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UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Anthony Beauvillier scored twice and Semyon Varlamov stopped 28 shots for his league-leading seventh shutout of the season as the New York Islanders beat the rival Rangers 3-0 Saturday night to clinch a playoff spot for the third straight year.
Mathew Barzal added a breakaway goal and Josh Bailey had three assists to help the Islanders beat the Rangers for the sixth time in eight meetings this season, including the last three by a combined 13-1 margin.
The 33-year-old Varlamov, who had three shutouts against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, added another as the Islanders dominated from start to finish.
Alexandar Georgiev finished with 22 saves for the Rangers.
BRUINS 6, SABRES 2
BOSTON (AP) — Craig Smith scored three goals to help Boston win for the ninth time in 11 games.
The Bruins remained in fourth place in the East Division, a point behind the third-place Islanders, who beat the Rangers 3-0. The Bruins’ next point will clinch a playoff berth. They also will earn a spot if the fifth-place Rangers don’t win all of their final four games.
Nick Ritchie added a goal and an assist, and Sean Kuraly and Patrice Bergeron also had a goal for Boston. Rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman made 17 saves in his eighth start, and David Krejci had three assists — all on Smith’s goals.
Arttu Ruotsalainen scored, and Riley Sheahan added a short-handed goal for Buffalo, which has lost six of seven. Buffalo rookie goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, making his third straight start, had 26 saves before leaving with an injury after two periods. Dustin Tokarski played the third.
DEVILS 4, FLYERS 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 30 shots as New Jersey got its third straight win.
Jesper Bratt, Janne Kuokkanen, Nico Hischier and Yegor Sharangovich all scored for the Devils, who had lost 10 straight games before this recent stretch during a four game series against the Flyers.
Brian Elliott had 17 saves for Philadelphia, which has lost 10 of its last 15 games and has been eliminated from the East Division playoff contention. Joel Farabee scored Philadelphia’s only goal in the waning moments of the third period.
HURRICANES 2, BLUE JACKETS 1, OT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Dougie Hamilton scored on a breakaway 4:07 into overtime to lift Carolina past Columbus.
Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic picked up the assist on the winning play as the Central Division-leading Hurricanes extended their points streak to 10 games.
Teuvo Teravainen scored earlier for the Hurricanes. Nedeljkovic, who has played in five of Carolina’s last seven games, made 31 saves to improve his record to 14-4-3.
Max Domi scored three minutes into the game for the last-place Blue Jackets. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 32 shots,
WILD 4, BLUES 3, OT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Kevin Fiala scored 2:16 into overtime and Minnesota rallied to beat St. Louis.
Nico Strum and Jonas Brodin scored late in the third period to force overtime for Minnesota, which won for the first time in three games. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist.
Jordan Kyrou, Sammy Blais and David Perron scored and Binnington made 34 saves as the Blues lost for the first time in five games.
In the extra period, Fiala carried into the St. Louis zone, passed to Zuccarello, quickly got it back and beat Jordan Binnington.
AVALANCHE 4, SHARKS 3
DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon bounced back from a rare scoreless night with a goal and an assist to lead Colorado.
Mikko Rantanen scored his 28th of the season and added an assist for Colorado. Andre Burakovsky and Patrik Nemeth also scored, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 22 shots against his former team.
Alexander Barbanov and Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist each, Logan Couture also scored and rookie goaltender Josef Korenar had 39 saves for the Sharks. San Jose fell further behind in the chase for the last playoff spot in the West Division.
PANTHERS 5, BLACKHAWKS 4
CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Duclair had two goals and an assist and Florida won its third straight.
Aleksander Barkov scored his team-leading 25th goal and had an assist. Nikita Gusev and Owen Tippett also scored as Florida improved to 8-2-1 in its last 11 and remained two points behind first-place Carolina in the Central Division.
Barkov, Duclair and Tippett connected in a 1:06 span late in the second and early in the third period to put the Panthers back ahead after Chicago had tied it at 2.
Chicago’s Connor Murphy and Alex DeBrincat scored 52 seconds apart late in the third. Kirby Dach scored a power-play goal midway through the third and Dominik Kubalik connected with 18 seconds left as the Blackhawks pressed with goalie Kevin Lankinen on the bench an extra attacker. But Chicago lost its fourth straight (0-3-1) and slid to the brink of elimination from the Central Division playoff chase.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves. Lankinen stopped 37 shots.
PREDATORS 1, STARS 0, OT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Erik Haula scored at 3:32 of overtime to give the Nashville its third win in four games.
Juuse Saros made 28 saves in his third shutout of the season and 14th of his career for the Predators.
Anton Khudobin made 33 saves for Dallas, which has lost three in a row.
In overtime, Mattias Ekholm carried the puck into the Dallas zone on the left side. He skated around the net and threw the puck in front, where Haula was there to poke it by Khudobin,
PENGUINS 3, CAPITALS 0
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryan Rust scored two unassisted goals, Tristan Jarry made 23 saves and Pittsburgh regained first place in the East Division.
Trade deadline pickup Jeff Carter also scored his fourth goal in 10 games in a Penguins uniform. Rust’s goals were the 99th and 100th of his NHL career, and Jarry registered his second shutout of the season.
Ilya Samsonov had 23 saves for Washington, which was without captain and leading goal-scorer Alex Ovechkin and top defenceman John Carlson because of lower-body injuries.
The Penguins remained without forward Evgeni Malkin and Brandon Tanev with injuries that have kept them out for several weeks.
RED WINGS 1, LIGHTNING 0, SO
DETROIT (AP) — Sam Gagner scored to end an eight-round shootout and Thomas Greiss stopped 33 shots, lifting Detroit past Tampa Bay.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning were in control all afternoon, but it didn’t show up on the scoreboard in regulation or overtime.
In the shootout, both teams scored with their first two shooters before four in a row were denied. Greiss stopped just enough shots in the shootout to help his rebuilding and banged-up team beat one of the best in the league.
Tampa Bay’s Curtis McElhinney made 15 saves over three periods and overtime.
The Associated Press