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NHL Capsules: Canucks take top spot in West, Flames out of playoff contention

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks are back on top in the West at the expense of the Calgary Flames' playoff dreams.

Andrew Ebbett scored at 3:58 of overtime to lift Vancouver past Calgary 3-2, giving the Canucks the top spot in the Western Conference.

With 107 points, the Canucks also tied the New York Rangers for most points in the NHL.

The Flames meanwhile were eliminated from playoff contention.

The Canucks earned their sixth straight win—all without injured scoring star Daniel Sedin (concussion)—and moved past St. Louis in the West.

Max Lapierre and Marc-Andre Gragnani also scored for Vancouver. Olli Jokinen and Mike Cammalleri scored for Calgary.



RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)—Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists, Martin Brodeur made 22 saves in his third shutout of the season and the New Jersey Devils clinched a playoff berth by routing the Carolina Hurricanes 5-0 on Saturday night.

Petr Sykora added a goal and an assist for the Devils. David Clarkson, Ryan Carter and Zach Parise also scored, and Patrik Elias had two assists.

New Jersey scored three goals in a 3:50 span and had no trouble after that while wrapping up a return to the playoffs after a one-year absence.

Brodeur's 119th career shutout moved him one victory from becoming the first goalie in NHL history to reach 30 victories in 14 seasons with at least 30 victories.

Brian Boucher stopped 26 shots in his second appearance after missing 43 games because of a groin injury. The Hurricanes have lost four of five.


ST. LOUIS (AP)—R.J. Umberger scored twice, rookie goalie Allen York made it three wins in three career starts and Columbus made St. Louis need some help to clinch the Central Division title.

Jared Boll, Derek Dorset and Vinny Prospal also scored for Columbus, and York finished with 34 saves.

David Backes and David Perron scored for the Blues, who wrapped up their first title since 1999-2000 when Chicago beat Nashville. St. Louis is second in the Western Conference, a point behind Vancouver.

The Blues had been 13-1-1 in their previous 15 at home since mid-January while outscoring opponents 43-16, before inexplicably struggling against a franchise that's last overall in the NHL. The Blue Jackets have won three in a row for just the second time this season, and handed the Blues just their fifth home loss of the season, and first in regulation since a 4-2 loss to Boston on Feb. 22.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Brent Seabrook scored at 8:19 of the third period, and Chicago clinched a playoff berth, beating Nashville after blowing a 4-0 lead.

Nashville won the season series 4-1-1, but Chicago pulled within a point of the fourth-place Predators in the Western Conference and tied idle Detroit with 97 points.

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland each scored power-play goals, and Viktor Stalberg had a goal. The Blackhawks had to work for their first win over Nashville this season.

Shea Weber scored twice, and Alexander Radulov and Martin Erat had a goal apiece. Ryan Suter had three assists as Nashville lost for just the third time in regulation since Jan. 5.


UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—Brad Marchand snapped a third-period tie with his team-leading 27th goal, and playoff-bound Boston ended New York's post-season chances.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins lead the Northeast Division.

Tyler Seguin, who made the pass to set up Marchand's goal 3:13 into the third, pushed Boston's lead to 4-2 with 9:23 remaining and matched Marchand with his 27th goal. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci scored seconds apart later in the third. Krejci had two goals, Chris Kelly also scored, and Marty Turco stopped 19 shots for his secondwin in four outings since coming back to the NHL and joining the Bruins this month.

Kyle Okposo scored for the fifth straight game, and PA Parenteau had two goals for the Islanders.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 56th goal of the season 45 seconds into overtime to lift Tampa Bay past Winnipeg.

Stamkos picked up his NHL-record fifth OT goal in one season, scoring from the left circle.

Ryan Malone scored twice, giving him five goals in the past two games, for the Lightning.

Goalie Sebastien Caron made his second appearance since signing with Tampa Bay on March 19 and his first NHL start since Nov. 10, 2006. Antti Miettinen and Kyle Wellwood scored for Winnipeg.


WASHINGTON (AP)—Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin scored in a shootout to help Washington beat Montreal, moving the Capitals two points ahead of Buffalo for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Mathieu Perreault and Jay Beagle scored first-period goals to give Washington a 2-0 lead, and Michal Neuvirth made 38 saves for the Capitals, but the main attraction was top-line centre Nicklas Backstrom, back in the lineup after missing 40 games with because of a concussion.

Erik Cole and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)—Erik Christensen and Mikko Koivu scored in a shootout for Minnesota.

Darroll Powe, Nick Johnson and Christensen scored in regulation for the Wild, and Niklas Backstrom finished with 26 saves. Brad Richardson scored twice and Dustin Brown also had a goal for Los Angeles, tied with Phoenix for the Pacific Division lead. The Kings have the tiebreaker over the Coyotes.

Anze Kopitar had three assists, and Jonathan Bernier made 20 saves for the Kings.


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Mike Smith had 44 saves in his second straight shutout and seventh of the season, and Ray Whitney passed 1,000 career points with a goal and assist in Phoenix's victory over Anaheim.

With three games to play, the Coyotes are tied with Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles in points with 91.

Whitney's assist on Vrbata's goal made him the 79th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points. Forty seconds later, Whitney scored his 24th goal of the season.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Antoine Vermette and Radim Vrbata also scored. Three of Phoenix's goals came on power plays, all in the second period, for a team that ranks last in the NHL in that category.


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Joe Pavelski scored two goals, Antti Niemi earned his sixth shutout of the season and San Jose beat Dallas to move back into playoff position.

Jason Demers also scored for the Sharks, who rebounded from losses at Anaheim and Phoenix to close within one point of Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles and Phoenix with three games remaining.

The Stars were thoroughly outplayed for a second straight night and have gone from leading the Pacific Division heading into Friday's loss at Vancouver to being out of the playoff picture one night later. Dallas trails eighth-place San Jose by one point for the final post-season spot.

Niemi made 22 saves for his 19th career shutout.

The teams will meet again in Dallas on Tuesday night.


TORONTO (AP)—Joey Crabb had a goal and an assist, Ben Scrivens made 29 saves and Toronto beat Buffalo to end a team-record 11-game home losing streak.

Phil Kessel, John-Michael Liles and Matt Frattin also scored, and Clarke MacArthur added two assists.

Scrivens won a night after making 33 saves in the Toronto Marlies' 5-4 overtime victory over Rochester in the American Hockey League.

Tyler Ennis, Ville Leino and Drew Stafford scored for Buffalo. The Sabres are trying to chase down Washington for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.


PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek scored shootout goals to lift Ottawa past Philadelphia.

The Senators blew a 3-0 lead before Michalek and Spezza bailed them out in the shootout.

Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Neil scored first-period goals for the Senators, and Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier and Braydon Coburn countered for the Flyers in the second.

Matt Read scored in the shootout for the Flyers.



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