ANAHEIM, Calif. – Corey Perry capped his third career hat trick with his NHL-leading 50th goal during a dynamic four-point performance, and the Anaheim Ducks kept pace in a tight playoff race with a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.
Rookie Cam Fowler, Teemu Selanne and Jason Blake also scored as Anaheim rebounded from back-to-back losses to stay in a seventh-place tie with Chicago in the Western Conference standings. Both clubs have 95 points apiece and two games to go.
The Ducks’ victory eliminated the Calgary Flames, but the 10th-place Dallas Stars still have a chance with 91 points and a game in hand.
Perry all but wrapped up his first Richard Trophy and burnished his MVP credentials with the biggest night yet in his remarkable late-season scoring binge. He became just the third 50-goal scorer in Ducks history and the Western Conference’s first 50-goal scorer since Calgary’s Jarome Iginla in 2007-08.
Captain Ryan Getzlaf had four assists and Bobby Ryan had three while their linemate lit up Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki, who made 28 saves in his first start since Jan. 13.
With 19 goals in his last 14 games, Perry is six goals ahead of Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for the NHL goal-scoring title with two games to play. Perry also moved into second place on the NHL scoring chart with 97 points, behind only Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin (100).
Ray Emery stopped 22 of 23 shots before leaving midway through the second period with what the Ducks said was a minor injury. He was cleared to return, but Dan Ellis wrapped up Anaheim’s 13th win in 18 games heading into a season-ending home-and-home series with Los Angeles.
Dan Boyle and Ben Eager scored for the Sharks.
CHICAGO (AP)—Jonathan Toews scored at 3:19 of overtime for Chicago, moving the Blackhawks within two points of a clinching a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Toews beat Ty Conklin on the short side after taking a long lead pass from Duncan Keith and racing in with Blues defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo in close pursuit.
Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky and Nick Leddy scored in the second period to help the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks erase a two-goal deficit.
St. Louis’ Chris Stewart scored midway through the third to set up overtime. T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist, and David Backes also scored for the Blues, who are out of the playoffs for the second straight season.
The Blackhawks, 3-3-1 in their last seven, have two games remaining with Detroit.
Patrick Sharp, Chicago’s leading goal scorer with 34, returned after missing seven games because of an injured left knee. He assisted on Hossa’s goal.
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Kyle Clifford had the tying goal late in the second period, Jarret Stoll also scored and Los Angeles clinched its second straight playoff berth.
Stoll also had the deciding goal in the tiebreaker, his ninth in 10 shots this season and eighth in a row. Jonathan Quick made 33 saves and stopped Lauri Korpikoski to end the game, improving to 10-0 in shootouts.
Lee Stempniak and Taylor Pyatt scored first period goals for Phoenix and Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves.
The Coyotes need one more point to secure their second straight post-season berth.
CALGARY (AP)—Jarome Iginla scored three goals and added an assist and Calgary routed, a few minutes before the Flames were eliminated from the Western Conference playoff race.
With one game left, Calgary is two points behind Chicago and Anaheim. The Blackhawks and Ducks—tied for seventh in the race for the eight playoff spots—have clinched tiebreakers over Calgary.
Iginla has 42 goals. Alex Tanguay had a goal and two assists, Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross also scored, Mikael Backlund Backlund had three assists, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves. Kiprusoff tied Mike Vernon’s franchise victory record with 262.
Magnus Paajarvi scored for Edmonton. With the loss, the Oilers clinched last place overall in the NHL for the second consecutive season.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)—Cam Ward made 42 saves for his second shutout in a month, and Carolina beat Detroit to remain alive for a playoff spot.
Jeff Skinner and Derek Joslin scored in the second period and Erik Cole added a goal in the third. The Hurricanes have won seven of nine to move to 89 points and remain in the hunt for just their second post-season berth since they won the 2006 Stanley Cup.
They need some help to get there, with the clearest path requiring them to win both of their final two games while the New York Rangers, eighth with 91 points, lose one of their last two.
Eric Staal added three assists to help Carolina beat Detroit for the first time since 2006.
Jimmy Howard made 29 saves for the Central Division champion Red Wings, who lost star left winger Henrik Zetterberg to a lower-body injury. Zetterberg, who collided with Carolina defenceman Bryan Allen midway through the first period, has a team-best 80 points.
WASHINGTON (AP)—Mike Knuble and Jason Chimera scored power-play goals in the first period and Washington won its fourth straight to put the Capitals on the brink of clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Sean Collins, called up over the weekend because of injuries to several Washington defencemen, padded the lead in the second period with his second career NHL goal. Matt Hendricks made it 4-0 in the third period, and Alex Ovechkin scored his 301st NHL goal into an empty net.
Ovechkin added two assists in addition to his empty-netter, giving him eight points in the last four games. Laich also had two assists, and Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves.
David Booth and Mike Santorelli scored for Florida. The Panthers have lost nine straight.
BOSTON (AP)—Dennis Seidenberg and Gregory Campbell scored in a 78-second span in the second period and the Boston Bruins moved within two points of the second playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins, who have clinched the Northeast Division title, have 101 points. The Philadelphia Flyers, the Atlantic Division leaders who were idle Wednesday, have 103. Both teams have two regular-season games left.
Boston is streaking at the right time with a 6-2-1 record in its last nine games before finishing at home against Ottawa on Saturday and at New Jersey on Sunday heading into the playoffs.
Shawn Thornton also scored for Boston.
New York, already eliminated from playoff contention, lost for the fifth time in six games.
Michael Grabner scored his 32nd and 33rd goals for New York. He leads NHL rookies in goals.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP)—Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 30th goal and added an assist to lead New Jersey.
Mattias Tedenby, Henrik Tallinder and Patrik Elias also scored for the Devils in the game that matched two teams that made desperate second-half playoff runs only to fall short.
Martin Brodeur had 22 saves but had to sweat out the final minutes after Toronto got third-period goals from Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak to make it close.
Kovalchuk extended his string of 30-goal NHL seasons to eight when he scored at 13:47 of the first with New Jersey on a power play.