Sun, Apr 05, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Avalanche keep playoff hopes alive

SLIM CHANCE:Colorado’s hopes for playing in the post-season are slim, but their final game is against the Los Angeles Kings, who are a rival for eighth position

AP, ANAHEIM, California

Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, right, and Ryan Kessler of the Anaheim Ducks vie for the puck during their game at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Colorado kept their NHL playoff hopes mathematically alive with a 4-2 win against league leaders Anaheim on Friday, with Matt Duchene scoring the go-ahead goal on a breakaway midway through the third period.

With four games to play, the Avalanche are six points off the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, moving level with Dallas, who were beaten at home by St Louis in an extraordinary game that saw four goals scored in the space of just 49 seconds.

Elsewhere, out-of-contention New Jersey won their first game in seven by defeating Montreal in a shootout, preventing the Canadiens from going back to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Colorado’s Duchene pulled in the puck after Corey Perry could not control it in the Avalanche zone and rocketed down the ice. Barely a step ahead of Sami Vatanen, Duchene beat John Gibson under the goaltender’s left leg for his 21st of the season.

The Avalanche’s playoff hopes are slim, but their final game is against Los Angeles, a rival for eighth spot.

St Louis scored four goals in the third period to overrun Dallas 7-5 and move into a tie with Nashville atop the Central Division.

Alex Pietrangelo scored the go-ahead goal on a power play midway through the third.

The four goals in 49 seconds was a league record. It began when Dallas’ Travis Moen scored on a penalty shot 19 minutes, 49 seconds into the first period. During the first 38 seconds of the second, St Louis’ Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz and Dallas’ Jamie Benn all scored.

Benn had two scores as the Stars rallied for four second-period goals to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead.

Berglund also scored twice for the Blues.

New Jersey’s Jacob Josefson and Patrik Elias scored in the shootout to give the Devils a 3-2 victory over Montreal.

Stefan Matteau and Reid Boucher, who were called up from the minors last month for the out-of-contention Devils, both scored in regulation time.

Tomas Plekanec and defenseman Jeff Petry scored for the Canadiens, who edged two points ahead of Tampa Bay with three games to play in their fight for the Atlantic Division title.

In New York, Jonathan Toews scored two goals 47 seconds apart in the final two minutes to rally the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 win over the last-place Buffalo Sabres.

Toews came to the rescue after the Blackhawks squandered a 2-1 lead entering the third period. He tied the game by converting a rebound off Duncan Keith’s shot with 1 minute, 43 seconds left. Then Toews capped a 2-on-1 break by accepting Brandan Saad’s no-look pass and snapping a shot inside the right post with 56 seconds left.

A day after clinching their seventh consecutive playoff berth with a 3-1 home win over Vancouver, the Blackhawks are now in a position to contend for the Central Division title. Chicago (48-24-6) won their fourth straight, vaulted a point ahead of second-placed St Louis and a point behind Nashville.

Marcus Foligno scored twice and Johan Larsson also scored for Buffalo.

In San Jose, California, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored in the opening five minutes as the San Jose Sharks held on for their fourth win in five games.

Matt Nieto added an insurance goal late for the Sharks, who moved within three points of Los Angeles and Winnipeg in the race for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference. The Kings and Jets both have one game in hand over San Jose.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top