NHL - Boston Bruins win to clinch Atlantic Division title

The Boston Bruins enjoyed a key win, while the Avalanche claimed a play-off berth for the first time in four years.

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NHL - Boston Bruins win to clinch Atlantic Division title
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Boston Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla (12) celebrates with defenseman Andrej Meszaros (Reuters)

Bruins 4, Capitals 2

Jarome Iginla scored twice while backup goaltender Chad Johnson saved 31-of-33 shots to give the Boston Bruins a 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.

The win clinched the Atlantic Division title for Boston and moved them past the St Louis Blues in the race for the NHL's Presidents' Trophy with 108 points. St Louis have 107 points.

Centers Carl Soderberg and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins while left wingers Jason Chimera and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for Washington.

Iginla is tied for 24th on the NHL's all-time goals list with 560, one behind former Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano.

The Capitals' loss prevented them from gaining ground in the chase for the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference.

The Capitals are in a tight fight with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs for a wildcard. They all began Saturday's games on 80 points.

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Avalanche 3, Sharks 2

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped a season-high 47 shots as the Colorado Avalanche clinched a playoff berth for the first time in four years with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Center John Mitchell had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who moved into second in the Central Division with the victory though they suffered an injury scare with top scorer Matt Duchene hurting his left knee after he collided with teammate Jamie McGinn.

It was a tough blow for a team who have already lost two of their top six forwards for the regular season.

Center Paul Stastny and left winger Cody McLeod also scored for Colorado.

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Red Wings 4, Maple Leafs 2

Darren Helm scored a hat trick to help Detroit earn a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs and move the Red Wings (82) two points clear of Washington and Toronto for a wild-card spot.

Helm capitalized off Leafs defenseman Cody Franson's turnover to beat Jonathan Bernier at 8:38 of the third to complete the hat trick.

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Blue Jackets 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT)

Columbus center Ryan Johansen scored his 30th goal of the season with 2:20 left in overtime as the Blue Jackets secured a a crucial 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes to boost their playoff hopes.

Johansen scored the winner on Carolina's first penalty of the game when left winger Jiri Tlusty was penalised for closing his hand on the puck after a shot by Brandon Dubinsky hit the post and Carolina goalie Anton Khudobin was scrambling out of the net.

It took less than a minute with a man advantage to notch the game winner with Johansen's shot trickling off the pads of Khudobin.

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Lightning 4, Sabres 3 (OT)

Center Steven Stamkos scored his second goal of the game 1:53 into overtime on a power play to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Center Alex Killorn and right winger Ryan Callahan also scored for the Lightning.

Right winger Matt D'Agostini, center Cody Hodgson and right winger Cory Conacher scored for the Sabres.

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Canadiens 4, Panthers 1

The surging Montreal Canadiens beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 to move to 93 points and third behind the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens got solid goaltending from Carey Price, two goals from left winger Max Pacioretty and one from left winger Tomas Vanek in their victory over Florida, who have already been eliminated from the playoffs.

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Islanders 2, Devils 1 (SO)

Centers Frans Nielsen and Brock Nelson scored in the shootout as the New York Islanders once again played spoiler by edging the New Jersey Devils 2-1.

Nielsen was credited with the Islanders' goal in regulation when the Devils scored an "own goal" in the second period.

Despite the win, the Islanders are about to be eliminated from playoff contention for the sixth time in the last seven years.

The Devils, who began the game in 11th place in the East and four points out of eighth place, have missed the playoffs just four times in the last 25 seasons.

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Kings 4, Jets 2

Center Anze Kopitar scored two goals and goaltender Jonathan Quick made 24 saves as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-2.

Los Angeles (44-25-6) won its sixth straight and 14th in its last 17 games as it continues to gather momentum toward the playoffs.

After the Jets narrowed the score to 3-1 early in the third period, winger Tyler Toffoli added an insurance goal.

Winnipeg (33-33-9) lost for the fourth time in six games as its playoff chances further dwindled.

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Stars 4, Blues 2

Center Colton Sceviour scored two goals to lead the Dallas Stars to a 4-2 win over the St Louis Blues, an important victory in their battle for the second wild card spot in the playoffs.

The Stars inched closer to the Phoenix Coyotes in their pursuit of the final spot in the Western Conference after they built a 2-0 lead against the Blues on Sceviour's goals in each of the first two periods.

The loss snapped the Blues' three-game winning streak and left them one point behind Boston in the battle for the best record in the NHL.

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Wild 3, Coyotes 1

Left winger Zack Parise and defenseman Jared Spurgeon scored third-period goals in a 4:54 span and the Wild just may have saved their season with a huge 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

With the win, the Wild widened their lead over the Coyotes to three points for seventh place in the conference standings. They also earned a key tiebreaker over Phoenix by winning the season series, 2-1.

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Ducks 5, Canucks 1

The Anaheim Ducks jumped out to an early lead, scoring goals 71 seconds apart in the first period en route to dealing the Vancouver Canucks' playoff hopes another blow with a 5-1 victory.

Defenseman Luca Sbisa and left winger Matt Beleskey put the Ducks ahead 2-0 with just 8:47 gone in the game.

Center Saku Koivu and right winger Corey Perry both had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who won three of their last four games. (Compiled by Ben Everill; Editing by John O'Brien)

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