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Predators get final Western Conference playoff berth

NHL news and notes

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL
ALL EIGHT WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF TEAMS SET

By virtue of the Arizona Coyotes' 2-1 defeat of the Los Angeles Kings, the Nashville Predators became the eighth and final Western Conference team to clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The Predators clinched their third consecutive postseason appearance and 10th in franchise history. The Predators join the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames as the eight Western Conference teams competing in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

Boston 3, CHICAGO 2

NY Islanders 4, BUFFALO 2

ST. LOUIS 4, Nashville 1

PITTSBURGH 3, Carolina 2

MINNESOTA 5, Colorado 2

TAMPA BAY 6, Dallas 3

Washington 3, COLUMBUS 2

San Jose 3, VANCOUVER 1

NY RANGERS 4, Philadelphia 3

Anaheim 4, CALGARY 3

Arizona 2, LOS ANGELES 1

 

CAPITALS, PENGUINS KEEP PACE IN PRESIDENTS' TROPHY RACE

The Washington Capitals (52-18-8, 112 points) and Pittsburgh Penguins (48-19-11, 107 points) each won to keep pace in the race for the Presidents' Trophy:

* The League-leading Capitals built a 3-0 lead and held off a Columbus Blue Jackets rally to improve to 8-1-1 in their past 10 games. Braden Holtby made 35 saves and improved to 41-12-6 with a 2.11 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and eight shutouts on the season, and tied Sergei Bobrovsky for the NHL lead in wins among goaltenders this season.

* Matt Murray made 33 saves as the Penguins got their 30th home win of the seasonand leapfrogged the Blue Jackets (49-21-8, 106 points) for sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division. Murray improved to 30-10-4 with a 2.40 GAA, .923 save percentage and four shutouts this season and became the first Penguins rookie goaltender to reach the 30-win mark in a season.

Video: Three-goal 2nd period leads Caps past Blue Jackets

 

OTHER PLAYOFF-BOUND CLUBS SECURE VICTORIES

The playoff-bound New York Rangers (47-26-6, 100 points), Wild (46-25-8, 100 points), Ducks (43-23-13, 99 points), Sharks (44-28-7, 95 points) and Blues (43-28-7, 93 points) each won Sunday:

* Mats Zuccarello had three assists to help the Rangers end an eight-game home losing streak (0-5-3). The Rangers occupy the first wild card from the Eastern Conference and reached the 100-point mark for the third consecutive season.

* Five players scored to help the Wild reach the 100-point plateau for the third time (also 2006-07 and 2014-15) and maintain their hold of second place in the Central Division. Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for his 38th win of 2016-17 to establish a Wild record for most in a season by a goaltender, eclipsing the mark of 37 set by Niklas Backstrom in 2008-09.

* Logan Shaw scored the go-ahead goal with 3:06 remaining in the third period as the Ducks extended their point streak to 11 games (8-0-3) and moved past the Oilers (44-25-9, 97 points) for sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division. Jonathan Bernier made 18 saves and improved to 10-0-2 with a 1.88 GAA, .937 save percentage and one shutout in his past 12 games, dating to March 7.

* Tomas Hertl scored twice to help the Sharks end a six-game road losing streak (0-6-0) and strengthen their grip on third place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks have won 11 consecutive regular-season road games against the Vancouver Canucks dating to March 5, 2013 (VAN: 0-9-2).

* Four players scored to help the Blues defeat the Predators and extend their point streak to nine games (7-0-2). The Blues moved two points ahead of the Predators (40-28-11, 91 points) for sole possession of third place in the Central Division. Vladimir Tarasenko opened the scoring to reach the 70-point mark (37 goals, 33 assists) for the third consecutive season.

Video: Perron, Allen lead Blues to 4-1 victory over Preds

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS PICK UP VALUABLE WINS

Three Eastern Conference teams in the hunt for playoff berths picked up wins:

* Anton Khudobin made a season-high 41 saves to backstop the Boston Bruins (43-30-6, 92 points) to their fifth consecutive win. The Bruins leapfrogged the Toronto Maple Leafs (38-24-15, 91 points) and Ottawa Senators (41-27-9, 91 points) for sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division. Khudobin improved to 6-0-0 with a 1.98 GAA and .928 save percentage in his past six decisions after beginning the season with a record of 1-5-1.

* Ondrej Palat (1-2-3) factored on three of six goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning (39-29-10, 88 points) extended their point streak to six games (5-0-1) and inched closer to the Senators, who occupy the second wild card from the Eastern Conference. Palat has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past six games.

* Anders Lee (31-17-48) scored twice in the third period to eclipse the 30-goal mark for the first time in the NHL and guide the New York Islanders (37-29-12, 86 points) to victory.

 

LOOSE PUCKS

Blue Jackets forward Sam Gagner had two assists and eclipsed the 400-point milestone (142-259-401) and Wild forward Jason Pominville had an assist, his 400th in the NHL. … Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau (3-9-12 in 8 GP), Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (1-6-7 in 5 GP) and Flyers forward Brayden Schenn (3-3-6 in 5 GP) extended their point streaks. … Kings forward Jarome Iginla skated in his 1,550th career NHL game and passed Alex Delvecchio (1,549) for 12th place all-time. … Islanders forward Connor Jones and Buffalo Sabres forward C.J. Smith (0-1-1) made their NHL debuts. … New Jersey Devils defenseman Dalton Prout will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday for interference on Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas. … The Canucks honored Sharks forward Jannik Hansen (0-1-1) in his return to Rogers Arena.

 

SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY'S ACTION

All Times Eastern

Toronto @ Buffalo, 7 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, NHLN, MSG-B, NHL.TV

Ottawa @ Detroit, 7 p.m., FS-D, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV

Montreal @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., FS-F, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV

 

ATLANTIC DIVISION RACE HIGHLIGHTS MONDAY SCHEDULE

Three of the top four teams in the Atlantic Division are in action Monday:

* The playoff-bound Canadiens (45-24-9, 99 points) look to extend their win streak to five games and eclipse the 100-point mark for the third time in the past four seasons when they visit the Florida Panthers (33-34-11, 77 points).

* The Maple Leafs (38-24-15, 91 points) aim to push their win streak to four and inch closer to their first postseason berth since 2013 when they play the Sabres (32-34-12, 76 points).

* The Senators (41-27-9, 91 points) hope to end a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) and keep pace with the Maple Leafs when they make their final visit to Joe Louis Arena to face the Detroit Red Wings (31-35-12, 74 points).

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