Zdeno Chara had a goal and an assist, and Martin Prusek made 39 saves to lead the surging Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 victory over the Flyers last night in Philadelphia.
Despite a number of big hits, the much-anticipated game was less combative than the previous meeting. In the Flyers' victory March 5, the teams combined to set an NHL record with 419 penalty minutes. The rematch produced only six minor penalties, totaling 12 minutes.
Antoine Vermette and Peter Bondra also scored for the Senators, 4-0-1 in their last five. Ottawa pulled into a tie with the Bruins for the Northeast Division lead and the second spot in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa holds the tiebreaker with three more victories, but the Bruins have two games left to the Senators' one.
Islanders 6, Hurricanes 4 -- At Raleigh, N.C., Mariusz Czerkawski and Adrian Aucoin each scored twice, helping New York clinch its third straight playoff appearance.
New York secured the final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference, eliminating Buffalo from the race. The Islanders are only 1 point behind Montreal for seventh place.
The Islanders qualified for the playoffs in three straight years for the first time since a 14-year run from 1975-88. They were helped when Carolina had a goal waved off that would've tied it at 2.
New York quickly responded with four straight goals to take a 6-1 lead into the third period.
Maple Leafs 2, Sabres 0 -- Ed Belfour stopped 17 shots to record his 74th career shutout and visiting Toronto set the team record for points in a season (101). Chad Kilger scored 5:46 into the third period and Joe Nieuwendyk had an empty-net goal, keeping Toronto's chances alive to win the Northeast Division.
Penguins 3, Thrashers 2 -- Kelly Buchberger scored his first goal of the season and visiting Pittsburgh beat Atlanta in the Thrashers' final home game.
The Thrashers tried all night to set up Ilya Kovalchuk and were finally successful with 5.6 seconds left when he scored his 40th goal of the season, tying Columbus's Rick Nash and Calgary's Jarome Iginla for the NHL lead.
Wild 4, Stars 2 -- At St. Paul, Rickard Wallin scored a pair of goals and Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez stopped 32 shots to beat his former team for the first time in four tries this season.
Ron DiMaio scored twice in the second period for the Dallas, which has 95 points and is in fifth place in the Western Conference.
Avalanche 4, Blue Jackets 2 -- Marek Svatos scored his first two NHL goals and Joe Sakic added his 33d of the year to lead visiting Colorado. Canucks 4, Sharks 1 -- Matt Cooke scored the go-ahead goal and visiting Vancouver remained in first place in the Northwest Division.
Flames 3, Kings 2 -- Matthew Lombardi scored the tying and go-ahead goals and Martin Gelinas had a goal and an assist as Calgary sent host Los Angeles to a franchise record-tying 10th straight loss.