|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 05 April 2008 19:10|
Tomas Fleischmann, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin scored for the Capitals, who clinched the Southeast Division title with a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. The win was also the Capitals' seventh straight, the franchise's longest in 15 years.
The Capitals finished last in the Southeast each of the last three season and were still there as late as Dec. 30, but their steady climb had already begun. With nearly every game in March and April a must-win, they ended the regular season by winning 11 of 12 and 14 of 18 and became the first NHL team to make the playoffs after sitting at 14th or 15th in the conference at the halfway mark.
Blues 3, Blue Jackets 0
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Keith Tkachuk scored the 498th and 499th goals of his career, and Manny Legace earned his 27th career shutout in St. Louis' regular-season home finale.
Brad Boyes also scored his team-leading 42nd goal and Paul Kariya added two assists for the Blues, who won all four matchups with the Blue Jackets at home this season. Legace stopped 25 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.
The Blue Jackets, who dropped their fifth game in six decisions (1-4-1), were outscored 14-2 in their last three games in St. Louis.
Ducks 4, Kings 3
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Anaheim's Teemu Selanne scored two goals, including the winner with 13:32 to play.
Selanne fired a wrist shot from the left circle past Dan Cloutier to break a 3-3 tie. Joe DiPenta and Ryan Getzlaf also scored, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 28 shots for the Ducks, who won six of eight against their Southern California rivals.
Dustin Brown, Brian Willsie and Patrick O'Sullivan scored for the Kings.
Sabres 3, Bruins 0
BOSTON (AP) - Thomas Vanek scored three goals and Jocelyn Thibault shut out the Boston Bruins in his first start since Jan. 21 as the Buffalo Sabres ended their season with a victory in their first game since they were eliminated from playoff contention.
Boston, which clinched a playoff berth with a 2-1 win at Ottawa on Friday night, will finish seventh or eighth in the Eastern Conference and play Montreal in the first round. The Canadiens beat Toronto 3-1 to assure the matchup with the Bruins.
The Bruins lost all eight of their games against the Canadiens, seven in regulation.
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1
MONTREAL (AP) - Chris Higgins scored twice and Mark Streit had a goal and an assist as the Montreal Canadiens finished their schedule atop the Eastern Conference.
Montreal completed the regular season with a 47-25-10 record for 104 points, two more than second-place Pittsburgh, which plays its final game Sunday at Philadelphia.
The Canadiens will claim their first conference title in 19 years if the Penguins, who also have 47 wins, lose to the Flyers.
Mark Bell scored late in the second for Toronto, which missed the playoffs for a third straight season.
Thrashers 4, Lightning 1
ATLANTA (AP) - Colby Armstrong scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period and the Atlanta Thrashers added two empty-netters in the final minute.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, who tied Los Angeles with an NHL-low 71 points, finished in last place to give them the best chance of winning the draft lottery this summer.
Atlanta, another lottery team, wasn't much better this season. The Thrashers, with 76 points, had the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, finished 29th overall. St. Louis, a 3-0 winner Saturday over Columbus, has 77 points with one game remaining.
Flames 7, Canucks 1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Jarome Iginla scored his 50th goal of the season and added two assists to lead Calgary.
Eric Nystrom scored his second goal with 1:42 left, and also added two assists, including the cross-crease feed for Iginla's milestone goal with 7:25 left, giving the Flames' captain 50 goals for a second time, and a career-best 98 points.
David Moss, Kristian Huselius, Dustin Boyd and Alex Tanguay also scored as Calgary moved into sixth in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Colorado, which finishes against Minnesota on Sunday.
Byron Ritchie scored for the Canucks, who finished the season with just one win in their final eight games.