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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves, and Tomas Plekanec scored the only goal in the Montreal Canadiens' key 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.

Montreal moved two points ahead of Philadelphia and Boston in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race. The Flyers lost for the second straight night and have just one win in eight games (1-6-1).

The Flyers and Canadiens entered the night in a three-way tie with idle Boston for sixth place in the East. Philadelphia is only two points above the postseason cutoff.

Brian Boucher finished with 22 saves for Philadelphia, which has dropped nine of 11 overall. Boucher, one of six goalies used by the Flyers this season, has only one win in his last seven starts.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Brandon Prust started New York's four-goal first period, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots for his fourth shutout of the season in a rout of Tampa Bay.

The Rangers moved ahead of Atlanta and into ninth place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Philadelphia and Boston at the postseason cutoff. New York has five games remaining, the same amount as Boston and one more than Philadelphia.

Prust scored 3:09 in, Marc Staal doubled the lead 25 seconds later, Vinny Prospal added a goal, and Brandon Dubinsky pushed the lead to 4-0 with a power-play tally before 15 minutes had elapsed. Aaron Voros finished the scoring late in the third period.

Mike Smith, who made just three saves on seven shots, was replaced at the start of the second period by Antero Niittymaki.

The Rangers have gone 4-0-1 in their past five to get back into the thick of the playoff race.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Michael Grabner scored three goals and Vancouver clinched a Western Conference playoff spot with a shootout victory over Anaheim.

Vancouver, the Northwest Division leader, earned its berth once the game was extended to overtime.

Grabner had never scored more than one goal in a game and had only two this season. Andrew Raycroft started in place of Roberto Luongo, who gave up eight goals in an 8-3 loss at Los Angeles on Thursday, and made 30 saves.

Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu both scored two goals each for the Ducks, who were beaten 3-1 in the shootout and are long shots to qualify for the playoffs. Selanne moved into 17th place on the NHL career goal list with 603.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Jonathan Toews scored the only shootout goal and Antti Niemi made 32 saves as Chicago moved a step closer to the Central Division title with a victory over New Jersey in a penalty-free game.

Niemi only had to make one save during the shootout, but it was a magnificent pad stop on Zach Parise after Toews beat Martin Brodeur with a wrist shot on Chicago's first shot. Toews is tied for the NHL lead with eight shootout goals this season.

The Devils lost their third straight, but still moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division with Pittsburgh.

Kris Versteeg scored the tying goal for Chicago with 26 seconds left in regulation. Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 40th of the season in the first period to give the Devils the lead.

It was the first NHL game without a penalty since March 28, 2001, when Boston faced Toronto.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Logan Couture's late third-period goal lifted San Jose to a win over Minnesota that eliminated the Wild from the Western Conference playoff race.

Couture, playing in his 21st NHL game, tipped Dan Boyle's shot past goalie Niklas Backstrom. That broke a tie with 3:51 remaining and sent the Sharks to their fourth victory over Minnesota this season.

Evgeni Nabokov had 25 saves for the Sharks, improving to 12-0-1 in his last 13 starts against the Wild. Backstrom also stopped 25 shots, but it wasn't enough to keep Minnesota from missing the playoffs for the second straight year.

Manny Malhotra and Scott Nichol scored to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead in the first period. Cal Clutterbuck and Antti Miettinen answered in the second to get the Wild even.

DALLAS (AP) - Rookie Jamie Benn scored twice, including the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and Dallas kept its faint playoff hopes alive by beating Edmonton.

Mike Modano had two assists, including the 800th of his NHL career, as he returned to the lineup after missing nine games following an appendectomy.

Mike Ribeiro's goal at 8:35 of the final period stretched Dallas' lead to 5-3, and Benn's second of the night at 15:07 gave the Stars a three-goal advantage.

Brad Richards and Jere Lehtinen scored for Dallas during an 11-second span of the first period.

James Neal also had a first-period goal for the 10th-place Stars, who have four games remaining.

Dustin Penner, Marc Pouliot and Ethan Moreau had second-period goals for the Oilers, who have lost four straight.

DENVER (AP) - Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 35 shots for Calgary, which beat Colorado and moved into a points tie with the eighth-place Avalanche in the Western Conference playoff race.

Nigel Dawes and Rene Bourque scored for the Flames, who won their third straight.

Calgary has made up ground in a hurry. The Flames trailed Colorado by nine points heading into a game against the Avalanche on March 17. Now the teams are tied with 89 points. The Avalanche have five games left, compared to four for Calgary, and own the tiebreaker based on one more win than the Flames.

Colorado, which got a third-period goal from TJ Galiardi, is 1-6-1 in its last eight games.

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