Anaheim missed a golden chance to seal the NHL Western Conference title when they lost 4-0 at home against out-of-contention Dallas on Wednesday, with Patrick Eaves scoring twice for the Stars.
The Ducks have one game to play in the regular season and remained two points ahead of nearest West rivals St Louis, who have two to play.
In the day’s other key game, Washington beat Boston to move three points clear in second place in the Metropolitan Division, ahead of the New York Islanders, who also have a game in hand.
Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY
Dallas goaltender Jhonas Enroth made 19 saves in his fifth career shutout for the Stars, who have won eight of their past nine road games.
Vernon Fiddler opened the scoring in three-goal second period for Dallas, while Jamie Benn had three assists to pull even with Sidney Crosby and John Tavares atop the NHL scoring race.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby made 27 saves while shutting out Boston for the third time this season and helping the Capitals win 3-0.
Holtby earned his 41st win of the season to match the franchise record set by Olie Kolzig in 1999-2000. His nine shutouts this season equal the franchise record set by Jim Carey in 1995-1996 and also tie Montreal’s Carey Price and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury for the league lead this season.
Marcus Johansson had a goal and an assist, while John Carlson and Matt Niskanen also scored for Washington.
Boston, who had won five straight, still hold the second wild-card in the East. Both the Bruins and Ottawa have 95 points, with two games remaining.
Columbus cruised to a 5-0 win over Toronto in a match of out-of-contention teams, with Scott Hartnell having a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets.
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