Penguins down the Lightning, Montreal clinch playoff berth

AP, TAMPA, Florida

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 - Page 19

Jussi Jokinen scored two goals and added an assist, while Pascal Dupuis had a goal and two assists as the Eastern-Conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 on Thursday.

Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin and Tanner Glass had the other Pittsburgh goals. Dupuis has three goals and eight points during a four-game points streak.

Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang was back in the lineup and had an assist after missing the previous six games with a lower body injury.

Teddy Purcell had two goals for the Lightning. Brett Connolly scored the other Tampa Bay goal.

Montreal goalie Peter Budaj stopped 14 shots as the Canadiens clinched a playoff berth, regaining the Northeast Division lead with a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov had a goal and assist each, while Rene Bourque, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher also scored for the Canadiens, who moved one point ahead of the Boston Bruins, who were beaten 2-1 by the New York Islanders.

In earning their fourth post-season berth in five years, Montreal are returning to the playoffs after bottoming out last year, when the Canadiens finished last in the Eastern Conference.

In Los Angeles, Jeff Carter scored his 24th goal and scored again in the shootout as the Kings moved back into fourth place in the Western Conference with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Mike Richards scored in the first period and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who ended a two-game losing streak. Captain Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar also scored in Los Angeles’ three-for-three shootout against goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Josh Bailey scored twice as the Islanders added another big win in their surge toward the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Bruins.

The Islanders, seeking their first trip to the post-season in seven years, started the day tied with Ottawa and the New York Rangers with 44 points.

New York kept pace with Ottawa, who won at Philadelphia. The eighth-placed Rangers did not play.

The Washington Capitals won their sixth straight game and extended Carolina’s losing streak to seven with a 3-1 win over the Hurricanes, while Patrick Marleau scored the winner in the shootout and had a short-handed goal early in the game to lift the San Jose Sharks over the Detroit Tigers 3-2.

In other games on Thursday, the Ottawa Senators downed the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1, the St Louis Blues blanked the Minnesota Wild 2-0 and the Winnipeg Jets trounced the Florida Panthers 7-2.