Sports

James Reimer (49 saves) leads Toronto Maple Leafs back into playoffs for first time in nine years

Toronto Maple Leafs' Joffrey Lupul (19) celebrates his goal with teammates Dion Phaneuf (3) and Tyler Bozak (42) against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)
Maple Leafs teammates celebrated a third-period goal on Saturday. (AP)Credit: AP

James Reimer put in a monstrous effort with 49 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2004 with a 4-1 win over the Senators on Saturday in Ottawa.

James van Riemsdyk scored twice, and Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul also had goals for the Maple Leafs.

Phil Kessel had two assists, giving him six goals and eight assists over his last eight games.

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Jakob Silfverberg scored and Craig Anderson stopped 18 shots for the Senators.

Reimer continued to dominate the Senators, improving his overall record against Ottawa to 8-1-1. He’s 6-0 at Scotiabank Place.

‘‘It’s unbelievable,’’ the goalie said with a huge grin. ‘‘That’s the hockey where you want to play always as a kid growing up. It’s playoff hockey. Especially for our city, it’s been a little while so I know they’re anxious for [the playoffs], they’re ready.”

With Ottawa dominating on the shot count but trailing, 2-1, Kadri gave the Maple Leafs a two-goal lead with a shot at 14:11 of the third that Anderson should have stopped.

Lupul put the game away with a breakaway goal with less than two minutes to go.

Capitals 5, Canadiens 1 — Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin each scored twice to lead visiting Washington past sagging Montreal.

Nicklas Backstrom also scored for the Capitals, who had an eight-game winning streak stopped in Ottawa Thursday but rebounded with their 13th win in 16 games.

Ovechkin took a step toward a third Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer with his 29th and 30th of the season. He has 20 goals in his last 18 games.

Max Pacioretty spoiled Braden Holtby’s shutout bid for the Capitals when he banged in Tomas Plekanec’s pass from behind the net with 5:09 left to play.

Devils 6, Panthers 2 — Patrik Elias scored twice and David Clarkson had the go-ahead goal and an assist as host New Jersey rallied from a two-goal deficit for a victory.

The defending Eastern Conference champions now need to win their final four game in this lockout-shortened season to have any chance of getting back to the postseason. They face the Rangers on Sunday in New York.

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur only faced 13 shots, including six over the final 40 minutes.

Marcel Goc and Brian Campbell scored for the NHL-worst Panthers, who have lost five straight.

Islanders 5, Jets 4 — New York’s John Tavares scored the winning goal in a shootout to put a dent in host Winnipeg’s playoff drive.

Bryan Little tied the game for Winnipeg at 17:59 of the third period, just seven seconds after Isles defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was called for interference. A rebound sent the puck at Little’s left skate and he kicked it over to his stick before beating Evgeni Nabokov.

Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2 — Mikkel Boedker and David Schlemko scored shootout goals to lift Phoenix to a victory in Chicago, preserving the Coyotes’ fading playoff hopes.

Despite the loss, league-leading Chicago has points in 11 straight games (9-0-2).

Canucks 2, Red Wings 1 — Maxim Lapierre scored in the shootout while Cory Schneider (33 saves) denied all three attempts by Detroit, and host Vancouver clinched a playoff berth for the fifth straight year.

Flyers 5, Hurricanes 3 — Wayne Simmonds got his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead visiting Philadelphia over Carolina in a matchup of teams recently eliminated from playoff contention.

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