Thomas Vanek scored 1:16 into overtime to cap a two-goal comeback and clinch the Sabres a playoff berth with a 4-3 victory over the slumping Flyers last night at Buffalo.
Vanek finished with a goal and two assists, and Nathan Gerbe scored twice, including a highlight reel spin-around goal that tied it midway through the third period. The Sabres had already secured a postseason spot by earning a point when the game entered overtime.
The Sabres clinched at least seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell had a goal and assist, and Kris Versteeg also scored for Philadelphia, which is winless in five games (0-3-2).
Hurricanes 6, Thrashers 1 — Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu each had a goal and two assists and visiting Carolina moved closer to an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Carolina needs a home win tonight over Tampa Bay or a regulation loss by the Rangers to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
The Hurricanes have won two straight and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.
Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 2 — Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa each had a goal and an assist to help Chicago down host Detroit.
Ben Smith and Brian Campbell also scored for Chicago, fighting for a playoff spot a year after winning the Stanley Cup. Patrick Kane had two assists, and Corey Crawford made 26 saves.
Drew Miller and Tomas Holmstrom scored for Detroit, third in the Western Conference. Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots.
Ducks 2, Kings 1 — Teemu Selanne scored his second goal of the game with 14:06 left in the third period, Dan Ellis made 23 saves in place of the injured Ray Emery, and host Anaheim clinched a playoff spot.
It is the first time both Southern California teams will be in the playoffs in the same year. The Kings secured a berth Wednesday.
Predators 4, Blue Jackets 1 — Patric Hornqvist scored two goals and had an assist, and the Predators clinched their sixth playoff berth in seven seasons with a victory over Columbus in Nashville.
Matt Halischuk and Sergei Kostitsyn also scored to help Nashville extend the NHL’s longest active home winning streak against one team with its 17th straight over Columbus. The Blue Jackets haven’t won in Nashville since April 3, 2006.
Coyotes 4, Sharks 2 — Shane Doan had a goal and an assist, Ilya Bryzgalov made some tough saves late as host Phoenix clinched a playoff spot.
Phoenix had lost eight straight to San Jose, but Bryzgalov finished it off to become Phoenix’s career wins leader, sending the Coyotes to the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1999-2000.
Lightning 4, Panthers 2 — Vincent Lecavalier had two goals, including one on a penalty shot, and host Tampa Bay beat Florida.
Lecavalier put the Lightning up, 3-1, when he deked goalie Scott Clemmensen to the ice and lifted home a wrist shot on his penalty shot at 1:27 of the second.
Ryan Malone and Pavel Kubina also scored for the Lightning, who will be making their first postseason appearance since 2007.
Penguins 4, Islanders 3 — Chris Kunitz scored the only goal in the shootout and Pittsburgh beat the Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y., to avenge a record-setting, fight-filled loss in February.
Stars 3, Avalanche 2 — Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist, Brenden Morrow and Loui Eriksson also scored, and visiting Dallas stayed alive in the playoff race with a victory over Colorado. Kari Lehtonen had 15 saves for the Stars.
Brandon Yip had two goals, Jonas Holos had two assists, and Peter Budaj made 25 saves for the Avalanche, who are assured of finishing with their lowest point total since moving to Colorado in 1995.
Wild 3, Oilers 1 — Jose Theodore made 28 saves and Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Mikko Koivu assisted on all three Minnesota goals in the victory over host Edmonton.
Brent Burns, Jared Spurgeon and Andrew Brunette scored for Minnesota.