SUN Hockey Pool

NHL game recaps: Bruins clinch division title

, Last Updated: 10:20 PM ET

Final Score: Boston 3, Atlanta 2

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Michael Ryder scored on a penalty shot in the third period, and the Boston Bruins clinched the Northeast Division title with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at TD Garden. A bad Atlanta turnover in the neutral zone led to a breakaway for Ryder, who was hauled down from behind by Thrashers defenseman Johnny Oduya, triggering the penalty shot on which Ryder snapped the puck past Ondrej Pavelec with 7:29 remaining. Mark Recchi and Daniel Paille also tallied for the Bruins, who secured their second division crown in three seasons. Tuukka Rask made 28 saves to improve to 6-2-1 in his last nine starts. Boston still has its sights set on the top seed in the Eastern Conference, trailing Philadelphia by only three points with four games to play. Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane lit the lamp for Atlanta, which was officially eliminated from postseason contention. Pavelec stopped 20 shots in defeat.

Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Minnesota 1

St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Steve Downie scored the eventual game-winner midway through the second period, as the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Minnesota Wild, 3-1, at Xcel Energy Center. Ryan Malone and Sean Bergenheim also lit the lamp for the Lightning, who secured their first trip to the postseason since 2007 with Thursday's 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh. Dwayne Roloson made 29 saves for Tampa Bay, which has 97 points and sits one back of the Penguins for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Lightning also sit four points back of Washington in the Southeast Division. The Capitals and Penguins are both in action Saturday night. Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored the lone goal for the Wild, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Niklas Backstrom made 20 saves for Minnesota, which is officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Final Score: Detroit 4, Nashville 3 (OT)

Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Danny Cleary's deflection goal with 2:02 remaining in overtime sent Detroit over Nashville, 4-3, at Bridgestone Arena. After a left-circle faceoff win by Henrik Zetterberg, Brian Rafalski gathered the puck at the left point and shot to the net, where Cleary used the shaft of his stick to redirect it home. Justin Abdelkader notched a pair of goals for the Red Wings, who clinched a playoff berth with a victory after facing an early 3-0 deficit. Jimmy Howard made several key stops en route to a 31-save victory as Detroit vaulted over San Jose into second spot in the West with 100 points. The Sharks, with 99 points, host Anaheim later Saturday. Ryan Suter, Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn tallied for the Predators, who fell five points back of Detroit in the Central Division. Pekka Rinne stopped 37 shots in defeat, but Nashville remains in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase.

Final Score: Los Angeles 3, Dallas 1

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Matt Greene's goal with 7:10 to play in the third helped the Los Angeles Kings take a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars at Staples Center. The win gives Los Angeles 96 points on the season and the fourth spot in the Western Conference, three back of San Jose for the top spot in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles' next game is in San Jose on Monday. Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist while Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots for the Kings, who have won five of six. Brad Richards had the lone goal while Kari Lehtonen stopped 29-of-31 shots for the Stars, who have dropped six straight and eight of nine. The loss is a big blow to any hopes of a playoff spot for Dallas. The Stars are five points back of Chicago with five games to play.

Final Score: Washington 5, Buffalo 4 (OT)

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin scored with 1:41 left in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres. In the extra session, Ovechkin skated the puck from the deep left boards into the left circle and attempted a pass to the right side, but it deflected off of two Buffalo players and slid past Jhonas Enroth for the win.

Final Score: Carolina 4, NY Islanders 2

Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Eric Staal, Erik Cole and Joe Corvo scored in the third period, as the Carolina Hurricanes rallied past the New York Islanders, 4-2, at Nassau Coliseum. Corvo also had two assists for the Hurricanes, who have won six of their last seven games and sit one point behind the idle Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Jussi Jokinen also scored for Carolina, which got 29 saves from Cam Ward. Jesse Joensuu and John Tavares lit the lamp for the Islanders, who have lost four of five. Al Montoya turned aside 22-of-25 shots.

Final Score: Montreal 3, New Jersey 1

Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Mathieu Darche scored twice and Carey Price made 20 saves as Montreal officially ended New Jersey's hopes of a playoff berth with a 3-1 decision at Prudential Center. P.K. Subban also lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who won for the second time in their last six games. Brian Gionta added two assists for Montreal, which is a solid sixth in the Eastern Conference with 91 points. Ilya Kovalchuk produced the lone tally for the Devils, who made a near- miraculous recovery from one of the worst half- seasons in franchise history but will miss out on the postseason for the first time since 1996.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Florida 2

Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Zbynek Michalek tallied the go-ahead goal in the third period and Jordan Staal recorded three assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Florida Panthers, 4-2, at BankAtlantic Center. Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis and Craig Adams each notched a goal for Pittsburgh while Brent Johnson stopped 28 shots for the victors. With the win, the Penguins are now just two points behind the idle Philadelphia Flyers in the Atlantic Division and sit three points ahead of Tampa Bay for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. Jack Skille and Clay Wilson both scored for the Panthers, who widened their season-long losing streak to eight games.

Final Score: Toronto 4, Ottawa 2

Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Tyler Bozak and Nikolai Kulemin each had third period goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs keep their playoff hopes alive with a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel also tallied for the Leafs, who have won three straight and six of their last seven games to help their push for the franchise's first postseason appearance since 2004. Toronto now has 84 points and sits three back of the idle New York Rangers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. James Reimer made 23 saves in the win. Jason Spezza scored the two goals for the Sens, who have been eliminated from the playoffs and have dropped three of their last for games. Craig Anderson allowed all four goals on 30 shots in the loss.


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