Published April 14, 2014
Toronto, ON – St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Abdelkader's two goals and Petr Mrazek's 23-save shutout sent the spiraling St. Louis Blues to their sixth straight regulation loss, a 3-0 setback that concluded the regular season for both clubs. The defeat allowed Colorado to clinch the Central Division and the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Western Conference playoffs, where the Blues will take on defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago in the opening round. Prior to its skid, the longest by the Blues since a seven-gamer from Dec. 26, 2009-Jan. 7, 2010, St. Louis owned a seven-point advantage on the Avalanche for first place. The team has mustered an anemic five goals while being shut out three times during the stretch. Detroit (39-28-15), already locked into a quarterfinal matchup with the Presidents' Trophy-winning Boston Bruins in the East, also received a goal from Riley Sheahan and two assists by Pavel Datsyuk in support of Mrazek's second career shutout. Ryan Miller finished with just 18 saves for St. Louis (52-23-7), which nonetheless set a new franchise high for wins in one season.
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Boston 2
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Martin Brodeur started for possibly the last time in New Jersey, and posted a 16-save effort to give New Jersey a 3-2 win over Boston in the final regular-season game for both teams. The 41-year-old Brodeur, who has led New Jersey to three Stanley Cup titles during two decades with the club, will be a free agent and hasn't made clear his plans for next season. He hasn't ruled out either retiring or, coming back for the 2014-15 season possibly for a team other than the Devils. A first-round pick by New Jersey in 1990, Brodeur has spent his entire career with the Devils and the future Hall of Famer has racked up numerous NHL records during his career, including most wins (688) and shutouts (124). Marek Zidlicky scored twice and Travis Zajac gave a goal and an assist for the Devils (35-29-18), who snapped a three-game slide to end the season. Boston (54-19-9) finished off a season that saw the team clinch its first Presidents' Trophy since 1989-90 and the team will open the playoffs hosting the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand scored and Chad Johnson turned away 28 shots for the Bruins, who lost five of their last seven games to close out the campaign.
Final Score: Carolina 6, Philadelphia 5 (SO)
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Staal scored twice in regulation and contributed the lone goal in the shootout, as Carolina claimed a 6-5 victory over Philadelphia in a spirited season finale for both clubs. Jeff Skinner also lit the lamp twice, Manny Malhotra added a score, with Mike Komisarek, Jiri Tlusty and Justin Faulk contributing two assists each for the Hurricanes (36-35-11), who ended their season with two wins after dropping three in a row. Anton Khudobin stopped 39 shots for the win. Wayne Simmonds picked up a pair of goals, for the Flyers (42-30-10), who rallied from a 4-1 deficit but slide into the postseason having dropped six of their last nine. Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Kimmo Timonen added a goal apiece in the loss. Cal Heeter endured a rough first NHL start, allowing five goals on 38 shots plus Staal's snapshot which ended the first round.
Final Score: Tampa Bay 1, Washington 0 (SO)
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - It took a little extra to do so, but the Tampa Bay Lightning will be beginning the playoffs at home. Anders Lindback stopped 18 shots through regulation and overtime, then turned back all three Washington skaters in the shootout to give the Lightning a 1-0 win that secured home-ice advantage for their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Matt Carle potted the lone goal during the deciding phase to help Tampa Bay (46-27-9) finish a point ahead of Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning and Canadiens will square off in the best-of-seven opening round. Washington (38-30-14), out of the playoffs for the first time since 2007, had a four-game win streak halted despite Braden Holtby's 32-save effort.
Final Score: NY Islanders 4, Buffalo 3 (SO)
Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brock Nelson scored the only goal of the shootout as the New York Islanders wrapped up the season with a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Nelson's wrister trickled past Connor Knapp in the second round, while Ville Leino tried to drag the puck back for a wrister, but it was punched away by Anders Nilsson for the win. Anders Lee scored twice and Nelson also lit the lamp for the Islanders (34-37-11), who closed the season with three straight wins. Nilsson made 36 stops. Jamie McBain, Torrey Mitchell and Matt Ellis scored for the Sabres (21-51-10), who lost their last seven games of the season to finish dead last in the NHL. Knapp stopped 22 shots in his first NHL start.
