VANCOUVER – Vancouver defenceman Christian Ehrhoff scored the go-ahead goal with 0.9 seconds left in the second period and the Canucks won their first Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s best record with a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
Daniel Sedin tied it with five minutes left in the second period, then added his NHL-leading 100th point of the season by setting up Ryan Kesler’s goal on a two-man advantage with 4:26 left in the third. Roberto Luongo made 18 saves to help the Canucks win their fifth straight game and 12th in the last 13.
Vancouver, which wrapped up the Western Conference in its previous game, celebrated its 40th season by adding to a franchise record with 113 points (52-17-9), 11 more than the second-place Philadelphia atop the NHL standings. The Flyers, who lost 1-0 to Atlanta, only have five games left and can’t catch the Canucks.
Kyle Clifford scored for the Kings.
Elsewhere in the NHL, it was: Toronto 4 Boston 3 (SO); Minnesota 4 Edmonton 2; Ottawa 4 Florida 1; Washington 4 Columbus 3 (OT); San Jose 6 Dallas 0; Atlanta 1 Philadelphia 0; Tampa Bay 2 Pittsburgh 1; New York Islanders 6 New York Rangers 2; and Nashville 3 Colorado 2.
WASHINGTON (AP)—Jason Chimera tipped in a rebound 2:30 into overtime as the Capitals edged Columbus.
The Capitals had a 3-on-2 rush, resulting in Brooks Laich’s shot that goalie Steve Mason couldn’t handle. The rebound went to Chimera and he tapped the puck in to give Washington its 12th victory in March.
The Capitals reached 101 points, crossing the 100-point plateau for the third straight season, to move within a point of Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference lead.
Scottie Upshall forced overtime for Columbus, fighting off two Washington defenders to score his 22nd goal of the season with 5:37 remaining in the third period.
John Carlson, Mike Knuble and Jason Arnott also scored for Washington.
Antoine Vermette and Fedor Tyutin added goals for Columbus.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Antti Niemi made 29 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and Patrick Marleau scored twice to help the Sharks clinch a playoff spot.
Logan Couture, Dan Boyle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Ben Eager also scored for the Sharks, who have won six of seven games to move one point ahead of Detroit for second place in the Western Conference with five games remaining this season.
The Stars lost their fifth straight game as their teetering playoff hopes took another blow. Dallas is three points behind Chicago for the final playoff spot in the West with six games remaining.
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Nik Antropov scored the only goal, and Chris Mason stopped 43 shots for his first shutout of the season and 21st overall in Atlanta’s victory over Philadelphia.
Antropov scored his 15th goal midway through the third period.
Mason was outstanding in the final minute. He made a kick save off his left leg and Jeff Carter’s quick rebound knocked off the post with 4.7 seconds left.
The Flyers have lost five straight at home.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Martin St. Louis scored his 30th goal of the season, helping Tampa Bay clinch its first playoff berth since 2007 with a victory over Pittsburgh.
Steve Downie also scored for the Lightning, who have won three in a row following a four-game losing skid.
Pittsburgh, which had won its previous four road games, got a goal from Michael Rupp.
Penguins centre Sidney Crosby, sidelined for nearly three months with a concussion, resumed skating with his teammates in the game-day practice. The Pittsburgh captain, out since Jan. 6, isn’t ready yet to participate in full practices. A return to game action for the post-season hasn’t been completely ruled out.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—Radek Martinek and P.A. Parenteau both had a goal andassist during the Islanders’ four-goal second period, and the Islanders put the rival Rangers back into post-season peril.
After Blake Comeau got the Islanders even at 1-1 at 3:24, Martinek put them in front 33 seconds later.
Things settled down for a bit, but the Islanders struck for two more goals 1:16 apart—the first by Jesse Joensuu at 13:28 and the second by Parenteau to turn it into a rout. Matt Moulson scored his 31st goal of the season against backup Chad Johnson with 11:22 left, and Trevor Gillies made it 6-1 at 14:00.
The Rangers were seemingly cruising for a playoff spot on the strength of an 8-1-1 spurt, but have dipped to eighth in the Eastern Conference and lead Carolina by three points with four games remaining. Carolina has five games to play in the final 10 days.
Vinny Prospal and Brandon Prust scored for the Rangers.
BOSTON (AP)—Nazem Kadri scored the only shootout goal to help Toronto beat the Bruins.
With the point for reaching overtime, the Bruins clinched a tie for the Northeast Division title. The next Boston win or loss by Montreal will give the Bruins the division title.
Toronto is 10th in the Eastern Conference, five points behind seventh-place Buffalo and the New York Rangers for one of the eight playoff spots.
Joffrey Lupul scored twice for Toronto, Luke Scheen added a goal and former Bruins forward Phil Kessel had a pair of assists. Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Andrew Ference scored for Boston.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who made 28 saves, made a right-pad save on Mikhail Grabovski’s penalty shot 43 seconds into overtime, but Kadri beat him with a backhand shot over the left shoulder in the shootout.
DENVER (AP)—Pekka Rinne made 27 saves and Nashville beat Colorado for its ninth victory in 11 games.
Martin Erat had a goal and an assist and Colin Wilson and Jordin Tootoo also scored. Nashville passed idle Anaheim in the Western Conference standings, jumping from seventh place into a tie for fifth with Los Angeles with four games left.
Paul Stastny and David Jones scored and Brian Elliott made 31 saves for Colorado, 3-22-2 in its last 27 games. Three of those losses have come against Nashville, which swept the season series.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)—Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom ended a six-start winless streak, beating his favourite opponent in the Wild’s victory over Edmonton.
Defenceman Tom Gilbert and Linus Omark each had power-play goals—a rarity for Edmonton’s struggling special teams unit—but the last-place Oilers fell to 0-8-3 in their last 11 games.
Antti Miettinen, Marek Zidlicky, Brad Staubitz and Martin Havlat scored for Minnesota. Backstrom has never lost to the Oilers, improving to 14-0 in his career against them.
The Wild beat Edmonton at home for the 16th time in a row, matching the longest current run of consecutive home wins against one team in the NHL. They’ve outscored the Oilers 58-21 during the stretch.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)—Rookie Colin Greening scored twice in the second period for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson made 37 saves to improve to 9-4-1 since being acquired in a trade with Colorado in February.
Nick Foligno and Filip Kuba also scored for Ottawa. The Senators swept the season series and have won six in a row against Florida dating to last season.
Michal Repik scored for Florida. The Panthers have lost seven straight.