May 27th, 2024

NHL roundup: Capitals blank Bruins 2-0 to keep playoff hopes alive

By The Associated Press on April 15, 2024.

Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) and Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd battle for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

John Carlson scored another big goal, Charlie Lindgren stopped all 16 shots he faced, and the Washington Capitals moved another step closer to the playoffs by beating the Boston Bruins 2-0 on Monday night.

Nic Dowd sealed it with an empty-netter with 11.7 seconds left, and now a win at Philadelphia on Tuesday night would put Washington back in the playoffs, regardless of other results around the NHL.

The Capitals, if they make it, would be the second wild card in the Eastern Conference after the New York Islanders clinched third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Boston also still has something to play for in its regular-season finale Tuesday night at home against Ottawa: the Atlantic Division title, with Florida just one point back in the standings. The Bruins could have wrapped it up by beating the Caps, but couldn’t match the urgency of an opponent fighting for its playoff life.

No one exemplified that more for Washington than Dylan Strome, who won a faceoff, controlled the puck and set up Carlson’s goal on a blast from the point 12 minutes in. Strome is desperate for his first NHL playoff experience with fans in the stands, outside a pandemic bubble.

Jeremy Swayman was great in goal for Boston, making 23 saves, including a sliding stop on All-Star Tom Wilson in the second period and one on Alex Ovechkin during a penalty kill in the third.

Elsewhere in the NHL on Monday:

ISLANDERS 4 DEVILS 1

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Kyle Palmieri and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist and the Patrick Roy-led New York Islanders clinched one of the two remaining playoff berths in the Eastern Conference with a victory over New Jersey.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle MacLean also scored as the Islanders secured third place in the Metropolitan Division and earned their fifth post-season berth in six seasons. Semyon Varamov made 23 saves for his fifth straight win and helped New York extend its point streak to eight games (7-0-1).

Timo Meier scored for the Devils, who missed the playoffs a year after posting a franchise-record 112 points. Jake Allen had 14 saves in New Jersey’s final game of the season.

SABRES 4 LIGHTNING 2

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Dylan Cozens scored twice and Buffalo concluded another disappointing season with a win over the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Lightning.

Jordan Greenway and Zach Benson also scored for the Sabres, who will miss the playoffs for an NHL-record 13th consecutive season.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos reached the 40-goal mark for the seventh time in his NHL career, Erik Cernak scored midway through the third period and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for Tampa Bay, which is assured of finishing as the first wild card in the Eastern Conference.

PENGUINS 4 PREDATORS 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sidney Crosby scored his 42nd goal and added an assist as Pittsburgh preserved their playoff hopes with a win over Nashville.

Erik Karlsson also had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, and Reilly Smith and Emil Bemstrom also scored. Alex Nedeljkovic made 28 saves while making his 12th straight start for Pittsburgh, which remains one point behind Washington and Detroit for the Eastern Conference’s second wild card.

Filip Forsberg scored his franchise-record 48th goal and Gustav Nyquist added his 23rd but playoff-bound Nashville let a chance to lock up the Western Conference’s top wild card get away. Juuse Saros stopped 34 shots but the Predators finished just shy of the seventh 100-point season in the franchise’s 25 seasons.

RED WINGS 5 CANADIENS 4 (OT)

DETROIT (AP) – Lucas Raymond scored 4:35 into overtime after he tallied a game-tying goal with 1:17 left in regulation, lifting Detroit to a comeback win over Montreal.

Detroit drew iron on two shots in overtime before Raymond’s shot from the right circle got past Sam Montembeault.

Brendan Gallagher scored two goals and Montembeault stopped 30 shots for the Canadiens, who scored two early goals and were ahead 4-1 late in the second period.

RANGERS 4 SENATORS 0

NEW YORK (AP) – Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and the New York Rangers beat Ottawa on Monday night to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s best regular-season record.

Jack Roslovic, Adam Fox and Alexis Lafreniere also scored and Chris Kreider had two assists as the Rangers won their league-best 55th game and finished with 114 points – both franchise records – and will have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

New York won for the fifth time in seven games and went 26-7-1 in their last 34 games. They previously won the Presidents’ Trophy in 1991-92, 1993-94 – when they won the Stanley Cup for only time since 1940 – and 2014-15.

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