SCOREBOARD
Friday, March 28
San Jose at Anaheim (10 p.m. EDT). The Sharks and Ducks are fighting for first place in the Pacific Division.

STARS
Thursday
- Jarkko Ruutu, Penguins, had career-high three points with a goal and two assists to lead Pittsburgh past the New York Islanders 3-1.
- Anze Kopitar, Kings, had a goal and two assists as Los Angeles blanked Phoenix 4-0.
- Joe Thornton, Sharks, scored two goals, including the game-winner with 2:02 left in overtime, and San Jose beat Dallas 3-2.
- Bobby Holik, Thrashers, scored twice and Atlanta snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Florida.
- Chris Drury, Rangers, assisted on every New York goal in a 3-2 win over New Jersey.
- Derek Roy, Sabres, had two assists and scored the game-winner in the shootout as Buffalo edged Ottawa 4-3.
- Tim Thomas, Bruins, made 30 saves to help Boston beat Toronto 4-2.

SHUTOUT
Erik Ersberg made 38 saves as Los Angeles earned a 4-0 victory over Phoenix Thursday night. It was the second career shutout for Ersberg in just his 10th NHL start.

UPS AND DOWNS
The New York Rangers beat New Jersey for the seventh straight time this season, 3-2 on Thursday night. The win moved the Rangers into a tie with the Devils in the Eastern Conference playoff race with 91 points. New Jersey, which lost its fifth straight (0-4-1), is still ahead in the standings because it owns more wins than New York.

ELIMINATED
Toronto was eliminated from playoff contention with a 4-2 loss to Boston on Thursday night. The Maple Leafs, who had their six-game road winning streak snapped, will miss the playoffs for a third straight year. It's the first time since the 1926-1928 seasons that Toronto has gone three consecutive years without a playoff appearance.

BACK IN ACTION
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby played his first home game in more than two months as the Penguins beat the New York Islanders 3-1 Thursday night. Crosby, who had missed the previous seven games and 28 of the past 31 with a high ankle sprain, took just three shots and didn't score as Pittsburgh won its sixth consecutive home game and extended its lead in the Atlantic Division to six points.

SPEAKING
``The sense of urgency is an amazing thing. The season is on the line. We don't even know at this stage if we can afford one loss the way everybody else is winning.'' - Washington coach Bruce Boudreau after the Capitals kept their playoff hopes alive with a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime victory over Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Washington remains two points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference and two behind Southeast Division-leading Carolina, which has one game in hand.

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