Maple Leafs clinch first playoff berth since 2004
James Reimer put in a monstrous effort with 49 saves and Toronto clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2004 with a win over Ottawa.
James van Riemsdyk scored twice, and Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul also had goals for the Leafs, who needed to earn a point and get a little help from the New York Islanders to make the playoffs.
New York briefly pulled into a tie with Toronto for fifth place in the East with a 5-4 shootout win over Winnipeg before the Leafs (55) moved back ahead by two points.
Jakob Silfverberg scored and Craig Anderson stopped 18 shots for the Senators, who trail the Islanders by a point.
CAPITALS 5, CANADIENS 1
Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin each scored twice as Washington beat Montreal.
Nicklas Backstrom also scored for the Capitals, who had an eight-game winning streak stopped in Ottawa on Thursday but rebounded with their 13th win in 16 games. They stretched their lead over second-place Winnipeg in the Southeast Division to three points with three games to play.
Ovechkin took a step toward a third Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer with his 29th and 30th of the season. He has 20 goals in his last 18 games.
Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal, which has lost five of its last seven but remains solidly in second place in the East.
ISLANDERS 5, JETS 4, SO
John Tavares scored the winning goal in a shootout to help surging New York put a sent in Winnipeg’s playoff drive.
Bryan Little tied the game for Winnipeg 4-4 with 2:01 left in regulation – seven seconds after Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was called for interference.
Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen, Josh Bailey and Matt Martin scored in regulation for the Islanders, who trail Toronto by two points for fifth place in the East.
Kyle Wellwood had two goals and Zach Bogosian also scored for the Jets, who have 49 points and are one back of the eighth-place Rangers.
DEVILS 6, PANTHERS 2
Patrik Elias scored twice and New Jersey kept its faint playoff hopes alive by rallying from a two-goal deficit for a win over Florida.
David Clarkson, whose big check seemed with wake up the Devils after they fell behind 2-0, tallied the go-ahead goal in a game where they welcomed back offensive catalyst Ilya Kovalchuk to the lineup after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury.
Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta and Dainius Zubrus also scored as New Jersey won its second in a row after a 10-game losing streak (0-6-4). The Devils would have been eliminated with a regulation loss.
Marcel Goc and Brian Campbell scored for the NHL-worst Panthers, who have lost five straight.
FLYERS 5, HURRICANES 3
Wayne Simmonds got his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead Philadelphia to a win over Carolina in a matchup of teams eliminated from playoff contention.
Jakub Voracek and Matt Read also scored for the Flyers, who won for the third time in four games. Steve Mason, playing his fifth game for the Flyers since being acquired from Columbus, made 26 saves.
Simmonds, playing in his 364th career game, also had his first four-point effort.
Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk and Eric Staal scored for the Hurricanes, who lost for the ninth time in their last 10 home games.
Both teams were playing for the first time since they were eliminated from playoff contention.