San Jose clinched a place in the NHL playoffs by beating Los Angles 5-2 on Monday, returning to the post-season after their run of 10 straight appearances ended last year.
The Sharks became the sixth team in the Western Conference to book a playoff berth, but in the East, the only team to have secured its spot is Washington, who beat Columbus to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy for the team with the best record in the regular season.
Colorado kept up their Western Conference playoff bid by edging Nashville and closing within three points of eighth-placed Minnesota, while Calgary all but ended Arizona’s post-season ambitions.
San Jose’s Joe Thornton scored a tiebreaking, power-play goal early in the third period, while Justin Braun added two goals, and Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson also scored for the Sharks.
Vincent Lecavalier scored twice for the first-placed Kings, who had their lead in the Pacific Division cut to one point over second-placed Anaheim. The Ducks are four points ahead of the third-placed Sharks and have a game in hand over both of their California rivals.
Washington fourth-liner Tom Wilson atoned for two penalties by scoring the winning goal early in the third period as the Capitals beat Columbus 4-1.
The Capitals needed only a point to clinch the NHL’s best record this season and wrapped up home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs with seven games left. Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie also scored, while Nicklas Backstrom added an empty-netter for Washington, who have an NHL-leading 113 points.
Cam Atkinson scored for the Blue Jackets.
Colorado used a fast start and hung on to win 4-3 at Nashville.
Blake Comeau had a goal and an assist, while Gabriel Landeskog and Jack Skille also scored in the first period, prompting the Predators to change goaltender, hooking Pekka Rinne after he gave up the three goals from just 10 shots. Shawn Matthias’s goal in the third wound up the game-winner.
Nashville had recorded at least one point in 10 straight home games, and would have clinched a playoff berth with a regulation victory.
Calgary’s Sam Bennett scored twice, while Sean Monahan had a goal and two assists as the Flames beat Arizona 5-2.
T.J. Brodie and Joe Colborne also scored for Calgary, who had lost their previous four meetings with the Coyotes this season.
Anthony Duclair scored both goals for Arizona.
Anaheim maintained the pressure on Los Angeles for top spot in the Pacific Division by winning 2-1 at Edmonton, with Corey Perry scoring his 31st goal of the season.
Detroit kept up their push for a 25th successive playoff berth by edging Buffalo 3-2, staying tied with Philadelphia for the second wild-card spot in the East, though the Flyers have a game in hand.
Philadelphia kept their nose in front in that race by winning 3-2 in overtime against Winnipeg, with Claude Giroux scoring the crucial winner.
Tampa Bay moved into a tie with Florida for top spot in the Pacific Division — although the Lightning have played one more game — by downing Toronto 3-0.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens, with the fewest wins of any NHL playoff teams, ignited the rink returning from a COVID-19 hiatus with upset triumphs in Saturday openers. NHL Rookie of the Year candidate Dominik Kubalik inspired the Blackhawks to a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in game one of their best-of-five qualifying series at Edmonton, Alberta, scoring two goals and assisting on three others. “We were ready to go, and I think the game was pretty good,” Kubalik said. “I felt pretty good and everything went my way, so it’s nice, but it’s just the first game,