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Kings punch ticket to Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blues goalie Elliott returns from injury to shut out Canucks

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QUICK HELPS KINGS PUNCH TICKET TO THE POSTSEASON
Jonathan Quick denied 27 of 28 shots to help the Los Angeles Kings become the first Western Conference team to clinch a berth in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's the 29th postseason appearance in their history and sixth in the past seven seasons.

* The Kings picked up their fourth straight victory and extended their point streak to seven games (6-0-1). At 44-22-5 (93 points), the Kings increased their lead to six points over the idle Anaheim Ducks (39-22-9, 87 points) for first place in the Pacific Division.

* Quick stretched his personal point streak to six games (5-0-1), including three straight wins, and improved to 37-17-4 overall (2.14 GAA, .921 SV%, 4 SO). His 37 victories this season rank second in the NHL behind Braden Holtby (43).

Video: BOS@LAK: Quick denies final shot, Kings run clock out

SATURDAY'S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps

Pittsburgh 4, PHILADELPHIA 1
MINNESOTA 3, Carolina 2 (SO)
SAN JOSE 4, NY Rangers 1
TORONTO 4, Buffalo 1
OTTAWA 5, Montreal 0
Detroit 5, FLORIDA 3
COLUMBUS 6, New Jersey 3
DALLAS 3, NY Islanders 0
St. Louis 3, VANCOUVER 0
Tampa Bay 2, ARIZONA 0
LOS ANGELES 2, Boston 1

HAMMOND, SPECIAL TEAMS LIFT SENATORS PAST CANADIENS...
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Curtis Lazar and Alex Chiasson each scored shorthanded goals, and Andrew Hammond denied all 30 shots he faced, and the Ottawa Senators earned their third straight win at Canadian Tire Centre.

* At 34-31-8 (76 points), the Senators remained seven points behind the Detroit Red Wings (36-25-11, 83 points) for the final wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

* Hammond picked up his first shutout of the season and the fourth of his NHL career, improving to 25-9-6 in 44 career appearances (2.16 GAA, .929 SV%, 4 SO).

* Pageau scored his NHL-leading sixth shorthanded goal of the season. Elias adds that Pageau is one shy of the Senators record for most in a season, set by Daniel Alfredsson (7) in 2007-08. Lazar and Chiasson scored their first career shorthanded goals.

* Per Elias, the Senators scored three shorthanded goals in a game for the fourth time in their history and first since April 3, 2008 at the Toronto Maple Leafs (Cody Bass, Dean McAmmond, Antoine Vermette).

... STARS, BLUES AND LIGHTNING ALSO POST SHUTOUT VICTORIES
* Kari Lehtonen turned aside all 27 shots he faced to help the Dallas Stars collect points for the seventh time in their past eight games (5-1-2). Lehtonen earned his 34th NHL shutout (second of 2015-16) and improved to 21-9-2 this season (2.85 GAA, .904 SV%, 2 SO). Per Elias, he became the first Stars/North Stars goaltender to earn a shutout against the New York Islanders since Jon Casey (MNS) on Nov. 5, 1992 (3-0 W). At 43-21-9 (95 points), the Western Conference-leading Stars maintained a two-point edge over the St. Louis Blues (42-22-9, 93 points) for first place in the Central Division.

Video: STL@VAN: Tarasenko nets rebound for 100th NHL goal

* In his first start since sustaining a knee injury on Feb. 22, Brian Elliott stopped all 19 shots he faced to backstop the Blues to their seventh win in their past nine games (7-2-0). Elliott earned his 32nd NHL shutout (second of 2015-16) and improved to 18-7-6 this season (2.07 GAA, .931 SV%, 2 SO). At 42-22-9 (93 points), the Blues increased their lead to three points over the idle Chicago Blackhawks (42-24-6, 90 points) for second place in the Central Division.

* Ben Bishop denied all 32 shots he faced to help the Lightning improve to 7-1-1 in their past nine games against the Arizona Coyotes since Oct. 30, 2010 (ARI/PHX: 2-7-0), including four straight wins. Bishop (30-19-4) picked up his fifth shutout of the season, matching his single-season NHL high from 2013-14, and reached the 30-win mark for the third consecutive season (all w/ TBL). Bishop's shutout was the 17th of his NHL career and 15th with the Lightning, passing Nikolai Khabibulin (14) for the most in their history. At 41-26-5 (87 points), the Lightning leapfrogged the Boston Bruins (39-26-8, 86 points) for second place in the Atlantic Division.

AROUND THE RINKS
* Down 1-0, the Pittsburgh Penguins scored four unanswered goals en route to their fifth straight win. Sidney Crosby (0-2-2) extended his point streak to 11 games (6-12-18) and ranks third in the League with 74 points (31 goals, 43 assists). Marc-Andre Fleury (16 saves) picked up his fourth straight win. At 39-24-8 (86 points), the Penguins leapfrogged the Islanders (38-23-9, 85 points) for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

* Down 3-1, the Red Wings scored four unanswered goals to pick up their fourth victory in their past six games (4-2-0). Pavel Datsyuk (2-0-2) had his third multi-goal game of the season (also Feb. 14 vs. BOS: 2-1-3 and Feb. 8 vs. FLA: 2-0-2). Dylan Larkin (1-1-2) had his seventh multi-point game of the season and ranks fourth among all rookies with 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists). At 36-25-11 (83 points), the Red Wings increased their lead to three points over the Philadelphia Flyers (34-24-12, 80 points) for the final wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

* Tied 1-1 through 40 minutes, the San Jose Sharks scored three times in a span of 3:20 en route to their third straight win at SAP Center. Joel Ward (2-0-2) had his second multi-goal game of the season (also Oct. 24 vs. CAR: 3-0-3). Joe Pavelski (1-1-2) had his 18th multi-point game of the season and leads the Sharks with 33 goals. At 40-25-6 (86 points), the Sharks climbed within a point of the idle Ducks (39-22-9, 87 points) for second place in the Pacific Division.

