Capitals beat Penguins to clinch Metropolitan Division title
PITTSBURGH (AP) Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves and the Washington Capitals celebrated star Alex Ovechkin’s 1,000th career regular season game by clinching their third straight division title with a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night.
Ovechkin was held without a point but it hardly mattered. T.J. Oshie, Dmitry Orlov and Tom Wilson scored for Washington while Grubauer kept the NHL’s best power play in check as the Capitals assured themselves home-ice advantage through the first two rounds of the postseason.
The Penguins have the top power play in the league but went 0 for 5 with the man advantage. Patric Hornqvist picked up his 27th of the season late in the third period to avoid a shutout. Matt Murray stopped 31 shots but couldn’t quite match Grubauer.
A night after earning a playoff berth for a franchise-record 12th straight year, Pittsburgh lost at home in regulation for just the second time since Jan. 4.
Ovechkin downplayed his milestone game beforehand, half-jokingly saying it didn’t matter much. The 32-year-old knows his career has been equally defined by his 603 goals and his team’s inability to make a deep playoff run.
The Capitals have won 10 of 12 to create some breathing space in the cramped and crowded Metropolitan
DEVILS 2, CANADIENS 1
Nico Hischier tied the score early in the third and Keith Kinkaid stopped 25 shots in his sixth consecutive start for the Devils. New Jersey increased its lead to seven points on Florida for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Devils, vying for their first trip to the postseason since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, have three games remaining – two fewer than the Panthers.
Daniel Carr scored for the Canadiens, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Carey Price finished with 30 saves while playing his 556th game with Montreal, pulling into a tie with Jacques Plante for most games by a goaltender in franchise history.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Filip Forsbeg had two goals and an assist to lead the Nashville pastTampa Bay.
Forsberg returned to the Predators‘ lineup after being held out of Saturday’s loss to Buffalo for maintenance. Craig Smith and Ryan Johansen also scored to help Nashville move closer to clinching the Presidents’ Trophy with the league’s best record. Juuse Saros finished with 29 saves.
The Lightning fell to 5-6-0 in the past 11 games and sit two points behind Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
FLYERS 4, BRUINS 3, OT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Claude Giroux scored his second goal with 1:21 left in overtime and Philadelphia Flyers recovered from blowing a late lead to inch closer to returning to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
Travis Konecny added a dazzling goal and an assist, Nolan Patrick also scored and Petr Mrazek made 36 saves for the Flyers. Philadelphia who opened an eight-point lead over idle Florida, the last team that can overtake it for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference – the Flyers have three games left and the Panthers five.
Patrice Bergeron tied it with 3.8 seconds left in regulation for the Bruins. With the goaltender pulled, Bergeron got his 30th goal on feed from Brad Marchand after the Flyers twice failed to clear the puck.
Andrew Cogliano had a goal and an assist, and Adam Henrique and Ryan Kesler also scored for the Ducks, who moved into third place in the Pacific Division. Anaheim is one point ahead of Los Angeles with three games remaining for both teams.
Kase was looking to shoot all the way on a 2-on-1 break and won it by going to the short side over Jonathan Bernier’s right shoulder.
Ryan Miller made 19 saves after replacing John Gibson at the start of the second period, helping the Ducks to their fifth straight home win. Gibson, who made 10 saves before departing, appeared to be shaken up late in the first when Gabriel Landeskog was cross-checked by Kesler into the goalie, who was being evaluated for an undisclosed injury.