NHL Roundup: Rangers, Maple Leafs clinch playoffs spots, Capitals rout Penguins, and more

nhl roundup rangers clinch
Apr 9, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) and New York Rangers right wing Ryan Reaves (75) chest bump after the game against Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Roundup for Saturday, April 9, 2022 features recaps for all 12 games on a docket filled with clinches, and playoff implications.

The action started with the Washington Capitals doubling up the Pittsburgh Penguins as they make a move to take third in the Metro division. Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights moved back into a wild card in the West with a win and a Dallas Stars win.

Two teams clinched playoff spots in the East as the Toronto Maple Leafs let by Auston Matthews took down the Montreal Canadiens. And the New York Rangers for the first time since the 2016-17 camping are back in postseason action.

Rangers 5, Senators 1

Chris Kreider scored twice Saturday for the host New York Rangers, who clinched a playoff berth and moved into a tie for first place in the Metropolitan Division by producing the final five goals in a 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

The Rangers (47-20-6, 100 points) will be appearing in the main playoff bracket for the first time since the spring of 2017. New York fell to the Carolina Hurricanes in a qualifying round in the summer of 2020, when the playoffs were expanded to 24 teams after the COVID-19 pandemic ended the regular season in March.

Artemi Panarin, Andrew Copp and Ryan Strome also scored for the Rangers, and Igor Shesterkin stopped 21 shots.

“The last few years haven’t been as much fun,” Strome said. “It’s just a good feeling. We’ve come a long way as a group.”

Austin Watson scored in the first period for the Senators. Anton Forsberg recorded 28 saves.

“From start to finish it was an excellent game, I liked everything about it,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get in the playoffs, but it was nice we came to the rink wanting to win and get in the playoffs. That’s what we did.”

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Avalanche 2, Oilers 1 (SO)

Nathan MacKinnon scored the shootout winner and Darcy Kuemper made 49 saves to lead visiting Colorado past Edmonton for its sixth consecutive win. MacKinnon also scored in regulation for the league-leading Avalanche.

Kuemper 11 saves in overtime, eight of them during a frantic Edmonton power play. He also denied all three Oilers he faced in the shootout: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. MacKinnon also scored in regulation.

Warren Foegele was the goal-scorer for the Oilers, who had their six-game winning streak — and nine-game home winning streak — snapped. Mikko Koskinen stopped 33 shots.

Panthers 4, Predators 1

Anton Lundell scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Spencer Knight made 24 saves as Florida won its seventh consecutive game, defeating host Nashville.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored an empty-net goal with 67 seconds left to ice the game and extend his points streak to 11 games. Florida got another empty-netter from Gustav Forsling with 50 seconds left. The Atlantic Division-leading Panthers also got a goal from Carter Verhaeghe.

Nashville got a goal from Ryan Johansen plus 21 saves from Juuse Saros. The Predators have won four of their past six games as they battle for a playoff spot.

Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 2

nhl roundup maple leafs clinch
Apr 9, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares (91) celebrates after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matthews scored twice for the Maple Leafs in a 3-2 win against the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, allowing Toronto to clinch a postseason berth.

“It’s a great accomplishment for our team and with 10 games left, it’s a sign you’ve had an excellent regular season,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We’ve been preparing and acting, feeling as though we’re a playoff team for a long period of time now but certainly to have that official speaks to the process and the work that the guys have put in to this point.”

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Matthews has 21 goals and 29 points in a 16-game point streak, and his franchise single-season-record goal total is up to 58.

John Tavares also scored and Erik Kallgren made 24 saves for the Maple Leafs, who are 7-0-1 in their past eight games.

Joel Edmundson and Cole Caufield scored for the Canadiens. Jake Allen saved 14 of 15 shots before leaving the game in the first period with a lower-body injury sustained on Matthews’ first goal. Sam Montembeault made 23 saves in relief.

Flames 4, Kraken 1

Noah Hanifin had four assists as Calgary defeated host Seattle in a matchup of the Pacific Division’s first- and last-place teams.

