Sat, Apr 05, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Sharks close gap on Ducks, clinch home advantage for playoff

AP, SAN JOSE, California

Toronto Maple Leaf players celebrate a game-winning goal by forward Nazem Kadri, not pictured, during their game against the Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada, on Thursday.

Photo: John E. Sokolowski / USA TODAY

Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture scored second-period goals as the San Jose Sharks clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Thursday.

Antti Niemi made 26 saves and the Sharks overcame a first-period deficit to move within a point of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks still have two games in hand and the inside track on the top spot.

Jordan Nolan scored the lone goal for the Kings, who had their eight-game road winning streak snapped by their first loss away from home since Jan. 28 in Phoenix. Martin Jones made 19 saves as starter Jonathan Quick got rest a night after shutting out the Coyotes to clinch a playoff berth.

The Kings are locked into third place in the division after the loss.

The St Louis Blues set a club record with their 52nd victory as Brian Elliott stopped 24 shots in a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Maxim Lapierre and Brenden Morrow scored as St Louis improved on the Blues’ previous record of 51 wins in a season in 1999-2000 on the way to their last Presidents’ Trophy.

Buffalo’s Cody Hodgson scored a power-play goal 19 minutes, 4 seconds into the third period.

St Louis also moved into a tie with Boston for the most points in the league with 111.

Toronto’s Nazem Kadri scored 2m, 51s into overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins. Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston, who lost back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 26 and March 1. Chad Johnson made 27 saves.

Bergeron tied the game 12m, 51s into the third against backup goaltender James Reimer, after Lucic scored 5m, 3s into the final period.

Paul Ranger, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto, who finished the game without goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

In Denver, Tyson Barrie scored in the final minute of regulation and then scored again in the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche edged the New York Rangers 3-2.

Semyon Varlamov had 29 saves for Colorado, who have won five in a row. Varlamov also stopped each of New York’s attempts in the shootout.

The Avalanche maintained a three-point lead on the Blackhawks for second place in the Central Division. The Blackhawks beat Minnesota in a shootout, but still lag behind Colorado with 10 days left in the season.

Henrik Lundqvist had 35 saves for the Rangers, who gained a point on Philadelphia despite the loss. Derek Stepan and John Moore scored for New York.

The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 after Marian Hossa scored the lone goal in the shootout, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 37 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0.

In other games, the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Winnipeg Jets 4-2, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1 and the Calgary Flames beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1.

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