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PITTSBURGH (AP) - Evgeni Malkin scored twice, James Neal had four assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a playoff spot with a 5-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Chris Kunitz, Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis also scored to help Pittsburgh pull within a point of the New York Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining. Marc-Andre Fluery made 29 saves for his NHL-leading 40th victory.

Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby was held without a goal for the 12th straight game and failed to score a point, but it hardly stopped the Penguins from winning their ninth straight home game.

Nashville's Alexander Radulov scored in his return to the NHL after four years in Russia, but the Penguins picked apart Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. The league saves leader allowed two goals in the first 5 minutes.

FLYERS 2, CAPITALS 1, SO

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds scored shootout goals to lift Philadelphia past Washington.

Claude Giroux scored his 27th goal for the Flyers, and Alex Ovechkin had his 33rd for the Capitals.

Read scored on the first shot of the shootout against Braden Holtby, and Matt Hendricks beat Ilya Bryzgalov on Washington's first attempt. Giroux and Ovechkin were both denied and another round came up empty for both teams. Simmonds scored, and Bryzgalov stuffed Troy Brouwer to preserve the win.

Bryzgalov stopped 30 shots and improved to 9-1-1 with a 1.23 goals-against average in March.

The Capitals did pick up a point and have 81, putting them one ahead of Buffalo for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

LIGHTNING 3, OILERS 2, SO

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Teddy Purcell scored in the sixth round of a shootout, and Tom Pyatt had two goals in regulation in Tampa Bay's victory over Edmonton.

Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis also scored in the extra session.

Ladislav Smid pulled Edmonton even at 2 with 3:47 left in regulation with his first goal in 38 games.

Linus Omark also scored for the Oilers. It was the first time that Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin, who stopped 19 shots, played in Tampa since Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals, when he helped the Lightning beat Calgary 2-1 to win the team's only NHL championship.

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