ST. PAUL, Minn. – Corey Potter and Nail Yakupov both scored two goals, and the Edmonton Oilers prevented the Minnesota Wild from clinching a spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 6-1 rout on Friday night.
Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle each added a goal and two assists for the Oilers, who won for the second time in 11 games but will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 38 shots.
Mikko Koivu scored for the Wild, who could have gotten into the playoffs for the first time in five seasons with a win. Instead, Minnesota will enter Saturday’s season finale at Colorado tied with Columbus for eighth place in the West, one point behind seventh-place Detroit. Minnesota owns the tiebreaker and can secure a post-season spot with a win.
If Detroit gets a point in its season finale, Columbus wins, and Minnesota loses, the Wild would be eliminated.
SABRES 2, ISLANDERS 1, SO
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)—Thomas Vanek scored the lone goal in the shootout, and Ryan Miller made 30 saves before the tiebreaker to give Buffalo a victory over New York in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Miller, playing in his 500th game with the Sabres, sealed the win when he stopped John Tavares’ shot in the third round of the shootout. Brian Flynn scored in regulation for the Sabres, off an assist from Vanek.
Keith Aucoin scored and Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves through overtime for the Islanders, who moved up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference but will need help to stay there. The Islanders (24-17-7) lead the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators by one point, but the Rangers have one game left, and Ottawa has two remaining this weekend.
Buffalo will miss the playoffs for the second straight season and fourth in six years. The Sabres head into the off-season with questions about the futures of general manager Darcy Regier, interim coach Ron Rolston, and Miller, who is entering the final year of his contract.
BLACKHAWKS 3, FLAMES 1
CHICAGO (AP)—Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews scored 3:28 apart in the first period, and Chicago beat Calgary.
Marcus Kruger added a goal in the third period for the Blackhawks, who are 11-1-2 in their past 14 games. Chicago (36-6-5) will wrap up the regular season on Saturday at St. Louis.
Corey Crawford was sharp in making 25 saves and keeping the Blackhawks in the lead throughout. The only goal he allowed was Chris Butler’s short-handed tally—Butler’s first goal in 65 games.
Joey MacDonald stopped 35 shots in the final game of the season for the Flames (19-25-4), who failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
The Blackhawks clinched the Presidents’ Trophy, given to the NHL team with the best regular-season record, on Wednesday.
Kane and Toews both have a team-leading 23 goals. Kruger’s score was his first goal in 32 games.
AVALANCHE 5, COYOTES 4, SO
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Matt Duchene scored in a shootout and had three assists, helping Colorado beat Phoenix in what may be the Coyotes’ final home game in the desert.
Phoenix went up 2-0 early, Colorado rallied for the lead with a three-goal flurry late in the first period and the teams traded scores the rest of the way in a wild game that had 18 players earn at least a point.
P.A. Parenteau had a goal and an assist, Stefan Elliott scored his first goal in nearly two years. Patrick Bordeleau and Ryan O’Reilly also scored for the Avalanche.
Antoine Vermette had two goals and Keith Yandle had three assists for the Coyotes, who will head into a fourth straight off-season without an owner.
David Schlemko and Rob Klinkhammer also scored for Phoenix.