|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 02 April 2008 20:09|
The Penguins secured the Atlantic Division title only two years after they had the Eastern Conference's worst record and the NHL's second-worst mark. They also overtook idle Montreal for the East lead by two points.
Pittsburgh hadn't won a division title since taking the Northeast in 1997-98. The Penguins are assured of finishing no worse than second in the East.
They trailed 2-1 after the first, but ended up with four power-play goals in the win.
It was a potentially costly loss for the Flyers, who began the night needing four points in their final three games to assure themselves of making the playoffs. They fell into eighth place in the conference, a point behind Boston and only one ahead of Washington.
Blackhawks 6, Red Wings 2
CHICAGO (AP) - Blackhawks rookie Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists, and Chicago kept its slim playoff hopes alive.
The Blackhawks, who won their third straight, must win their final two games to have any chance of reaching the postseason. Chicago has missed the playoffs eight of the last nine seasons.
Cam Barker, Jordan Hendry, Robert Lang, Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Burish also scored for the Blackhawks, who dealt the Red Wings their first regulation loss in seven games (5-1-1) and prevented them from claiming the Presidents' Trophy and the top overall seed in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Detroit needs just one point in its final two games to secure home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
Henrik Zetterberg and Kirk Maltby scored for the Red Wings.
Devils 3, Bruins 2, SO
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Zach Parise scored the only goal in a four-round shootout and New Jersey topped Boston for its third straight win.
Martin Brodeur stopped Bruins shooters Glen Metropolit, Phil Kessel, David Krejci and Marco Sturm in the first four rounds, setting up Parise's duel with Tim Thomas.
The Bruins inched closer to a playoff spot, earning a point for the sixth straight game (3-0-3) on goals by Dennis Wideman and Milan Lucic. It gave them 92 points, tying Boston with Ottawa for sixth place in the Eastern Conference - one point ahead of eighth-place Philadelphia. All three teams have two games to play.
New Jersey's win assured that the Devils won't finish lower than fifth in the East.
Dainius Zubrus and David Clarkson scored for the Devils, with Clarkson's goal with 5:28 left in regulation forcing an entertaining overtime that featured 10 shots.
Hurricanes 6, Lightning 2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Chad LaRose scored three goals to lead Carolina past Tampa Bay, moving the Hurricanes within one win of the Southeast Division title.
Eric Staal and Tuomo Ruutu each had a goal and an assist, and Scott Walker also scored for Carolina, which broke a 1-all tie by scoring four straight goals. The Hurricanes lead Washington by two points in the Southeast race with one game left. The Capitals have two games remaining.
Cam Ward turned aside 23 shots in his career-best 19th straight start, the longest streak by a Carolina goalie since Arturs Irbe started 26 consecutive games from February-April 2001.
Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist, Jeff Halpern scored and Mike Smith stopped 26 shots for last-place Tampa Bay.