Stars clinch playoff spot; Canes get big win

              Dallas Stars right wing Alexander Radulov (47) reacts with teammate Tyler Seguin (91) looking on after Radulov scored a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Dallas, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Stars clinched their first trip to the playoffs in three years Tuesday night, getting two goals and two assists from Alexander Radulov in a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

The Stars were just a point shy of the postseason and could have made it with an Arizona loss in a later game.

Instead, they left little doubt with four goals in the final 24 minutes, including a pair 10 seconds apart, for just their third Western Conference playoff berth in 11 seasons.

Jason Dickinson, Esa Lindell, Tyler Pitlick and Blake Comeau also scored for the Stars, who hold the first wild-card spot with 91 points and are unlikely to get into the top three in the Central Division. Dallas last made the playoffs in 2016, losing a Game 7 to St. Louis in the second round.


TORONTO (AP) — Justin Williams and Dougie Hamilton each banked in goals from behind Toronto’s net as Carolina picked up a big two points in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a victory over the listless Maple Leafs.

Jordan Staal also scored for the Hurricanes, while Hamilton added an empty-netter.

Petr Mrazek stopped 23 shots for Carolina, which came in having lost three of its past four in regulation as the franchise looks to make the postseason for the first time since 2009 — currently the NHL’s longest streak of playoff futility.

John Tavares scored his 47th goal of the season for Toronto. Garret Sparks made 32 saves.

The Leafs clinched a playoff spot for a third consecutive spring with Monday’s 2-1 road victory over the New York Islanders to set up a second consecutive first-round matchup with the Boston Bruins.

Toronto entered Tuesday’s games four points back of Boston for second in the Atlantic Division, and home ice in the opening round, but will now start on the road after the Bruins defeated the Blue Jackets 6-2 in Columbus.

The Hurricanes are in the first-wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with 95 points. Columbus and Montreal each have 94 points, but the Blue Jackets have second wild-card spot because of a tiebreaker.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jake DeBrusk and the Boston Bruins are looking to build some momentum heading into the playoffs.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are just trying to get into the postseason right now.

Boston beat Columbus, ruining the Blue Jackets’ opportunity to clinch a wild card in their last game at home. Instead the race will extend into the last two games of the season.

The Hurricanes are on top of the wild-card standings with 95 points. Columbus and Montreal each had 94, and the Blue Jackets hold the tiebreaker over the Canadiens.

DeBrusk had two goals and an assist and Tuukka Rask made 32 saves to help the Bruins stop a two-game slide. Brad Marchand and Karson Kuhlman each had a goal and an assist, and Marcus Johansson and David Pastrnak also scored.

Oliver Bjorkstrand extended the longest active goal streak in the NHL to six games with a third-period tally for Columbus, which had won five in a row. Matt Duchene also scored.

Sergei Bobrovsky had 19 stops, but allowed four goals before being relieved by Joonas Korpisalo late in the second period.


MONTREAL (AP) — Artturi Lehkonen and Max Domi scored in the third period to lead Montreal win over NHL-leading Tampa Bay, keeping the Canadiens within reach for a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Montreal and Columbus both have 94 points and two games left in the regular season. But the Blue Jackets currently own the tiebreaker.

Nate Thompson and Joel Armia also scored for the Canadiens, who improved to 6-1-1 in their past eight games. Carey Price stopped 22 shots for his 35th win of the season.

Steven Stamkos and Cedric Paquette scored for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Lightning, who were playing their third game in four nights.


DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie scored a minute apart to ignite a four-goal second period as playoff-chasing Colorado rallied for a win over Edmonton.

Down 2-0 after the opening period to an Edmonton team already eliminated from postseason contention, the Avalanche surged in the second. MacKinnon started the scoring spree with his 40th goal of the season, while Barrie, Alexander Kerfoot and Colin Wilson joined in. All four goals were scored in a 7:08 span.

Kerfoot and Sven Andrighetto added insurance goals in the third.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota raced off to a big lead against Winnipeg, and then started watching the scoreboard to see if its faint playoff hopes would survive another night.

The Wild did their part, but their six-year playoff streak came to an end.

Zach Parise scored twice in his return from injury, Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves and the Wild rolled against the Jets.

Victor Rask, Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno also scored for Minnesota, which entered play five points behind Colorado for eighth in the Western Conference. The Avalanche trailed 2-0 at home against Edmonton before rallying for a 6-2 win that knocked the Wild out of the playoff contention.

Jacob Trouba scored a short-handed goal for Winnipeg, but goaltender Eric Comrie allowed three first-period goals in his first start of the season and fifth of his career. Comrie finished with 23 saves.

The Jets have lost four of five to slip into a tie with Nashville for the lead in the Central Division. The Predators won 3-2 in Buffalo on Tuesday night. Winnipeg and Nashville each have two games remaining.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Ryan Johansen scored 6:32 into the third period, and the Predators stayed in the hunt for the Central Division title.

P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist and Craig Smith also scored as Nashville moved two points ahead of idle St. Louis for second place in the division. The Predators began the day two points behind Central-leading Winnipeg.

Pekka Rinne stopped 26 shots in a game Nashville never trailed.

Jeff Skinner got his career-best 38th goal and Kyle Okposo also scored for Buffalo, which dropped to 0-7-1 in its past eight. Carter Hutton finished with 32 saves.


DETROIT (AP) — Pittsburgh missed out on a chance to clinch a playoff spot when Tyler Bertuzzi led Detroit over the Penguins.

Bertuzzi had two goals and an assist as the Red Wings earned their sixth consecutive win. He became the first player in franchise history with four consecutive three-point games. He has five goals and eight assists during a five-game point streak.

Detroit also got two goals from Anthony Mantha, who has five goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak. Dylan Larkin had three assists, and Jimmy Howard made 38 saves.

Phil Kessel scored for Pittsburgh, and Matt Murray stopped 22 shots.


VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Tanner Pearson scored twice, leading Vancouver to a comeback win over San Jose.

Markus Granlund and Troy Stecher also scored for the Canucks, while Bo Horvat and Loui Eriksson each had a pair of assists.

Kevin Labanc and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks.

Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 33 of 35 shots and Martin Jones had 19 saves for San Jose.

The loss added to a tough stretch for the Sharks, who are 1-8-1 in their past 10 games and haven’t had a regulation win since March 12.


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Jack Campbell made 49 saves, Trevor Lewis scored 3:29 into the third period, and Los Angeles hurt Arizona’s playoff chances with a victory over the Coyotes.

Tyler Clifford had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, which had dropped three of four. Drew Doughty added an empty-netter with 44.4 seconds left.

Arizona fell four points behind Colorado for the second wild card in the Western Conference. The Coyotes need to win their final two games and have Colorado lose its last two in order to have a chance to get in.

Brad Richardson scored for Arizona, and Darcy Kuemper made 16 saves before he was accidentally struck in the face when Lewis raised his stick after his backhand goal.

Kuemper, who has played a key role in Arizona’s push for a wild card, was replaced by Calvin Pickard.