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Last day of regular season clears up playoff picture

NHL News and Notes @NHLdotcom

Sunday's games decided the winner of the Pacific Division, finalized four playoff positions and set up the four remaining First Round matchups.

* The Anaheim Ducks (46-25-11, 103 points) defeated the Washington Capitals to win the Pacific Division title and set up a First Round series with the Nashville Predators (41-27-14, 96 points; first wild card). This marks the second playoff meeting between the teams and first since the 2011 CQF, when Nashville earned the first series victory in franchise history (4-2 NSH). The Predators won two of three games this season (NSH: 2-1-0, ANA: 1-2-0). 

* The Los Angeles Kings (48-28-6, 102 points), who slipped to the No. 2 seed in the Pacific Division by virtue of Anaheim's win, will face the San Jose Sharks (46-30-6, 98 points; No. 3 in Pacific) in the first round. It marks the fourth all-time playoff meeting between the teams, all in the past six seasons. They last met in the 2014 First Round, a seven-game victory by the Kings in which they became the fourth team in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit. 

* The New York Islanders (45-27-10, 100 points) lost to the Flyers to lock in the first wild card and a First Round series with the Atlantic Division-champion Florida Panthers (47-26-9, 103 points). This is the first ever postseason meeting between the teams. Florida posted a 2-1-0 record to win the 2015-16 season series against New York (NYI: 1-1-1). 

Video: Islanders to face Panthers in Round 1 of the playoffs

* The New York Rangers (46-27-9, 101 points) are the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan Division, and will play the Pittsburgh Penguins (48-26-8, 104 points; No. 2 in Metropolitan Division) in the first round, by virtue of the Islanders' loss to the Flyers. The Rangers and Penguins will meet in the postseason for the third straight year and seventh time overall. Pittsburgh won the first four playoff series, but New York was victorious the last two times, including a five-game victory in the 2015 first round and a seven-game triumph in the 2014 second round, when they overcame a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in franchise history. 

* Click here to make your picks in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung. 

The NHL announced the dates, starting times and national television coverage for the First Round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin on Wednesday with three games. 

Click here for the full schedule. 

The regular season concluded on Sunday with Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane capturing his first career Art Ross Trophy as the League's scoring champion, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin claiming his sixth career Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's goal-scoring leader, and Ducks goaltenders Frederik Andersen and John Gibson winning the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders who play at least 25 games for the club allowing the fewest goals. 

The race for the William M. Jennings Trophy came down to the final game of the regular season; the Ducks and Capitals were separated by one goal against entering their game Sunday. Anaheim's 2-0 victory kept their goals-against total at 192 and pushed Washington's to 193.

* Kane finished the season with a career-high 46 goals, 60 assists and 106 points, besting Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn (41-48-89) and Penguins forward Sidney Crosby (36-49-85) for his first career Art Ross Trophy. Kane had at least one point in 64 of the 82 games he played in (78.0%), highlighted by a 26-game point streak Oct. 17 - Dec. 13 (16-24-40) - a franchise record, the longest by a U.S.-born player in NHL history and the longest by any player since 1992-93 (Mats Sundin: 30). He also had his first two career hat tricks (Jan. 15 at TOR and April 3 vs. BOS) and scored in a career-high seven straight games Nov. 2-15 (7-9-16), tied for the longest such run by any player this season. The Buffalo, N.Y., native became the first U.S.-born player in NHL history to capture the Art Ross Trophy. He also became the first U.S.-born player to reach the 100-point milestone since 1995-96 (Doug Weight: Detroit, Mich.) and the first Blackhawks player to hit the number since 1993-94 (Jeremy Roenick). 

* Ovechkin scored 50 goals to capture his fourth consecutive and sixth overall Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, adding to the ones he earned in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. Ovechkin, who finished ahead of Kane (46) and Benn (41) for the award, became the third player in NHL history to total seven or more 50-goal seasons, following Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky - each with nine. He also became the third player in League history to post 30-plus goals in each of his first 11 seasons, joining Mike Gartner (15) and Gretzky (13). Ovechkin recorded his 500th career goal while playing in his 801st NHL game - fifth-fastest in League history behind Gretzky (575), Mario Lemieux (605), Bossy (647) and Brett Hull (693). The Moscow native, who surpassed Sergei Fedorov (483) as the highest-scoring Russian-born player in League history, has compiled 164 more goals, 71 more power-play goals and 20 more game-winning goals than any other player since entering the NHL in 2005-06.