* Devan Dubnyk (31 saves) made a game-saving stop on Elias Lindholm (0-1-1) in the dying seconds of overtimeand denied two of three shooters in the shootout when the Minnesota Wild improved to 6-3-1 in their past 10 games. Dubnyk improved to 6-1-1 in his past eight decisions. Zach Parise scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout and ranks tied for third in NHL history with 40 career shootout goals. At 33-28-11 (77 points), the Wild climbed within a point of the idle Colorado Avalanche (37-31-4, 78 points) for the final wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

* William Nylander (1-1-2), Milan Michalek (1-1-2) and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (0-2-2) each earned two points to help the Toronto Maple Leafs improve to 7-0-1 in their past eight home games against the Buffalo Sabres since Feb. 21, 2013 (BUF: 1-4-3). Nylander had the first multi-point game of his NHL career and Connor Carrick scored his first NHL game-winning goal. Michalek and Martin Marincin each scored their first goals with the Maple Leafs.

* After seeing their 3-0 lead erased, the Columbus Blue Jackets responded with three unanswered goals, including two in 11 seconds, en route to their sixth consecutive win against the New Jersey Devils since March 6, 2015 (NJD: 0-5-1). Oliver Bjorkstrand (2-0-2) scored the first two goals of his NHL career (2 GP), including the game-winner at 1:23 of the third period.

MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Sharks forward Patrick Marleau (0-1-1) skated in the 1,400th game of his NHL career (all with San Jose) and became the fourth active player to reach the milestone, joining Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan. Marleau also became the ninth player in NHL history to play in as many games with one franchise.

* Stars coach Lindy Ruff coached his 1,402nd career regular-season game and passed Ron Wilson (1,401) for sole possession of fifth on the NHL's all-time list among coaches.

* Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella coached his 1,000th career regular-season game, becoming the 26th coach in NHL history to reach the milestone. He also tied Roger Neilson for 25th on the all-time list among NHL coaches.

* Sharks forward Joe Thornton scored the game-winning goal to earn his 1,328th career point (375-953-1,328) and pass Pierre Turgeon (515-812-1,327) for sole possession of 31st place in NHL history. Thornton has at least one point in 37 of his past 42 games since Dec. 15 (13-40-53).

* Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko scored the 100th goal of his NHL career, becoming the fourth player from the 2010 NHL Draft class to reach the milestone (Tyler Seguin, Jeff Skinner, Taylor Hall). He leads the Blues with 34 goals and 63 points. Florida Panthers forward Teddy Purcell also scored the 100th goal of his NHL career.

* Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin (800) and Bruins forward Matt Beleskey (400) each skated in milestone games.

* Maple Leafs forward Frederik Gauthier, a first-round selection (No. 21) in the 2013 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut (10:56 TOI).

LOOSE PUCKS
The Wild have won six consecutive games against the Carolina Panthers since Oct. 24, 2013 (CAR: 0-3-3)... Wild forward Jason Zucker scored 16 seconds into the third period, his third goal in the first 20 seconds of a period this season (also 0:10 of the first period on Oct. 25 at WPG and 0:18 of the first period on Oct. 30 against Chicago). Per Elias, he became the first player to score in the first 20 seconds of a period three times in a season since Dustin Brown (LAK) in 2006-07... The Sharks had a season-high 52 shots on goal... Sharks forward Tomas Hertl (0-3-3) had a career-high three assists... Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle scored against his former team and has now at least one goal against all 30 NHL teams... The Senators lead the NHL with 15 shorthanded goals, five more than the next-closest team (Winnipeg Jets: 10)... Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar (20-22-42) scored to reach the 20-goal mark for the second straight season... Devils forward Kyle Palmieri (2-1-3) had his second multi-goal and fourth three-point game of the season... Devils forward Adam Henrique scored his 26th goal of the season (70 GP), eclipsing his single-season career high of 25 from 2013-14 (77 GP)... Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller made 47 saves... Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad (3-3-6), Blues forward Jaden Schwartz (2-6-8) and Kings forward Anze Kopitar (4-3-7) each extended their point streaks to five games... Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr was honored in pregame ceremony at BB&T Center for moving into sole possession of third on the NHL's all-time points list... The Sharks honored former forward Jeff Odgers in a pre-game ceremony at SAP Center... The Stars hosted their OneSource Virtual Military Appreciation Night... Actor Kevin Spacey, whose face adorns the "Spacey in Space" blue sweatshirt the Panthers have awarded to their player of the game, was in attendance at BB&T Center.

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