Published On: Sun, Mar 31st, 2019

NHL roundup: Islanders down Sabres, clinch playoff spot

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NHL: Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders
Mar 30, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) celebrates his goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

March 31, 2019

Anthony Beauvillier scored twice Saturday night for the New York Islanders, who capped one of the most remarkable stories of the NHL regular season by clinching a playoff berth with a 5-1 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

Jordan Eberle, Michael Dal Colle and Ryan Pulock also scored for the Islanders (46-26-7), who will return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 thanks to a raucous victory in a building they thought they’d left in the spring of 2015.

The Islanders moved from Nassau Coliseum to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center following the 2014-15 season but began splitting their home schedule between the two arenas this season as they wait for construction to begin on a proposed hockey-only building at the Nassau/Queens border.

The Islanders are 12-6-2 at the Coliseum and will close out their home schedule there Monday. They will be hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs and former teammate John Tavares in the home finale. All first-round home games will be played at the Coliseum. Should New York advance, it will head back to Barclays Center for home games in subsequent rounds.

Hurricanes 5, Flyers 2

Carolina scored twice on power plays in a victory in Raleigh, N.C., which eliminated Philadelphia from playoff contention.

Teuvo Teravainen, Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk, Jaccob Slavin and Brock McGinn scored for the Hurricanes, who strengthened their hold on the top Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

The Hurricanes scored two goals in a 21-second span in the first period to wipe out a one-goal deficit and later added two empty-net goals.

Blue Jackets 5, Predators 2

Cam Atkinson scored twice to tie the franchise record for goals in a season, and Artemi Panarin collected four assists to set a team record for points in a campaign as visiting Columbus beat Nashville to remain in a playoff spot.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots for the Blue Jackets (44-30-4, 92 points), who have won four straight and are one point back of the Hurricanes for the first wild-card spot. Columbus is tied with the Montreal Canadiens, but holds the second wild-card spot with the tiebreaker.

Nashville’s two-game winning streak was snapped on a night the Predators (44-29-6, 94 points) failed to take advantage of an opportunity to claim the top spot in the Central Division.

Canadiens 3, Jets 1

Joel Armia, Jeff Petry and Jordan Weal all scored as visiting Montreal held on to claim a win over Winnipeg that was crucial to their playoff hopes.

Montreal goalie Carey Price stopped 23 shots in a victory that keeps his team in the thick of the playoff race, along with fellow wild-card candidates Carolina and Columbus.

Montreal (42-29-8, 92 points) is on a 5-1-1 roll, though the Canadiens have one fewer game remaining than the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets.

Senators 4, Maple Leafs 2

Anthony Duclair scored twice, including an empty-netter, as Ottawa defeated visiting Toronto, which missed a chance to clinch a playoff berth.

Craig Anderson made 42 saves for the last-place Senators, who improved to 6-7-1 under interim coach Marc Crawford.

Magnus Paajarvi and Cody Ceci also scored for Ottawa, which took a 2-0 lead into the third period before the Maple Leafs tied it with goals 27 seconds apart. Brady Tkachuk and Colin White each had two assists for the Senators.

Capitals 6, Lightning 3

Alex Ovechkin scored twice to eclipse the 50-goal mark, and Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie each had two goals and an assist as visiting Washington beat Tampa Bay.

Ovechkin scored from the low slot at 14:35 of the third period, marking the eighth time he has reached the 50-goal milestone, and his 51st came less than two minutes later on the power play. Only Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy, each with nine, have more 50-goal seasons.

Goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots to win his 31st game for the Capitals, who have won 14 of their last 19 and salvaged the final meeting in the three-game season series (1-1-1) over 15 days against Tampa Bay.

Sharks 4, Golden Knights 3 (OT)

Brent Burns’ power-play goal 22 seconds into overtime lifted San Jose over visiting Vegas, ending a season-worst losing streak at seven games.

Burns one-timed a pass on the Sharks’ first possession in the offensive zone in overtime. San Jose held a 4-on-3 advantage after Colin’s Miller’s hooking penalty on Evander Kane with less than a minute to play in regulation.

Tomas Hertl, Kane and Marc-Edouard Vlasic tallied goals, while Logan Couture had two assists for the Sharks, who split the four-game season series against Vegas. Martin Jones made 23 saves to win for the first time in seven decisions.

Blues 3, Devils 2 (OT)

Defenseman Vince Dunn scored 4:56 into overtime as visiting St. Louis recorded its 11th straight victory over New Jersey, in Newark, N.J.

With time winding down in overtime, Dunn skated into the offensive zone and tucked the puck between the pads of Cory Schneider for his fifth career game-winning goal and his fourth this season.

Tyler Bozak scored to record his 400th career point, and rookie Robert Thomas also tallied for the Blues (42-28-8), who have won five of their last six games. Jake Allen finished with 25 saves to improve to 7-0-0 in his career against New Jersey.

Ducks 5, Oilers 1

Rickard Rakell notched a natural hat trick in the second period, and visiting Anaheim all but eliminated Edmonton from the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons.

Goalie John Gibson made 30 saves for the Ducks (33-37-10, 76 points), who have long been eliminated from the playoff picture.

The chances of Edmonton (34-35-9, 77 points) reaching the postseason were on life support, but the loss essentially sealed the club’s fate. The Oilers are eight points out of a playoff position with four games remaining.

Canucks 3, Stars 2 (SO)

Markus Granlund’s goal in the eighth round of the shootout gave Vancouver a home-ice win over Dallas.

Granlund slipped the puck through Dallas goaltender Anton Khudobin’s legs. Granlund was the lone scorer in the shootout.

The Canucks (34-35-10, 78 points) won their second straight game, but the victory was moot because they were eliminated from NHL playoff contention on Friday. The Stars (41-31-7, 89 points) missed a chance to clinch a postseason berth, as they suffered their first loss in four games and their first road setback in eight games.

Kings 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

Drew Doughty scored with 12 seconds remaining in overtime as Los Angeles dealt a major blow to visiting Chicago’s fading playoff chances.

Playing with a one-man advantage after a late penalty by the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews, Doughty powered in his game-winner from the top of the right circle and through Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford. It was Doughty’s seventh goal of the season.

Austin Wagner and Michael Amadio also scored for the Kings. Amadio’s goal with just over four minutes remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime.

Panthers 4, Bruins 1

Boston’s 12-game home-ice win streak was snapped by visiting Florida.

The Bruins’ streak was their longest since 2008-2009. It was the first Bruins home loss since Jan. 31.

Riley Sheahan and Troy Brouwer scored once, and Evgenii Dadonov scored twice, including an empty-netter, for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo earned the win by making 30 saves.

–Field Level Media

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