Alex Ovechkin scored his 43rd goal of the season as the Washington Capitals clinched the Metropolitan Division title and the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
Mike Richards, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie, into an empty net, also scored for the Capitals. Braden Holtby stopped 28 shots.
Chris Wideman and Mika Zibanejad scored for the Senators. Craig Anderson made 18 saves.
Photo: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY
Ottawa lost defenseman Dion Phaneuf after he took a hit from Brooks Orpik in the second period. Phaneuf managed to play a few more shifts, but did not return for the third period because of a lower-body injury.
STARS 6, BLACKHAWKS 2
In Chicago, Vernon Fiddler scored two of Dallas’ four goals in the first period to help the Stars clinch a playoff spot with a victory over Chicago.
Dallas stretched their win streak to three and improved to 4-1 against Chicago, outscoring the Stanley Cup champions 20-11 in the season series. Colton Sceviour and Patrick Eaves also scored in the first, and Jamie Benn had two assists in his 500th NHL game.
The Stars lead the Western Conference with 97 points with eight games left on their schedule. They are on track for their first division title since they took the Pacific in 2006.
The Blackhawks played without starting goalie Corey Crawford for the fourth straight game due to an upper-body injury, and Scott Darling was pulled after Dallas’ big first period. Michael Leighton made 16 saves in his first NHL appearance since January 2013.
Chicago has dropped six of seven to fall off the pace in the tough Central Division, including a pair of losses to the Stars. Andrew Shaw and Richard Panik scored for the second straight game.
LIGHTNING 6, RED WINGS 2
In Tampa, Florida, Erik Condra ended a 20-game drought with a pair of goals to lead Tampa Bay past Detroit.
Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist, while Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for the Lightning. Brian Boyle, Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman added two assists apiece.
Tampa Bay tied the Florida Panthers atop the Atlantic Division with 89 points. Both teams have nine games remaining.
Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm scored for the Red Wings, who were outshot 34-25.
Coupled with Philadelphia’s shootout loss at Columbus, Detroit fell into a tie with the Flyers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the New York Islanders.
BLUE JACKETS 3, FLYERS 2, SO
In Columbus, Ohio, Boone Jenner scored late in the third period and again in the shootout after Cam Atkinson’s tying goal with eight seconds left, rallying Columbus to an improbable victory over Philadelphia.
Jenner scored in the fifth round of the shootout when he faked goalie Steve Mason out of the net and fired the puck in. Sergei Bobrovsky turned away Sean Couturier moments later to secure the victory.
Jenner and Atkinson both scored in the final 1 minute, 4 seconds of regulation to force the extra session. Atkinson lifted a shot over Mason to tie it 2-2 after Jenner tipped in a shot by Seth Jones nearly a minute earlier.
Mason finished with 51 saves for the Flyers, who blew a two-goal lead in the final 65 seconds, but still earned a point. That was enough to pull them into a tie with Detroit for the final playoff position in the East.
Ryan White and captain Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers. The loss was Philadelphia’s eighth straight in Columbus since December 2005.
In other NHL action, it was:
‧ Wild 2, Kings 1
‧ Blues 1, Sharks 0
‧ Canadiens 4, Ducks 3
‧ Sabres 3, Hurricanes 2
‧ Jets 2, Canucks 0
‧ Coyotes 4, Oilers 2
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