with a leg injury apparent as he stretched for Matthews’ first goal. Sam Montembeault made 23 saves the rest of the way.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Tom Wilson broke the tie with 8:25 left and Washington beat Pittsburgh.

Alex Ovechkin tied Washington on the power play at 4:49 of the third period with his 44th goal of the season, and Wilson tied his career high with his 22nd – sending a wrist shot to Tristan’s glove Jarry from the left circle during a two-on-one.

The Capitals won two straight seconds to move four points behind Pittsburgh for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Washington has won five road games in a row.

Marcus Johansson, Dmitry Orlov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Martin Fehervary also scored for Washington, and Ilya Samsonov stopped 29 shots to become the 10th goaltender in team history with 50 career wins.

Bryan Rust, Jeff Carter and Brian Boyle scored for Pittsburgh and Jarry made 39 saves. The Penguins have lost four straight and seven of nine.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Anton Lundell scored the game-winning goal in the second period and Florida beat Nashville for its seventh straight win.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Gustav Forsling scored into an empty net 17 seconds apart, and Carter Verhaeghe also had a goal, and Forsling had an assist as Florida tied the season series with Nashville.

Rookie Spencer Knight made 24 saves for a win in his fourth consecutive appearance.

With the victory, the Panthers strengthened their margin at the top of the Eastern Conference and in the Atlantic Division. They also added another win to the club record with the No.51 of the season.

Ryan Johansen scored a goal as the Predators snapped a two-game winning streak. Nashville still has a two-point lead over Dallas, losing 3-1 to the Devils earlier Saturday for the top wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Justin Faulk scored twice in 96 seconds in the second period and Jordan Binnington made 29 saves to lift St. Louis to its fifth straight win with a victory over New York.

Nick Leddy, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev and Robert Thomas also scored for St. Louis.

Binnington, who lost top spot to Ville Husso, recorded their first win since Feb. 27 and improved to 14-13-4.

Grant Hutton scored his first NHL goal for the Islanders, who had won five of their previous six.

DALLAS (AP) — Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha scored 10 seconds apart in the third period in New Jersey’s win over Dallas.

Ty Smith also scored in the third period and Nico Daws made 27 saves to help New Jersey snap a five-game losing streak.

Dallas defenseman Ryan Suter scored his 100th NHL goal.

SEATTLE (AP) — Noah Hanifin had four assists and Calgary beat Seattle for its fourth straight victory.

Blake Coleman, Trevor Lewis and Michael Stone scored Hanifin’s main assists; he also got a secondary assist on a goal from Tyler Toffoli.

The teams will complete the home-and-away series Tuesday night in Calgary.

Toffoli added a shorthanded goal into an empty net to cap the scoring, and Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves.

Karson Kuhlman scored for Seattle and Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 shots.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Trevor Zegras scored twice to lead Anaheim past Philadelphia.

Sonny Milano, Zach Aston-Reese and Derek Grant also scored for the Ducks. They opened a four game journey winning only the second time in the last 15 contests.

Travis Sanheim, Ronnie Attard and Ivan Provorov scored for the Flyers.

The game pitted two teams near the bottom of their conference standings. The Flyers entered 14th out of 16 teams in the Eastern Conference with 57 points while the Ducks were 12th out of 16 clubs in the West.

5 BLUE JACKETS, 4 RED WINGS, OT

DETROIT (AP) — Jack Roslovic scored three goals, including the winner at 3:19 of overtime, and added an assist to lead Columbus past Detroit.

Cole Sillinger and Justin Danforth also scored for Columbus. Elvis Merzlikins made 34 saves.

The Red Wings got goals from Dylan Larkin and Jakub Vrána, his second of the game, in the final minutes of regulation to tie it at 4. Sam Gagner also scored for Detroit. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 28 shots.

AVALANCHE 2, OILERS 1, SW

EDMONTON, Alta. (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon scored the game-winning goal after scoring Colorado’s only goal in regulation time, leading the Avalanche to their sixth straight win.

Darcy Kuemper made 49 saves for the Avalanche, which is 11-1-1 in its last 13 games and tied a franchise record with its 52nd win of the season.

Warren Foegele scored for the Oilers, whose six-game winning streak came to an end. Edmonton’s nine-game home streak was also interrupted.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Alex Chiasson had a goal and an assist, Thatcher Demko made 34 saves for her career-high 30th victory, and Vancouver kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a victory over San Joseph.

Jason Dickinson, Conor Garland and Luke Schenn also scored for the Canucks, who moved within four points of Dallas and Vegas for wild-card second in the Western Conference.

Tomas Hertl and Nick Bonino had goals for San Jose. Kaapo Kahkonen made 35 saves but fell to 0-3-0 since being acquired from Minnesota at the March 21 trade deadline.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6, COYOTES 1

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brayden McNabb scored a goal and assisted two more and Vegas beat Arizona.

With the win, the Knights moved within two points of third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division. Vegas and LA have nine games left to play.

The Knights, who have won six of their last seven games, tied for eighth place with Dallas in the Western Conference, each with 84 points. Dallas, however, has two games in hand.

Zach Whitecloud, Max Pacioretty, Evgenii Dadonov, Jake Leschyshyn and Jack Eichel also scored for Vegas, while Robin Lehner made 29 saves.

Barrett Hayton scored the Coyotes’ lone goal. Karel Vejmelka stopped 33 shots.

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