Video: WSH@STL: Ovechkin gets to 50 goals with hat trick

* Andersen and Gibson are the first Ducks goaltenders to claim the Jennings Trophy. Andersen, who made 43 appearances in the Ducks' goal, posted a 15-game point streak Jan. 1 - March 5 (13-0-2), the second-longest such run in franchise history behind Jonas Hiller's 16-game streak in 2013-14 (14-0-2). Andersen went 17-1-2 in his final 22 games dating to Jan. 13. Gibson, meanwhile, appeared in 40 games and ranked second in the NHL with a 2.07 goals-against average, paced all rookie netminders with four shutouts and shared the rookie lead in wins (21). 

Home Team in Caps 
Philadelphia 5, NY ISLANDERS 2 
Anaheim 2, WASHINGTON 0 

Frederik Andersen denied all 24 shots he faced to record his sixth career shutout (third this season) and backstop the Ducks past the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals to clinch their fourth consecutive Pacific Division title. 

* The Ducks, who have finished atop the Pacific Division each season since 2012-13, won their fifth division title in franchise history. They also claimed top spot in the division in 2006-07 en route to their first Stanley Cup. 

Down 2-0, the Flyers scored five unanswered goals to prevent the Islanders from moving into third place in the Metropolitan Division. 

* The Flyers earned points in 18 of their final 23 regular-season games (15-5-3), including back-to-back wins this weekend to clinch the final berth in the postseason and a first round serieswith the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals. 

Philadelphia's Shayne Gostisbehere (1-0-1) scored his 17th goal of 2015-16 to extend his single-season franchise record for a rookie defenseman.

Video: PHI@NYI: Gostisbehere buries wrister from the point

* Gostisbehere, a Pembroke Pines, Fla. native, finished fifth among rookies with 17-29-46 overall in 2015-16 - behind Artemi Panarin (30-47-77 in 80 GP), Jack Eichel (24-32-56 in 81 GP), Max Domi (18-34-52 in 81 GP) and Connor McDavid (16-32-48 in 45 GP) - despite playing in 64 games. 

* Via Elias Sports Bureau, Gostisbehere finished two points shy of tying the franchise record by a rookiedefenseman, trailing Behn Wilson in 1978-79 (13-36-49 in 80 GP). 

* Gostisbehere's 17 goals were the most by a rookie defenseman since 2005-06 (Dion Phaneuf: 20 G in 82 GP, CGY), while his 46 points were the most by a defenseman in his rookie campaign since 2009-10 (Tyler Myers: 11-37-48 in 82 GP w/ BUF). 

* Gostisbehere also tied for the Flyers lead with five game-winning goals in 2015-16. That includes four overtime goals, a single-season NHL record for any rookieand tied for the League record for any defenseman (Scott Niedermayer: 2001-02 w/ NJD). 


* Capitals forward Justin Williams became the 28th active player to reach the 1,000-game milestone. 

Flyers forward Michael Raffl (1-2-3) had his ninth career game-winning goal (fourth this season) and third career three-point game. The others: Dec. 15, 2013 at WSH (0-3-3) and Oct. 25, 2014 vs. DET (2-1-3) . . . Teammate Brayden Schenn (0-2-2), who established career highs in all three scoring categories this season (26-33-59), had his 14th multi-point game of 2015-16 . . . Ducks forward Corey Perry (1-0-1) scored his 34th goal of the season to finish ninth in the League. It stood as his 59th career game-winning goal (sixth of 2015-16) . . . Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth (15 SV) earned a victory in his first appearance since March 16 at CHI . . . The Senators named Pierre Dorion as the eighth general manager in franchise history and appointed Bryan Murray as Senior Hockey Advisor . . . ICYMI: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who was a healthy scratch in Washington's final game, high-fived fans while strolling the concourse at Verizon Center

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