Capitals clinch playoff berth

Capitals clinch playoff berth

Vancouver Canucks’ defensemen Alex Edler (L) trips up Edmonton Oilers’ forward Connor McDavid (C) during their NHL game in Edmonton Saturday. — Reuters
Vancouver Canucks’ defensemen Alex Edler (L) trips up Edmonton Oilers’ forward Connor McDavid (C) during their NHL game in Edmonton Saturday. — Reuters

TAMPA, Florida — T.J Oshie had three goals and an assist while Justin Williams and John Carlson had early third-period goals as the Washington Capitals clinched a playoff spot by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 Saturday night.

Oshie scored twice, including an early power-play goal, as the Capitals took a 2-0 lead midway through the first. He completed the hat trick with an empty-netter during the final minute. Oshie has 10 goals and 19 points in 14 games against Tampa Bay.

Williams had a redirection goal 3:14 into the period before Carlson swatted a thigh-high puck home to make it 4-2 at 5:30.

Washington also got four assists from Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby stopped 26 shots.

Nikita Kucherov had two goals and Alex Killorn had the other goal for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 30 saves.

Oilers 2, Canucks 0: Vancouver Canucks came to Edmonton on a five-game losing streak and were 18 points behind the Oilers in the standings, but it didn’t seem to matter much when the puck dropped.
They gave the Oilers all they could handle and then some but still fell on Saturday at Rogers Place.

After Connor McDavid broke open a scoreless tie late in the second period, the Oilers couldn’t exhale until Mark Letestu scored on a power play with 4:38 left.

Cam Talbot, appearing in his 11th straight game, posted his sixth shutout of the season.

The win lifted Edmonton (38-24-9) out of the first wild-card spot and past the Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division playoff race.

Ducks 2, Sharks 1: The Anaheim Ducks appear determined to make it a race for the Pacific Division.

Anaheim moved to within four points of San Jose after completing a 3-0-2 series domination.

Backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier continued his stellar work with injured John Gibson on the sideline. He made 33 saves while his teammates provided just enough support.

Canadiens 4, Senators 3: Alexander Radulov’s shootout goal gave Montreal a 4-3 victory over Ottawa in a battle for first place at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday night.

The victory allowed Montreal to increase its lead to two points over Ottawa atop the Atlantic Division. Andrew Shaw, Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher scored for the Canadiens. Carey Price made 28 saves.

Derick Brassard, Ryan Dzingel and Erik Karlsson each had goals for the Senators. Craig Anderson, who missed the previous two games with a lower-body injury, stopped 29 shots.

Danault and Gallagher scored 31 seconds apart in the third period to give Montreal a 3-2 lead. Karlsson tied the game with 4:57 left in regulation, taking a low wrist shot from the point that avoided traffic and beat Price low on the glove side.

Blackhawks 2, Maple Leafs 1 (OT): Ryan Hartman scored at 4:43 of overtime to lift Chicago to its fourth straight victory.

John Hayden scored his first career NHL goal for the first-place Blackhawks, who increased their lead to five points over Minnesota in the Central Division. Corey Crawford stopped 25 shots for Chicago.

Auston Matthews scored for Toronto, which maintained its one-point lead for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Frederik Andersen made 37 saves and kept the Maple Leafs in the game during spells of the third period.

Rangers 3, Wild 2: Oscar Lindberg had a goal and an assist, and Antti Raanta made 25 saves as New York won for the seventh time in its last eight road games.

Other results: Blue Jackets 3, Islanders 2 (OT; Hurricanes 4, Predators 2; Blues 3, Coyotes 0; Red Wings 5, Avalanche 1. — Agencies