ST. PAUL, Minn. – Antti Miettinen’s goal early in the third period against his former team gave Minnesota the lead and kept Dallas out of the playoffs, with a 5-3 season-ending win by the Wild over the Stars on Sunday.
When Chicago lost at home to Detroit earlier in the day, Dallas had a chance to grab the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference field that looked like a long shot just a week and a half ago. The Stars had won their last four games and were in position to catch the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks and win the head-to-head tiebreaker.
But Minnesota played with plenty of pride, scoring first on a rare goal by enforcer Brad Staubitz and last on an empty-netter by Pierre-Marc Bouchard after the Stars pulled goalie Kari Lehtonen with 1:21 left.
CHICAGO (AP)—Jimmy Howard made 33 saves and Detroit temporarily kept defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago from clinching the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
But the Blackhawks secured the eighth and final spot in the West later in the day when Dallas lost at Minnesota.
Drew Miller, Danny Cleary, Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk scored for the Red Wings, who had already locked down the No. 3 playoff seed in the West.
Michael Frolik, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith had goals for Chicago.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP)—Vladimir Zharkov and Alexander Urbom scored third-period goals and New Jersey topped playoff-bound Boston in what was Jacques Lemaire’s final game as Devils coach.
The 66-year-old Lemaire said before the regular-season finale that he would disclose after the game whether he would return next season. Once it was over, he said he wouldn’t be back in New Jersey.
The Hall of Famer, who retired after last season, returned on Dec. 23 after rookie coach John MacLean was fired and helped the Devils make a valiant run at a playoff berth.
Patrik Elias also scored, and Johan Hedberg made 24 saves for the Devils, who missed the post-season for the first time since 1996.
Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly scored for the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask was outstanding in making 29 saves. Boston will meet Montreal in the opening round of the playoffs.
DENVER (AP)—David Jones knocked in a rebound during a power play 3:57 into overtime and Colorado finished the season on a winning note by beating Edmonton.
The game marked the farewell performance of Avalanche captain Adam Foote, who announced Friday that he was retiring after 19 seasons in the NHL, all but two with the Avalanche-Quebec Nordiques franchise.
Trailing 3-2, Colorado pulled into a tie at 19:30 of the third when Milan Hejduk scored. In overtime, Matt Duchene sent a shot that caromed away from Nikolai Khabibulin and to Jones for the winner.
Colorado snapped a four-game losing streak, but still finished with the fewest wins (30) since the team moved to Denver from Quebec for the 1995-96 season. Edmonton joined them outside of the playoffs, finishing last in the NHL for the second consecutive season.
Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly and Philippe Dupuis scored 50 seconds apart in the first period to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead.
ATLANTA (AP)—Tyler Kennedy scored the first of Pittsburgh’s four second-period goals, reserve goalie Brent Johnson won his fourth straight decision, and the Penguins closed the regular season with a victory over already-eliminated Atlanta.
Pascal Dupuis, Michael Rupp and rookie Mark Letestu added goals to give the Penguins a 4-1 lead 18:14 into the second. Kennedy’s 21st goal came on a power play.
Mike Comrie scored an empty-net goal to make it 5-1, and Ben Lovejoy finished with three assists.
The Thrashers, who missed the playoffs for the 10th time in their 11-year history, scored twice on power plays. Andrew Ladd’s 29th goal came on a two-man advantage to make it 1-0 early. Tim Stapleton added hisfifth to cut the deficit to 4-2 with 6:45 left in the game.