NHL roundup: Knights wrap up West’s No. 1 seed

Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

Laurent Brossoit made 30 saves as the Vegas Golden Knights clinched the Pacific Division title and the Western Conference’s top playoff seed with a 3-1 victory against the host Seattle Kraken on Thursday night.

Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez and Chandler Stephenson scored for the Golden Knights (51-22-9, 111 points), who closed the regular season with an eight-game points streak (5-0-3). Vegas will play the Winnipeg Jets (46-33-3, 96 points) in the opening round of the postseason.

Jaden Schwartz scored and Philipp Grubauer stopped 16 of 18 shots for Seattle (46-28-8, 100 points), which had already wrapped up the conference’s top wild-card berth. The second-year Kraken will meet the Central Division champion, either the Dallas Stars (47-21-14, 108 points) or the Colorado Avalanche (50-24-7, 107 points), in their first playoff appearance.

The Avalanche close their season at Nashville on Friday, and Colorado would win the Central with a victory over the Predators.

Canucks 5, Coyotes 4 (OT)

Conor Garland scored three goals, including the winner in overtime, as Vancouver beat Arizona in Tempe, Ariz., in the final game of the season for both clubs.

Vancouver’s J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist and Elias Pettersson also scored. Quinn Hughes dished out three assists. Andrei Kuzmenko and Kyle Burroughs added two assists each for the Canucks, who will miss the postseason for the seventh time in eight seasons. Goaltender Collin Delia turned aside 24 shots.

Liam O’Brien led the Coyotes with a pair of goals and Nick Schmaltz and added a goal and an assist. Travis Boyd scored and Jack McBain had two assists for Arizona. Vejmelka made 19 saves.

Stars 1, Blues 0

Wyatt Johnston scored the lone goal and goaltender Jake Oettinger collected the shutout as Dallas kept alive hopes for a Central Division regular-season title with a home victory over St. Louis.

Oettinger made 25 saves to record his fifth shutout of the season and seventh of his career.

The Stars, who are looking to win a division title for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign, are atop the division. However, they must await the result of the Colorado Avalanche’s season finale on Friday against the Nashville Predators to learn their fate, not to mention their opponent in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Maple Leafs 3, Rangers 2

Noel Acciari scored the go-ahead goal with 7:39 remaining to fuel visiting Toronto over New York in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Toronto’s William Nylander scored his 40th goal of the season, defenseman Timothy Liljegren also tallied and Joseph Woll made 22 saves for the Maple Leafs, who are riding a four-game winning streak entering their first-round playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Artemi Panarin and Kaapo Kakko each scored a goal and Jaroslav Halak turned aside 18 shots for the Rangers, who will renew their Hudson River Rivalry when they face the New Jersey Devils in the first round.

Bruins 5, Canadiens 4

David Pastrnak scored his 61st goal with nine minutes left as Boston completed a record-breaking regular season by beating host Montreal.

Pastrnak and Dmitry Orlov each finished with a goal and an assist for Boston, which scored twice in the final frame to emerge with its eighth consecutive win. Trent Frederic, Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle also scored for the Bruins, who tied the NHL record for most road wins in a regular season (31).

Michael Pezzetta led Montreal with a goal and an assist. Lucas Condotta scored the game-opening goal on the first shift of his NHL career, while Nick Suzuki and Justin Barron added tallies for the Canadiens.

Hurricanes 6, Panthers 4

Brent Burns scored two goals as Carolina clinched first place in the Metropolitan Division with a wild victory over Florida in Sunrise, Fla.

Each team scored four goals in the third period, two apiece in the final three minutes, as both teams concluded the regular season. After Florida tied the score 2-2 with two goals to start the final frame, Burns and Jesper Fast scored 21 seconds apart to put Carolina back on top to stay.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Shayne Gostisbehere and Sebastian Aho also scored for the Hurricanes, who will face the New York Islanders in the first round of the playoffs. The Panthers will face top-seeded Boston in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bruins set NHL records for most wins and most points in a single season.

Sabres 4, Senators 3 (OT)

Casey Mittelstadt scored 1:18 into overtime to give Buffalo a win over visiting Ottawa in what may be Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson’s final home game.

Mittelstadt, who also had an assist, ripped a wrist shot from the edge of the right circle off the far post and in for his 14th goal of the season. The Sabres then immediately raced down to mug the 41-year-old Anderson, who made 30 saves for his 319th career win and is likely to retire at the end of the season.

Tage Thompson scored his 47th goal of the season for Buffalo, which improved to 8-2-1 over its last 11 games. The Sabres finish their season with a game at Columbus on Friday. Tim Stutzle had a goal and an assist for Ottawa.

Flyers 5, Blackhawks 4 (OT)

Ivan Provorov scored at 3:09 of overtime to lift Philadelphia past host Chicago in Jonathan Toews’ final home game with the Blackhawks.