Blake Coleman, Trevor Lewis, Michael Stone and Tyler Toffoli scored for the Flames, who completed a four-game sweep on their West Coast trip. Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves for his 34th victory of the season, tied for third in the league.

Karson Kuhlman scored for the expansion Kraken, and Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 of 28 shots.

Golden Knights 6, Coyotes 1

Brayden McNabb had a goal and two assists and Robin Lehner made 29 saves as Vegas cruised to a victory over Arizona in Las Vegas.

It was the first three-point of McNabb’s career. Evgenii Dadonov had a goal and an assist and Max Pacioretty, Zach Whitecloud, Jake Leschyshyn and Jack Eichel also scored goals for Vegas, which moved into a tie with Dallas for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Barrett Hayton scored for Arizona, which lost its third straight and fell for the 10th time in the past 12 games. Karel Vejmelka finished with 33 saves.

Devils 3, Stars 1

Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha scored 10 seconds apart in the final 1:11 as New Jersey stunned Dallas and delivered a blow to the host’s playoff hopes.

Ty Smith scored 4:26 into the final period for the Devils, who snapped a nine-game road losing streak dating back to Feb. 25. New Jersey goalie Nico Daws made 27 saves.

Ryan Suter scored in the second period for the Stars, who got 20 saves from Jake Oettinger.

Capitals 6, Penguins 3

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Apr 6, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with teammates after the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Wilson scored a third-period tiebreaking goal to give visiting Washington a win over slumping Pittsburgh.

“On the road, often you have to come together as a group to get it done,” Wilson said. “You’re out on the road and playing in a loud building. That felt like a playoff atmosphere.”

Marcus Johansson, Dmitry Orlov and Alex Ovechkin also scored for the Capitals, and Evgeny Kuznetsov and Martin Fehervary added empty-netters.
Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves for the win.

Bryan Rust, Jeff Carter and Brian Boyle scored for the Penguins, who have lost four straight games. Tristan Jarry made 39 saves.

Blue Jackets 5, Red Wings 4 (OT)

Jack Roslovic had three goals and an assist, completing his hat trick in overtime to lead Columbus to a win at Detroit.

Cole Sillinger and Justin Danforth also scored for the Blue Jackets, who won for just the second time in 10 games. Zach Werenski had three assists, Gustav Nyqvist added two helpers and Elvis Merzlikins made 34 saves for the win.

Jakub Vrana scored twice for Detroit, and Dylan Larkin and Sam Gagner added goals. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 28 shots.

Canucks 4, Sharks 2

Alex Chiasson scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and host Vancouver won its third game in a row, beating struggling San Jose.

Jason Dickinson and Conor Garland also scored, Luke Schenn added a late empty-netter and Thatcher Demko made 35 saves for the Canucks.

Tomas Hertl and Nick Bonino each had a goal for San Jose, which is mired in an 0-5-1 slide. Kaapo Kahkonen made 35 saves in the loss.

Ducks 5, Flyers 3

Trevor Zegras scored two goals and Derek Grant added a goal and an assist for visiting Anaheim in a win over Philadelphia.

Sonny Milano and Zach Aston-Reese also scored and Anthony Stolarz made 30 saves for the Ducks, who had lost 13 of their previous 14 games. Jamie Drysdale and Andrej Sustr contributed two assists apiece.

Travis Sanheim, Ronnie Attard and Ivan Provorov scored and Martin Jones made 29 saves for the Flyers, who had won two of their previous three.

Blues 6, Islanders 1

Justin Faulk thrilled the home crowd by scoring two goals in as many minutes as St. Louis defeated New York.

Nick Leddy, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev and Robert Thomas scored a goal apiece, while Thomas, Tarasenko and Jordan Kyrou collected two assists each. Faulk also had an assist. Jordan Binnington blocked 30 shots as the Blues earned their fifth victory in a row.

Grant Hutton scored and Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves for the Islanders, who lost for the second time in three games.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report