Capitals beat Hurricanes 3-2 to clinch playoff spot

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              Carolina Hurricanes' Nino Niederreiter (21) tries to score on Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby as Capitals' Tom Wilson (43) defends during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nic Dowd scored on a deflection with 4:56 remaining and the Washington Capitals clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana also scored and Braden Holtby made 24 saves to help the defending Stanley Cup champions reach the 100-point mark for the fifth straight season and wrap up their 11th spot in the playoffs in 12 years. Alex Ovechkin — with 49 goals — was held off the score sheet and missed a long shot toward an empty net with about 45 seconds remaining.

Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter scored for the Hurricanes. They lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since mid-January and missed out on an important two points that would have helped their chase for their first playoff berth in a decade.

ISLANDERS 5, JETS 4

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Casey Cizikas and Jordan Eberle scored 33 seconds apart in the final two minutes to lift New York past Winnipeg.

Cizikas took advantage when Winnipeg couldn’t clear the puck and scored with 1:46 to go to make it 4-4. Eberle added his second goal of the game with 1:13 left when he got into the crease and beat Connor Hellebuyck.

Eberle also picked up an assist and Ryan Pulock had three of his own. Mathew Barzal ended a 19-game goal drought with his 11th of the season, and Anders Lee scored his 28th for New York. The Islanders moved two points ahead of Pittsburgh and into second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Adam Lowry scored twice and added an assist, while Brandon Tanev had a goal and a pair of assists for Winnipeg. Mark Scheifele scored his 36th goal,

STARS 3, OILERS 2, SO

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Jamie Benn scored the shootout winner in Dallas’ victory over Edmonton.

Alexander Radulov and Miro Heiskanen scored in regulation for the surging Stars. They won their third straight game to tighten their hold on the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid scored for the Oilers.

BLUE JACKETS 6, CANADIENS 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice, Sergei Bobrovsky had 28 saves and Columbus beat Montreal to move into an Eastern Division wild-card spot.

The Blue Jackets tied Montreal for the second wild card and they hold the tiebreaker with five games remaining. Carolina is one point ahead in the first slot.

David Savard, Artemi Panarin, Riley Nash and Brandon Dubinsky also scored for Columbus. Brett Kulak had a goal and an assist, and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal.

RED WINGS 5, SABRES 4, OT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Tyler Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the game in overtime to lift Detroit over Buffalo.

Dylan Larkin also had two goals for Detroit, Filip Hronek added a goal, and Jimmy Howard made 35 saves.

Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo, Marco Scandella and Casey Mittelstadt scored for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost 12 of their last 13 games.

PANTHERS 5, SENATORS 2

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and Florida beat Ottawa to snap a three-game losing streak.

Troy Brouwer, Dryden Hunt and Evgenii Dadonov also scored for Florida. Roberto Luongo made 28 saves. Colin White and Brady Tkachuk scored for Ottawa.

BLACKHAWKS 5, SHARKS 4

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Alex DeBrincat scored twice to reach the 40-goal mark and the Chicago Blackhawks handed the Sharks their seventh straight loss.

Connor Murphy, Jonathan Toews and Chris Kunitz also scored to give the Blackhawks just their second win in the past six games. Corey Crawford made 26 saves.

Tomas Hertl had one goal and two assists in his 400th career game. Lukas Radil, Gustav Nyquist and Timo Meier also scored for San Jose.

CANUCKS 3, KINGS 2, SO

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Tanner Pearson scored in the fourth round of the shootout and the Canucks kept their faint playoff hopes alive.

Brock Boeser and Alex Edler scored in regulation for the Canucks, who are seven points behind Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with four games to play. The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Canucks. Quinn Hughes, selected seventh overall by Vancouver in 2018, earned an assist in his NHL debut.

Austin Wagner and Adrian Kempe scored for the Kings.