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Friday, 04 April 2008 23:11
NHL Headline News

 SCOREBOARD
Saturday, April 5
Florida at Washington (7 p.m. EDT). The Capitals need at least one point in their season finale to clinch the Southeast Division and the final playoff spot in the East or else they will be eliminated.

Sunday, April 6
N.Y. Rangers at New Jersey (3 p.m. EDT). The Devils and Rangers are playing for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

STARS
Friday
-Daniel Carcillo, Coyotes, had three goals for his first career hat trick to lead Phoenix to a 4-2 win at Dallas.
-Richard Park, Islanders, scored a short-handed goal in the second period and then added the decisive tally in the shootout for a 4-3 win over the Rangers.
-Patrick Kane, Blackhawks, had a goal and an assist in Chicago's 3-1 win over Nashville.
-Nathan Horton, Panthers, had a goal and an assist and Florida beat Carolina 4-3.

ONE SPOT LEFT
Philadelphia, Ottawa and Boston all clinched playoff spots in the Eastern Conference Friday night, leaving Carolina and Washington to battle for the Southeast Division crown and final postseason berth. The Flyers made it with their 3-0 win over New Jersey on Friday, coupled with the Hurricanes' loss to Florida. The Senators clinched a playoff spot with Carolina's loss, while the Bruins used that and their 2-1 win over Ottawa to wrap up a berth.

GO FOURTH
Defending-champion Anaheim will finish fourth in the Western Conference and gain home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs after Dallas lost to Phoenix on Friday night.

SEEING RED
Nashville, which clinched a playoff spot on Thursday, is locked into eighth place and the last playoff spot in the Western Conference after losing to Chicago 3-1 on Friday night. The Predators, who lost for the first time in regulation following a 5-0-1 stretch, will face league-leading Detroit in the opening postseason round. Nashville was 3-3-2 against the Red Wings in regular-season play.

NO DOUBTING THOMAS
Boston's Tim Thomas came within 8:14 of recording his third straight shutout against Ottawa, but still hung on for a 2-1 win on Friday night. Antoine Vermette, who scored his first career hat trick one night earlier, scored 11:46 into the third, ending Thomas' shutout streak against Ottawa at 180 minutes, 10 seconds. Thomas stopped 17 shots, improving to 4-0-1 in his last five starts against the Senators.

NO DANNY
Danny Briere was scratched from Philadelphia's game against New Jersey on Friday night with the Flyers needing wins in their final two games to make the playoffs. Briere, who has 31 goals and 72 points, injured his knee in a collision during Wednesday's 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh.

SURGERY
Dallas defenseman Sergei Zubov had surgery this week in Berlin on a sports hernia injury, leaving his status unclear as the team prepares to face Anaheim in the playoffs. Zubov has been out since Jan. 19 with a variety of ailments. The hernia dates to last year's playoffs, and an attempt to play through a foot injury this season created a groin strain.

SPEAKING
``It feels disgusting. We just needed to win two of our last four, and we go 1-3. How we lost this one, not only is it frustrating and it hurts, (but) you hate to sit back and hope you're going to get help. ... We've got to hope (the Panthers) do the same job tomorrow night as they (did against Carolina). I doubt they will. Washington's taking care of their business like it means something, and it's just frustrating that we let this one slip away.'' - Ray Whitney after Carolina failed to clinch the Southeast Division with a 4-3 loss to Florida on Friday night despite holding a 46-17 advantage in shots while going penalty free. The Hurricanes and Capitals are tied atop the division, but Washington has one more game left and will eliminate Carolina if it gets at least one point against the Panthers on Saturday.
 

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