NHL Roundup

Thrashers stay in playoff hunt

Associated Press / March 28, 2010

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Rich Peverley and Evgeny Artyukhin scored 57 seconds apart in the second period to help the Atlanta Thrashers beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-0, last night in Raleigh, N.C.

Niclas Bergfors added a goal late in the second for the Thrashers, who snapped a two-game skid to stay in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Johan Hedberg had a relatively stress-free night for Atlanta, facing six shots in the first period. He finished with 34 saves and earned his second shutout of the season.

Jim Slater added a goal late in the third period for Atlanta.

Manny Legace finished with 39 saves on an otherwise forgettable night for the Hurricanes, who inched closer to elimination. Carolina started the game flat, then fell behind for good during the Thrashers’ three-goal burst in the second period.

Atlanta swept all three games at the RBC Center against its Southeast Division rival.

Sabres 7, Lightning 1 — Patrick Lalime won his 200th career game and host Buffalo clinched its first playoff berth in three years with a rout of Tampa Bay.

Lalime, who made 22 saves, had been 0-4-1 with a no-decision since posting win No. 199 against Pittsburgh Dec. 29. He is the 66th goalie in NHL history to reach the milestone.

Derek Roy scored his fourth career hat trick and added an assist for Buffalo.

Paul Gaustad, Jochen Hecht, Jason Pominville, and Adam Mair also scored for the Sabres, who have won five of their last six.

Steve Downie scored for Tampa Bay, which lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Antero Niittymaki gave up three goals on six shots in the game’s first 8:52 and was replaced by Mike Smith, who made 16 saves.

Devils 4, Canadiens 2 — Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner had power-play goals and Dainius Zubrus also scored for New Jersey, which clinched its 13th straight playoff berth with a win in Montreal.

Martin Brodeur made 25 saves for his 41st victory of the season and New Jersey’s 44th.

Brian Rolston recorded his 700th career point when he scored into an empty net at 19:50.

The Devils, who have won four straight in Montreal, moved into a tie with Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division with 93 points.

Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and an assist and Tomas Plekanec also scored for the Canadiens, who are sixth in the East with 82 points — two ahead of Philadelphia and Boston.

Penguins 4, Flyers 1 — Sidney Crosby set up three goals, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury played a strong game after allowing an early soft goal, and Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia in the final regular-season game between the rivals in Pittsburgh’s 49-year-old home, Mellon Arena.

The Stanley Cup champion Penguins scored more than three goals for the first time in 10 games while ending a three-game losing streak. They also clinched an Eastern Conference playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season.

Red Wings 1, Predators 0 — Niklas Kronwall, in his first career shootout try, scored the winning goal in the 11th round to give Detroit a victory over host Nashville.

Detroit has won five straight and eight of nine to move into a more solid playoff position. The Red Wings jumped out of eighth place in the tightly packed Western Conference race.

Nashville lost for just the second time in nine games. The fifth-place Predators are only one point ahead of the surging Red Wings. Both teams were helped earlier yesterday when ninth-place Calgary lost at Boston.

Maple Leafs 3, Rangers 2 — Nikolai Kulemin scored 39 seconds into overtime and Jonas Gustavsson made 36 saves in host Toronto’s comeback victory.

Toronto won for the first time this season after trailing going into the third period.

The 10th-place Rangers are four points behind eighth-place Philadelphia with seven games left.

Senators 3, Panthers 2 — Daniel Alfredsson scored the winning goal early in the third period and Brian Elliott made 20 saves for Ottawa, which beat visiting Florida for its fourth straight victory.

Alfredsson has scored at least 20 goals in 10 straight seasons.

Coyotes 6, Avalanche 2 — Phoenix celebrated its first playoff berth since 2002 with a victory over visiting Colorado behind Lee Stempniak’s two goals.

The Coyotes clinched the postseason spot earlier in the day when Calgary lost to Boston.

Sharks 4, Canucks 2 — Patrick Marleau had a goal (No. 42) and two assists for host San Jose, which stretched its winning streak to three games.

Sharks goalie Evengi Nabokov (35 saves) earned his 40th win of the season.

Stars 4, Kings 1 — Brad Richards scored two power-play goals less than five minutes apart in the second period to lift visiting Dallas.

Islanders 4, Blue Jackets 3 — Josh Bailey scored 2:58 into overtime to send New York to a win over host Columbus.

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