The New York Rangers (47-19-7, 101 points) picked up a 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators; coupled with the Boston Bruins' loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Rangers became the first team to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Rangers improved to 9-2-1 in their 12 regular-season games in Ottawa dating to Jan. 10, 2009.
DEFENDING CHAMPS MOVE BACK INTO PLAYOFF PICTURE
Jonathan Quick made 25 saves, including 15 in the second period, and Anze Kopitar broke a deadlock with 4:23 left in regulation to lift the Los Angeles Kings to their third straight win, 3-2 against the New York Islanders.
DUCKS CLIMB INTO TOP SPOT IN WEST
Ryan Getzlaf assisted on Corey Perry's tying goal with 39 seconds left in regulation and then scored the game-winner at 3:09 of overtime to help the Anaheim Ducks defeat the Boston Bruins 3-2. The Ducks picked up their League-leading 16th win past regulation (OT: 8, SO: 8) and snapped a two-game skid against the Bruins.
PREDATORS KEEP PACE, TAKE LEAD IN CENTRAL
Pekka Rinne made 28 saves to lead the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens, their third straight win, fourth consecutive game with a point and fifth 100-point season in franchise history.
CAPITALS, PANTHERS GAIN GROUND IN EAST
The Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers each won Thursday to inch closer to the teams they are chasing in the Metropolitan Division and wild-card race, respectively.
PAVELEC, JETS CONTINUE WINNING STEAKS
Ondrej Pavelec made 39 saves, including 20 in the first period, to help the Winnipeg Jets defeat theMontreal Canadiens 5-2. The Jets improved to 6-1-0 in their past seven games and earned their first home win against the Canadiens since Dec. 22, 2011.
SHARKS, AVALANCHE KEEP PACE IN WEST
The San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche each earned wins Thursday to keep their playoff push alive.
AROUND THE RINKS
Highlights from the rest of the 11-game slate Thursday:
Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond suffered his first career regulation loss after earning a point in each of his first 15 career starts (14-0-1) . . . Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher stretched his career-high goal streak to four games (4-0—4) while playing in his 200th career game . . . Penguins forwardSidney Crosby (0-1—1) pulled ahead in the NHL scoring race with 24-51—75 . . . Michel Therriencoached his 395th game behind the Canadiens bench, passing Cecil Hart into fourth in franchise history . . . Maple Leafs forward Casey Bailey made his NHL debut after signing with the club on Saturday . . . Maple Leafs forward Sam Carrick scored his first NHL goal (14 GP) . . . Panthers forward Dave Bolland(400), Capitals forward Jason Chimera (400) and Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (200) each played in milestone games . . . The Department of Player Safety suspended Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll for three games for an illegal check to the head of Ducks forward Patrick Maroon . . . The Canucks celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Vancouver Millionaires' Stanley Cup win by showing a commemorative video and wearing special replica jerseys during game against the Avalanche . . . Young Bruins fan Liam Fitzgerald, who became an internet sensation earlier this season after fist-bumping players on the bench, was presented with his own hockey card during the ANA-BOS game.
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