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News & Notes

Capitals clinch playoff berth with win at Lightning

NHL news and notes

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

T.J. Oshie (3-1-4) scored the third regular-season hat trick of his NHL career to help the Washington Capitals become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 5-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It's the Capitals' 27th postseason appearance and ninth in the past 10 seasons.

* At 46-17-8 (100 points), the League-leading Capitals reached the 100-point mark for the 10th time in their history and third consecutive season.

* Oshie, who equaled an NHL career high for points in a game, has 49 points (29 goals, 20 assists) this season (58 GP) to establish a personal NHL best for goals in a season.

* Nicklas Backstrom (0-4-4) matched an NHL career high with four assists to reach 54 and move within one of tying Connor McDavid for the League lead.

Video: WSH@TBL: Oshie flips in empty-netter for hat trick



Home Team in Caps
DETROIT 5, Colorado 1
Columbus 3, NY ISLANDERS 2 (OT)
NY Rangers 3, MINNESOTA 2
Chicago 2, TORONTO 1 (OT)
Montreal 4, OTTAWA 3 (SO)
Washington 5, TAMPA BAY 3
CAROLINA 4, Nashville 2
St. Louis 3, ARIZONA 0
EDMONTON 2, Vancouver 0
Anaheim 2, SAN JOSE 1



The race for first place in the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions intensified Saturday when the top two teams in each division played in Ottawa and San Jose, respectively:

* Paul Byron scored the decisive goal in the shootout - after each team scored a tying goal in the third period - to help the Montreal Canadiens (40-23-8, 88 points) defeat the Ottawa Senators (39-23-8, 86 points) in the first half of a back-to-back home-and-home set. The Canadiens and Senators will play on Rogers Hometown Hockey tonight before closing their season series at Bell Centre (OTT: 2-0-1; MTL: 1-1-1) on Saturday.

Video: MTL@OTT: Byron nets wrister to convert in shootout

* Ryan Getzlaf (0-1-1) reached the 800-point milestone (235-565-800) to help the Anaheim Ducks (38-23-11, 87 points) improve to 5-1-1 in their past seven games and move within four points of the San Jose Sharks (42-22-7, 91 points) for first place in the Pacific Division. Jonathan Bernier (33 saves) improved to 5-0-1 in his past six appearances, while Jakob Silfverberg (GWG) reached 20 goals for the second time (also 2015-16).

Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks opened a five-point lead atop the Central Division and Western Conference with an overtime victory at the Toronto Maple Leafs:

* Ryan Hartman scored in the final 20 seconds of overtime to help the Blackhawks (46-20-5, 97 points) to their fourth consecutive win. John Hayden scored the first goal of his NHL career (2 GP) to become the second Illinois-born player to score for the Blackhawks this season, joining Vinnie Hinostroza (6).

Tweet from @PR_NHL: Per @EliasSports: @NHLBlackhawks had multiple Illinois-born players score in a season for the first time since 1998-99 (Olczyk, Chelios).



Several teams won to improve their chances of clinching a playoff berth:

* Cam Talbot (33 saves) picked up his sixth shutout of the season and Connor McDavid scored the game-winner when the Edmonton Oilers (38-24-9, 85 points) reclaimed third place in the Pacific Division. McDavid regained sole possession of the League lead with 80 points (25 goals, 55 assists) and became the first Oilers player to reach the 80-point mark in a season since 2013-14 (Taylor Hall: 27-53-80).

* Jake Allen (31 saves) earned his fourth shutout of the season to help the St. Louis Blues (38-28-5, 81 points) improve to 7-1-0 in their past eight games and overtake the Nashville Predators (35-25-11, 81 points), who lost in regulation, for third place in the Central Division. Allen established an NHL career high with his 27th win of the season. St. Louis and Nashville will wrap up their season series at Scottrade Center (NSH: 3-1-0; STL: 1-3-0) on April 2.

Video: STL@ARI: Allen gets a pad on Ekman-Larsson's shot

* Zach Werenski (0-2-2) assisted on Cam Atkinson's overtime goal to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets (46-18-6, 98 points) to 6-1-0 in their past seven games. Werenski has collected 46 points (11 goals, 35 assists) this season (70 GP) -- including seven points (two goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak -- and is five points from tying the single-season Blue Jackets record for most by a defenseman set by James Wisniewski in 2013-14 (7-44-51 in 75 GP).

* Jimmy Vesey scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season to guide the New York Rangers (45-24-3, 93 points) -- who hold the first wild card spot into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference -- to their League-leading 26th road win, two shy of matching their record set in 2014-15. Elias notes that Vesey became the first Rangers rookie to score five or more game-winning goals in a season since 1985-86 (Mike Ridley: 6).



The Carolina Hurricanes (30-27-12, 72 points) extended their point streak to six games (4-0-2) . . . Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov scored the 100th and 101st goals of his NHL career . . . William Nylander (1-6-7 in 7 GP), Elias Lindholm (2-4-6 in 6 GP), Rickard Rakell (4-2-6 in 5 GP) and Artemi Panarin (3-3-6 in 5 GP) extended their point streaks . . . Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano skated in his 776th consecutive game and tied Craig Ramsay for the fourth-longest such run in NHL history . . . Sharks forward Logan Couture (1-0-1) skated in the 500th game of his NHL career . . . The Maple Leafs donned Toronto St. Pats uniforms, honoring one of their earliest eras in their history.



All Times Eastern
Columbus @ New Jersey, 1 p.m., MSG+, FS-O
Florida @ Pittsburgh, 1 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, ROOT, FS-F
Minnesota @ Winnipeg, 5 p.m., TSN3, FS-N, FS-WI
Colorado @ Chicago, 7 p.m., NHLN, WGN, ALT
Carolina @ Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m., CSN-PH, FS-CR
Ottawa @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m., SN, RDS, RDS
Los Angeles @ Calgary, 9:30 p.m., SN1, SNW, FS-W



The Los Angeles Kings (34-29-7, 75 points) look to move closer to the final wild card in the Western Conference when they visit the Calgary Flames (40-27-4, 84 points), who occupy the first wild card position. Flames goaltender Brian Elliott has won 10 consecutive games (1.67 GAA, .944 SV%, 2 SO) and can tie the longest win streak by a goaltender in their history set by Mike Vernon from Jan. 17 - Feb. 27, 1989 (11-0-0).



The Canadiens (40-23-8, 88 points) and the Senators (39-23-8, 86 points) conclude their home-and-home set on Rogers Hometown Hockey, which will showcase the city of Ottawa. Throughout the 2016-17 season, Sunday games will be broadcast from a different community rink in various towns across Canada. Included in each telecast will be local NHL player profiles, grassroots stories and local entertainment features.

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