National Hockey League

 
                ***** National Hockey League Game Capsules *****
                              (Thursday, March 26)
 
                     Final Score: Carolina 5, Pittsburgh 2
 
 Raleigh,  NC (SportsNetwork.com)  - Eric Staal had one goal and two assists in
 the Carolina Hurricanes' 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.
 Ryan  Murphy, Jay McClement, Alexander Semin and Andrej Nestrasil also lit the
 lamp  for the  Hurricanes, who improved to 1-1-1 on their five-game homestand.
 Cam  Ward  made 27  saves in his  first start  since March 14  due to the flu.
 Brandon  Sutter  and Ian  Cole scored for  the Penguins, who  sit third in the
 Metropolitan Division. Marc-Andre Fleury gave up all five goals on 28 shots.
 
 
                  Final Score: Washington 3, New Jersey 2 (OT)
 
 Washington,  DC (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Matt Niskanen  scored  just 1:13  into
 overtime  to  lift the  Washington Capitals to  a 3-2 win  over the New Jersey
 Devils  on  Thursday. Karl Alzner  and Niskanen each  finished with a goal and
 an  assist, Eric  Fehr also  lit  the lamp  and  Braden Holtby  made 29  saves
 for  the  Capitals, who  rebounded  from  a 3-0  loss  to  Winnipeg for  their
 fourth win in their last five games. Steve  Bernier tied the  game late as the
 Devils  came away  with  a point,  while  Travis Zajac  also  scored and  Cory
 Schneider made 21 stops in the team's third straight loss.
 
 
                   Final Score: Los Angeles 3, NY Islanders 2
 
 Uniondale,  NY  (SportsNetwork.com) - Anze  Kopitar's goal with 4:23 remaining
 kept  the Los  Angeles Kings perfect on  an important road trip and lifted the
 defending  Stanley Cup  champs  to a  3-2  win over  the  New York  Islanders.
 Kopitar's  tie-breaking tally helped the Kings record victories over all three
 New  York  metro  area  teams  to open  their  current  five-game  trek.  More
 importantly,  Thursday's result  moved the club one point ahead of Calgary and
 into  third  place in the  Pacific Division.  Tyler Toffoli had a short-handed
 goal  for  Los Angeles earlier  in the third  period, before New York's Johnny
 Boychuk  quickly  tied it at  2-2 on the same  power play. Nick Shore recorded
 the  Kings'  other score  -- his first  career NHL goal  -- and Jonathan Quick
 finished with  25 saves for Los Angeles, now 8-2-2 in its last 12 outings. The
 Islanders,  on  the  other  hand,  have  now  dropped  six  of  seven  despite
 getting  34 saves  out of Jaroslav Halak on Thursday. Frans Nielsen registered
 New York's initial goal.
 
 
                     Final Score: Arizona 4, Buffalo 3 (OT)
 
 Buffalo,  NY (SportsNetwork.com)  - Sam Gagner scored 56 seconds into overtime
 to  lift the Arizona  Coyotes to a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday
 night  in  a game  between the  NHL's two worst  teams. With Sabres defenseman
 Mike  Weber  off on  a  tripping  penalty he  took  with  30 seconds  left  in
 regulation,  the Coyotes  wasted little time winning the game on Gagner's slap
 shot  from the  left circle, which beat Buffalo goaltender Matt Hackett to the
 short  side.  It came after Brian  Gionta's power-play goal tied the score for
 Buffalo  with  3:37 remaining  in  regulation.  Jordan Szwarz,  Oliver  Ekman-
 Larsson  and David  Moss also scored and  Mike Smith had 32 saves for Arizona,
 the  Western  Conference's last-place  team. The Coyotes  got their second win
 in a  row for the first time in more than a month  and won  for only the third
 time in their last 21 games (3-17-1). They have  54 points, six  more than the
 NHL-worst Sabres, who dwell in the Eastern Conference basement.
 
 
                     Final Score: Anaheim 3, Boston 2 (OT)
 
 Boston,  MA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Ryan Getzlaf  helped tie  the game late in
 regulation  and scored  the game-winning goal in overtime as the Anaheim Ducks
 rallied  to beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Thursday night. Getzlaf fired a shot
 from  above the right circle that was tipped in front by Corey Perry with 38.5
 seconds  remaining in regulation. After the Ducks failed to convert on a power
 play in overtime, Getzlaf carried the puck across the Boston blueline and beat
 Tuukka  Rask with a  wrist shot from the high slot. Patrick Maroon also scored
 for Anaheim, which had given up 12 goals in losses to the New York Rangers and
 Columbus to begin its five-game road trip. Frederik Andersen stopped 27 Boston
 shots.  Ryan Spooner  and Loui Eriksson supplied the goals for the Bruins, who
 have dropped six straight games (0-3-3). Rask made 29 saves in defeat.
 
 
                     Final Score: Nashville 3, Tampa Bay 2
 
 Tampa,  FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Santorelli's goal early in the second
 period  proved  to be the game-winner  in the Nashville Predators' 3-2 victory
 over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. Mike  Ribeiro and  Paul Gaustad also
 lit  the lamp for the Predators, who have won three in a row and now lead idle
 St.  Louis by  one point for first  place in the Central Division. Pekka Rinne
 made  28  saves for  his  40th  win.  Vladislav  Namestnikov and  Brian  Boyle
 scored  for  the Lightning,  who had  a four-game  winning streak snapped. Ben
 Bishop  gave up  three  goals on  11  shots before  being  replaced by  Andrei
 Vasilevskiy,  who made  eight  saves.  Tampa Bay,  which  sits  second in  the
 Atlantic  Division,  failed to clinch  a playoff  spot. The Lightning needed a
 win  of any  kind  combined with  a  loss of  any kind  by  the Boston  Bruins
 against  the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks beat the Bruins in overtime.
 
