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NHL roundup

Boucher blanks Leafs

Flyers pass Bruins for 7th spot in Eastern Conference

Associated Press / April 7, 2010

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Brian Boucher made 23 saves to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-0 victory over the Maple Leafs last night in Toronto.

Claude Giroux scored on a first-period power play and Mike Richards scored an empty-net goal for Philadelphia (40-34-6), which passed the Bruins and moved into seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 86 points.

Giroux gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 10:59 of the first period, just six seconds after Mikhail Grabovski had been sent off for roughing. The 22-year-old took a nice pass from Danny Briere and beat J.S. Giguere for his 16th goal of the season.

Toronto had several opportunities to tie it, but was undone by its power play once again. The Leafs squandered six opportunities with a man advantage to run their power-play drought to 30 without a goal.

Islanders 4, Canadiens 3 — Frans Nielsen scored the tying goal with 2:01 left in regulation and added another in the shootout as host New York beat Montreal to prevent the Canadiens from clinching a playoff spot.

The Canadiens were moments away from securing their third straight trip to the postseason when Nielsen wrecked their plans. He and Matt Moulson scored on New York’s only two attempts in the shootout to give the also-ran Islanders their fifth win in six games.

Martin Biron made 28 saves, then stopped Maxim Lapierre on Montreal’s first shootout attempt. The win was sealed when Tomas Plekanec hit the post on the final try.

Capitals 6, Penguins 3 — Alex Ovechkin scored twice to tie Sidney Crosby for the goals lead with 48 as Washington beat Pittsburgh on the road.

Crosby had a goal and two assists to give him his fourth 100-point total in five seasons but Pittsburgh still lost its fourth in a row to Washington.

Pittsburgh played without star forward Evgeni Malkin, who missed his eighth game in his last 10 — this time with an undisclosed illness.

Devils 3, Thrashers 0 — Martin Brodeur earned his 600th career win with his second straight shutout and New Jersey eliminated host Atlanta from playoff contention.

Ilya Kovalchuk, the former Thrashers captain who was traded to the Devils two months ago, returned to see the Thrashers miss the playoffs for the ninth time in their 10-year history.

Dean McAmmond, Zach Parise, and Travis Zajac scored.

Sabres 5, Rangers 2 — Ryan Miller made 30 saves, including a brilliant blocker stop on Marian Gaborik, in helping Buffalo clinch the Northeast Division title with a home win over New York.

Rookie Tyler Ennis had a goal and two assists while Drew Stafford had a goal and an assist for Buffalo, which won its sixth division title and first since 2007.

Jochen Hecht, with the go-ahead goal, Derek Roy, and Toni Lydman also scored for the Sabres, who chased Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist and dealt a blow to the Blueshirts’ playoff hopes.

Hurricanes 8, Lightning 5 — Rod Brind’Amour, Drayson Bowman, and Eric Staal scored two goals apiece and Carolina beat host Tampa Bay.

Brind’Amour scored both of his goals during a five-goal first period for Carolina.

Steven Stamkos scored his 47th goal and Brandon Bochenski scored twice for the Lightning.

Senators 5, Panthers 2 — Mike Fisher scored twice to help Ottawa beat Florida on the road for its seventh win in eight games.

Blackhawks 5, Stars 2 — Marian Hossa scored 36 seconds after the opening faceoff, Colin Fraser had two goals, and Chicago stretched its winning streak to four games with a win over host Dallas.

Sharks 2, Flames 1 — Evgeni Nabokov made 38 saves to give San Jose its third straight division title with a road win over Calgary.

The Flames, on the other hand, are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2003, failing to gain in the chase for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

Kings 5, Ducks 4 — Michal Handzus tied it with 1:09 left in regulation to cap a Los Angeles rally rally from a three-goal deficit, and Anze Kopitar scored the decisive shootout goal in the road win over Anaheim.

Avalanche 4, Canucks 3 — Rookie Matt Duchene used a strong deke to the forehand to score the only goal of a shootout and put Colorado in the playoffs with a road win over Vancouver that eliminated the Anaheim from playoff contention.

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