Travis Konecny had two goals and two assists and Owen Tippett contributed a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who won their final two games. Andreas Athanasiou led the Blackhawks with a goal and two assists.

Toews, who won three Stanley Cups in his 15 seasons in Chicago, received a standing ovation from the crowd in what was his final game with the franchise. Toews hasn’t said if he will retire, but the Blackhawks stated that they would not re-sign him.

Oilers 5, Sharks 2

Leon Draisaitl scored his 52nd goal and had two assists and Mattias Janmark scored twice to lead Edmonton to a victory over visiting San Jose in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Evan Bouchard and Evander Kane also scored for Edmonton, which wound up in second place in the Pacific Division. Edmonton will open the Western Conference playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings. Stuart Skinner finished with 27 saves for his 29th win of the season, breaking Grant Fuhr’s team rookie wins mark of 28 set in 1981-82. Connor McDavid had an assist, his league-leading 89th to go with an NHL-best 64 goals.

Steven Lorentz had a goal and an assist and Noah Gregor also scored for San Jose. James Reimer made 31 saves.

Kings 5, Ducks 3

Adrian Kempe collected a hat trick in a four-point outing and Viktor Arvidsson added three assists as visiting Los Angeles claimed a victory over Anaheim to clinch third place in the Pacific Division.

Anze Kopitar netted one goal and one assist and Trevor Moore also scored for the Kings. Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo made 21 saves in the regular-season finale for both clubs. Los Angeles’ Matt Roy and Drew Doughty both notched two assists.

Troy Terry collected one goal and one assist while Max Jones and Trevor Zegras added singles for the Ducks, who finished at the bottom of the league standings. Goalie John Gibson stopped 31 shots.

Devils 5, Capitals 4 (OT)

Luke Hughes scored his first NHL goal with 27 seconds remaining in overtime to give visiting New Jersey a win over Washington and conclude the best regular season in franchise history.

The Devils’ 52 wins were one more than the previous franchise record set during the 2008-09 season. New Jersey’s 112 points were one more than the previous mark set during the 2000-01 season.

Joe Snively, Rasmus Sandin, Craig Smith and Tom Wilson scored for the Capitals, who ended the season by dropping eight of their last nine games (1-6-2).

Predators 4, Wild 3 (OT)

Juuso Parssinen scored with 2:36 left in overtime to lift Nashville over visiting Minnesota.

Mark Jankowski, Kiefer Sherwood and Yakov Trenin also scored for the Predators, who will miss the postseason for the first time in nine seasons. Frederick Gaudreau had two goals, Nic Petan scored and Gustav Nyquist had two assists for the Wild, who are headed to the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

The Wild, who have completed their regular season, finished in third place in the Central Division and will face the Dallas Stars or Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs. Dallas leads the division by one point over Colorado, but the Avalanche have one game remaining while the Stars have completed their regular season.

Lightning 5, Red Wings 0

Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point scored twice to eclipse the 50-goal plateau for the first time, goaltender Brian Elliott stopped 32 shots and the Lightning closed the regular season with a shutout of visiting Detroit.

The Lightning won for the first time in five games (1-4-0) and just the fourth time in their last 12 (4-8-0). Point’s previous season-best goal mark was 41 in 2018-19.

The 38-year-old Elliott (12-8-2) recorded his 45th career shutout and second this season. He blanked the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 15. Goalie Ville Husso (26-22-7) stopped 27 shots for the Wings.

Avalanche 4, Jets 2

Mikko Rantanen set a Colorado record with his 55th goal, Artturi Lehkonen had a goal and an assist in his return to the lineup and the Avalanche beat Winnipeg in Denver.

Colorado remains a point behind Dallas in the Central Division but would claim the title with a win at Nashville in the regular-season finale on Friday. Evan Rodrigues also had a goal and an assist, Denis Malgin had a goal, Lars Eller added two assists and Alexandar Georgiev made 18 saves for the Avalanche, who are 15-2-1 in their past 18 games.

Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Kevin Stenlund scored goals and David Rittich turned away 21 shots for the Jets.

Blue Jackets 3, Penguins 2 (OT)

Johnny Gaudreau scored on a breakaway one minute into overtime to give Columbus a win over visiting Pittsburgh, which was playing its season finale.

Andrew Peeke and Emil Benstrom also scored for the Blue Jackets, who are 1-3-1 in their past five. They have one remaining game, Friday at home against Buffalo in a makeup game. Columbus goaltender Michael Hutchinson stopped 34 shots.

Kris Letang had a goal and an assist, Jake Guentzel also scored, and Sidney Crosby added two assists for the Penguins, who closed their season on a 2-2-1 stretch. They were eliminated from the playoffs a night earlier when the New York Islanders clinched the Eastern Conference’s final available wild-card berth with a win over Montreal.

–Field Level Media

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