 
                       Final Score: San Jose 6, Detroit 4
 
 Detroit,  MI  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Patrick Marleau tallied  two goals and an
 assist to power the San Jose Sharks to a 6-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings on
 Thursday.  Logan  Couture and  Chris Tierney  each finished with  a goal and a
 helper, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Matt Nieto also scored and Antti Niemi made 30
 saves  for  the Sharks, who  ended a two-game  skid. Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco,
 Henrik  Zetterberg and  Stephen Weiss all lit  the lamp for the Red Wings, who
 have  dropped four of  their last five games, but still sits in the third spot
 in  the Atlantic  Division  with 90  points and  nine  games remaining.  Jimmy
 Howard  allowed  three goals  on just  10 shuts  in the  first period and Petr
 Mrazek stopped 17-of-19 shots in relief.
 
 
                      Final Score: NY Rangers 5, Ottawa 1
 
 Ottawa,  ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The clock finally struck midnight for Andrew
 Hammond. The  New York  Rangers  scored  five times  on  the  Ottawa Senators'
 red-hot  goaltender in  just  two periods  of  play  en route  to  a 5-1  rout
 that  gave  Hammond his first regulation  loss in the rookie's 16th career NHL
 start.   Thursday's  result,   combined   with  Boston's   overtime  loss   to
 Anaheim,  also clinched  a playoff berth for the Metropolitan Division-leading
 Rangers.  Ottawa  had  vaulted  itself  into  postseason  contention  as  well
 due  to the  surprisingly  stellar  play of  Hammond,  who entered  Thursday's
 showdown  having gone  a sensational  14-0-1  with a  1.58 GAA  in 15  outings
 filling  in  for the  injured duo of  Craig Anderson and  Robin Lehner. He was
 burned for five  goals on 22 shots,  however, before being removed in favor of
 Chris  Driedger late  in the  second period.  Chris Kreider  led the  Rangers'
 barrage  with two  goals and  an assist.  Mats Zuccarello  and Dan  Boyle each
 scored  once and  assisted  on another,  while Derek  Stepan  and Kevin  Hayes
 notched  a  pair of helpers for  New York. Cam Talbot stopped 23-of-24 chances
 for the  Rangers, yielding  only Curtis Lazar's first-period score.
 
 
                       Final Score: Florida 4, Toronto 1
 
 Toronto,  ON (SportsNetwork.com)  - Brandon Pirri continued his torrid scoring
 pace  with two  goals, Roberto  Luongo  moved closer  to a  milestone and  the
 Florida  Panthers  boosted their playoff hopes  with a 4-1 win over the woeful
 Toronto  Maple Leafs.  Jonathan Huberdeau and Steven Kampfer scored 30 seconds
 apart  in the second period for the Panthers, who have won three of their last
 four  games  and climbed  to within  three points  of the Eastern Conference's
 second  wild-card spot.  Luongo made  24  saves to  earn career  win No.  399.
 Jonathan  Bernier started  in net  for Toronto  but was  pulled in  the second
 period  after surrendering three goals on 16 shots. James Reimer made 11 saves
 in  relief. The  first career  NHL goal  by Sam  Carrick was  all the  offense
 mustered by the Maple Leafs in their seventh straight loss.
 
 
                      Final Score: Winnipeg 5, Montreal 2
 
 Winnipeg,  MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Ondrej Pavelec made 39 saves for his sixth
 consecutive win and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 Thursday
 night. Dustin  Byfuglien returned  after missing nine games with an upper-body
 injury  and  scored Winnipeg's  first goal. Mark  Scheifele, Jim Slater, Blake
 Wheeler  and Adam Lowry  also lit the lamp for the Jets, who bounced back from
 Tuesday's  loss  in Vancouver to  pick up their sixth  win in seven games. The
 Jets,  in  good position  for one  of the  final playoff  spots in the Western
 Conference,  reached  90 points for the  first time since finishing with 97 as
 the  Atlanta  Thrashers in  the 2006-07  season. The Atlantic Division-leading
 Canadiens could  have clinched a playoff berth with  a win after  Anaheim beat
 Boston  on  Thursday  night. They  lost  their  grip  on  first place  in  the
 Eastern Conference to the  New York Rangers, who beat Ottawa to move one point
 ahead.  Andrei  Markov and  Brendan Gallagher scored  but Dustin Tokarski gave
 up  five goals  on just  22  shots for  the  Canadiens, who  have dropped  two
 in a row, including an overtime loss in Nashville on Tuesday. They had a four-
 game point streak snapped.
 
 
                      Final Score: Colorado 4, Vancouver 1
 
 Vancouver,  BC  (SportsNetwork.com) - Gabriel  Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each
 had  a  goal and  an assist  as the  Colorado Avalanche  kept alive their slim
 playoff  hopes  with a 4-1  victory over  the Vancouver Canucks. Jarome Iginla
 and  John Mitchell  also  scored for  Colorado, which  trails  Los Angeles  by
 eight  points  for  the  final  wild  card  spot  in  the  Western  Conference
 with  eight  remaining. Reto Berra  stopped 33 shots  in the win. Yanick Weber
 tallied  Vancouver's lone goal, with Eddie Lack making 34 saves in defeat. The
 Canucks had their three-game winning streak halted.
 
 
 
 
 
 03/27 00:40:14 ET

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