NHL: Penguins clinch home ice throughout East playoffs

AP, BOSTON

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 - Page 19

The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched home-ice advantage throughout the NHL Eastern Conference playoffs by beating the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Saturday.

Jarome Iginla scored the go-ahead goal for the Penguins, who put a dampener on the return of hockey to Boston. The game had been pushed back a day due to the manhunt for the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

In other key games, Phoenix kept a pulse in their playoff hopes by edging NHL leader Chicago, Washington downed Montreal to open a three-point lead in the Southeast Division and Toronto secured their first playoff berth in nine years by defeating Ottawa.

Pittsburgh took a nine-point lead in the East over Montreal, who could get just eight more points in their remaining four games. The Bruins remained in fourth place with five games to go.

The Penguins won their sixth straight game, despite the absence of Sidney Crosby, who missed his eighth game with a broken jaw.

Phoenix’s Mikkel Boedker and David Schlemko scored shootout goals to lift the Coyotes to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Phoenix, who ended Chicago’s seven-game winning streak, trail Columbus by three points for the final playoff spot with four to play.

Despite the loss, the league-leading Blackhawks have earned a point in 11 straight.

Washington’s Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin each scored twice as the Capitals downed the Montreal Canadiens 5-1.

Ovechkin took a step toward a third Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer with his 29th and 30th of the season. He has 20 goals in his last 18 games.

Goaltender James Reimer put in an enormous effort with 49 saves, helping the Maple Leafs to a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

In other NHL action, it was:

‧ Islanders 5, Jets 4 SO

‧ Flyers 5, Hurricanes 3

‧ Devils 6, Panthers 2

‧ Canucks 2, Red Wings 1