The NHL regular season came to an end on Sunday, with the Anaheim Ducks beating other divisional leaders the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in overtime to complete their best campaign in franchise history.
Among other results on the final day, New Jersey beat Eastern Conference leaders the Boston Bruins in what may well have been the last game in Devils colors for veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur, the Detroit Red Wings tuned up for the playoffs with a win against the sliding St Louis Blues and the Ottawa Senators showed what might have been by downing the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Penguins.
Anaheim’s Nick Bonino scored 1 minute, 33 seconds into overtime to give the Western Conference-leading Ducks a fitting climax to the regular season ahead of a first-round playoff series against the Dallas Stars.
Patrick Maroon and Saku Koivu scored 3:13 apart to tie the game early in the third period for the Ducks, who used the game to honor Teemu Selanne, who plans to retire after the season. The 43-year-old Finnish Flash got standing ovations on every shift in the third period in Anaheim, his home for 15 of his 21 NHL seasons.
Brad Malone and Stefan Elliott scored for the Avalanche, who play the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs.
New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur made 16 saves in the Devils’ 3-2 win over a second-string Boston.
Defenseman Marek Zidlicky scored twice and Travis Zajac had a goal for the Devils, who have now missed the playoffs two straight seasons.
Loui Eriksson scored for Boston, who rested eight starters in preparation for the playoffs, including Zdeno Chara and No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask.
New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr had two assists, giving him 1,050 and moving him past Gordie Howe for eighth on the NHL career list.
Detroit’s backup goalie Petr Mrazek kept injury-riddled St Louis down heading into the playoffs with his second career shutout, giving the Red Wings a 3-0 win.
Justin Abdelkader scored twice and Riley Sheahan added a goal for the Red Wings, who earned the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and face the Boston Bruins in the playoffs.
Ottawa ended their frustrating season with a fifth consecutive win, beating Pittsburgh 3-2 after a shootout.
Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris scored in the tiebreaker for the Senators, while Turris and Mark Stone netted in regulation for Ottawa, who miss the playoffs for the first time in three years.
Jussi Jokinen and Lee Stempniak scored for the Penguins, who rested captain Sidney Crosby and several others ahead of the playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Tampa Bay Lightning wrapped up home-ice advantage for their first-round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens by edging the Washington Capitals 1-0 after a shootout.
Matthew Carle scored the only goal in the tiebreaker. The victory clinched second place in the Atlantic Division for Tampa Bay.
The Nashville Predators finished their season on a high by beating the playoff-bound Minnesota Wild 7-3, with Craig Smith having two goals and two assists.
The Phoenix Coyotes had the satisfaction of at least ending a seven-game skid in their last game, beating the Dallas Stars 2-1, with Dave Moss scoring the late winner.
Carolina’s Eric Staal scored twice in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to lead the Hurricanes to a 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.