St Louis earned home-ice advantage for the first round of the NHL playoffs by beating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Saturday as the regular season ended for all but two teams.
Brian Elliott made 22 saves and Jaden Schwartz had his first two-goal game as the Blues secured fourth place in the Western Conference and set up a clash with defending champions the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs.
St Louis were aided by meeting a Chicago lineup that rested many regular players, having already secured the Presidents’ Trophy and home advantage throughout the playoffs.
Ben Smith, who was playing in his first game of the season, scored for Chicago.
The two-goal game was the first of Schwartz’s career. Patrik Berglund also scored for St Louis and David Backes had two assists to give him 300 career points.
Washington’s Eric Fehr scored on a power play in overtime as the Capitals beat Boston 3-2.
The Bruins needed to beat Ottawa in yesterday’s stand-alone game to snatch back the Northeast title from Montreal.
Milan Lucic and Andrew Ference put Boston ahead 2-0, before Washington captain Alex Ovechkin assisted on Mike Green’s two power-play scores within less than two minutes of the third period.
The Montreal Canadiens took top spot in the Northeast for the time being by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1.
Lars Eller had a goal and two assists for Montreal, who rested goalie Carey Price.
Phoenix’s Radim Vrbata had three goals as the Coyotes beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-3.
Jason LaBarbera made 22 of his 43 saves in the third period to preserve the victory for Phoenix, who head prematurely into another off-season with question marks over the franchise’s future.
As the second seeds in the West, Anaheim will meet the seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings in the opening round of the playoffs.
Los Angeles’ Justin Williams scored in the third period to give the Kings a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, after the two teams entered the game locked together on points.
Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for the Kings, who begin their title defense at fourth-seeded St Louis.
The Sharks begin their ninth consecutive playoff appearance at the third-seeded Vancouver Canucks.
Pittsburgh’s James Neal scored a hat-trick in his first game back from a concussion as the Penguins routed the Carolina Hurricanes 8-3.
Pittsburgh scored three third-period goals in just 5 minutes, 24 seconds to swiftly end the contest.
Detroit are heading back to the playoffs yet again after a 3-0 win at the Dallas Stars.
Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and an assist as the Red Wings secured seventh spot in the Western Conference.
Detroit closed out the regular season with four consecutive wins by a combined score of 15-3. They face second-seeded Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs.
The New York Rangers moved up from eighth to sixth in the Eastern Conference by beating the New Jersey Devils 4-0, setting up a playoff series against the Capitals.
Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov scored his first career hat-trick as the Oilers closed out their season with a 7-2 win over Vancouver.
Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek scored the winner and Steve Mason made 43 saves as the Flyers closed out their season with a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.
Columbus’ Jack Johnson scored the go-ahead goal with 4:48 left as the Blue Jackets capped a remarkable turnaround with a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators.
Minnesota’s Devin Setoguchi broke a second-period tie and Niklas Backstrom stopped 29 shots as the Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 to secure their first playoff spot in five years.
Tampa Bay’s Martin St Louis had a goal and an assist for the Lightning to win the league scoring title, but Tampa Bay were beaten 5-3 by the Florida Panthers.
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