Sun, Apr 14, 2013 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Anderson makes 33 saves as Senators down Devils

AP, CHICAGO

Tim Jackman, left, of the Calgary Flames collides with Michael Stone of the Phoenix Coyotes in their NHL game in Calgary, Canada, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Craig Anderson made 33 saves in his third shutout of the season as the Ottawa Senators sent the sliding New Jersey Devils to their ninth straight loss with a 2-0 victory in the NHL on Friday.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Milan Michalek scored second-period goals for the Senators, who won for the second straight night to boost their playoff chances.

Ottawa is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, leading ninth-place Winnipeg by four points. New Jersey, the defending Eastern Conference champion, is sitting in 10th place, eight points behind Ottawa and four behind the New York Rangers for the final playoff spot with seven games to play.

The Devils dropped to 0-5-4 without injured star forward Ilya Kovalchuk. The slide is one game shy of the franchise mark, set in the 1983-1984 season.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks clinched the NHL Central Division with a 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Brandon Saad scored in the fifth round of the shootout after Jonathan Toews had tied the game late in regulation for Chicago, who wrapped up the Central race for the first time since 2010 when they won the Stanley Cup. Chicago also increased their lead over Anaheim for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs to seven points.

The shootout was level at 1-1 when Saad beat Jimmy Howard with a backhand shot.

In other NHL play on Friday, the Columbus Blue Jackets topped the St Louis Blues 4-1, the Dallas Stars downed the Predators 5-2 and the Calgary Flames defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2.

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