Final Score: Ottawa 3, Pittsburgh 2 (SO)
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza both scored in the shootout, as the Ottawa Senators concluded the regular season with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Turris added one of Ottawa's two power- play goals in regulation. Robin Lehner made 26 saves before stopping both Pittsburgh attempts in the tiebreaker. The Senators (37-31-14) won a season- high fifth straight game, but will miss the playoffs for the first time in three years. Jussi Jokinen and Lee Stempniak supplied the goals for the Penguins, while Jeff Zatkoff stopped 31 shots. Pittsburgh (51-24-7) rested captain Sidney Crosby, who will capture his second Art Ross Trophy after leading the league with 104 points. The Metropolitan Division champs will begin their first-round matchup against Columbus on Wednesday.
Final Score: Nashville 7, Minnesota 3
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Craig Smith scored two goals and the Nashville Predators beat the playoff-bound Minnesota Wild, 7-3, in the regular-season finale for both teams. Calle Jarnkrok had a goal and two assists for the Predators (38-32-12), who went 6-0-1 over their final seven games. Ryan Ellis, Shea Weber, Rich Clune and Roman Josi each scored a goal. Carter Hutton stopped 26-of-29 shots for Nashville, which missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists for Minnesota (43-27-12), which went 6-1-1 over its last eight games. Erik Haula and Zach Parise also lit the lamp. Ilya Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 21 shots before being pulled for John Curry, who made 10 saves in relief. The Wild clinched the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference and will open the playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche, who won the Central Division. Game 1 is set for Thursday.
Final Score: Anaheim 3, Colorado 2 (OT)
Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Bonino scored 1:33 into overtime to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche in the regular-season finale for both clubs. The Ducks, who already clinched the top seed in the Western Conference, erased a 2-0 deficit with third-period goals from Patrick Maroon and Saku Koivu 3:13 apart. Then, in the extra session, Devante Smith-Pelly gathered a rebound and fed Bonino, who flipped a shot over a sprawled Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Rookie John Gibson made 29 saves for Anaheim (54-20-8), which will begin its first-round series against Dallas on Wednesday. Despite the loss, the Avalanche, a year removed from finishing in the West basement, clinched the Central Division title when St. Louis lost 3-0 to Detroit earlier Sunday. It's the first division crown for Colorado since 2003. Giguere made 33 saves for the Avalanche (52-22-8), who will face Minnesota in an opening-round matchup that gets underway on Thursday.
Final Score: Vancouver 5, Calgary 1
Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks concluded a disappointing season with a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena. Daniel Sedin scored two first-period goals, but was taken off the ice on a stretcher after an awkward hit into the boards late in the second period. The Canucks said in a statement that "Daniel exhibited signs of movement to his extremities and showed improvement from initially being hit" by Calgary forward Paul Byron. Byron was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding at the 17:16 mark. Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves to pick up his first win with the Canucks (36-35-11), who are missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The lone bright spot for Calgary (35-40-7) was forward Johnny Gaudreau, the recently named Hobey Baker Award winner, scoring in his NHL debut. Karri Ramo allowed four goals on 20 shots before being removed in the second period.
Final Score: Phoenix 2, Dallas 1
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - David Moss scored in the third period to lift the Phoenix Coyotes over the playoff-bound Dallas Stars, 2-1, in the regular-season finale for both teams. Shane Doan also scored for the Coyotes (37-30-15), who snapped a seven-game skid. Thomas Greiss made 16 saves. Colton Sceviour scored the lone goal for the Stars (40-31-11), who saw Tim Thomas stop 29-of-31 shots. Dallas is back in the postseason for the first time since 2008 after securing the West's second wild-card spot. They will face the Pacific Division champion Ducks in the first round. Game 1 is set for Wednesday.