DENVER Milan Hejduk scored his 50th goal of the season, and Peter Forsberg had a goal and two assists as the Colorado Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 Sunday for a record ninth consecutive division title.
Colorado trailed Vancouver by 13 points after a 4-2 to loss to Detroit on Jan. 16, but stormed back with 25 wins in its final 37 games.
The Avalanche open the playoffs at home Thursday against Minnesota, with Game 2 on Saturday. The Blues will face Vancouver in the first round Wednesday.
Colorado secured the title after the Kings beat the Canucks 2-0, breaking a tie with the 1975-82 Montreal Canadiens, who won eight straight crowns in the Norris and Adams Divisions.
Hejduk became the first Avalanche player to lead the league in goals. He scored on a rebound after Forsberg kicked a pass to Alex Tanguay.
Forsberg, who had an empty-net goal with 55 seconds left, closed the season with 11 goals and 37 assists the final 28 games to become the first player in team history to win the league scoring title. He finished with 106 points, two ahead of Vancouver's Markus Naslund.
Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 3
CHICAGO Tyler Arnason scored 2:10 into overtime, lifting the Chicago Blackhawks and denying the Red Wings first place in the Western Conference.
Arnason picked up a drop pass from Kyle Calder at the blue line and fired a shot from the far circle that beat goalie Curtis Joseph.
Detroit finished with 110 points, one fewer than Pacific Division-champion Dallas. The Stars beat Nashville on Sunday. The Red Wings closed the regular season 21-4-1-1 in its last 27 games. They lost once in their final six games (5-1-2).
Stars 2, Predators 0
DALLAS Marty Turco's seventh shutout of the season dropped his goals-against average to 1.72, lowest in the NHL's modern era, and Stu Barnes and Ulf Dahlen scored power-play goals as the Stars wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
As the top seed, the Stars will face the Edmonton Oilers in the first round. This will be the sixth time in seven years the teams meet in the playoffs. The exception was last year, when neither team qualified.
Devils 2, Sabres 2
BUFFALO, N.Y. Patrik Elias scored a second-period goal to help give the Devils a tie.
Grant Marshall also scored for the Devils, who improved to 6-0-4-1 in their last 11 games the only team that has not lost over that stretch. New Jersey, which last week clinched first-place in the Atlantic Division, will open the postseason against the seventh-place Boston Bruins.
Wild 4, Blue Jackets 3
ST. PAUL, Minn. Filip Kuba, Andrew Brunette and Marian Gaborik each had a goal and an assist to lead the playoff-bound Wild.
Cliff Ronning also scored for the Wild, who finished with 95 points in third place in the Northwest Division. They had 68 in their first year and 73 last season.
Gaborik, who had only four goals after the All-Star break, broke a nine-game scoring drought to tie his career mark and the Wild's franchise record with his 30th goal. Geoff Sanderson scored twice for the Blue Jackets.
Thrashers 6, Lightning 2
ATLANTA Kamil Piros scored a hat trick for his first NHL goals, and the Atlanta Thrashers closed the season on a high note.
Dany Heatley also reached a milestone for the Thrashers, scoring his 40th and 41st goals. Piros, who spent most of the season in the minors, scored his first career goal 4:32 into the game. He added two more in the second.
The Thrashers missed the playoffs, just as they have every season during their four-year existence. But they had a franchise-record 32 victories nine more than their previous best and 13 more than last season.
Islanders 2, Hurricanes 1
RALEIGH, N.C. Arron Asham and Radek Martinek scored, and Garth Snow stopped 44 shots for the New York Islanders.
The Islanders went without five regulars including Michael Peca, Alexei Yashin and Roman Hamrlik in order to gear up for their upcoming playoff series with Ottawa. New York snapped a five-game winless streak (0-4-1).
Snow didn't need much offense as he was sharp from the start, making several spectacular stops for his 16th victory his most since getting 20 for Vancouver in 1998-99.
Flyers 6, Panthers 2
SUNRISE, Fla. Radovan Somik had two goals and an assist to lead the streaking Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers ended the regular season on an eight-game unbeaten streak (6-0-2). Philadelphia won a franchise-best 24 road games.
Keith Primeau, Marty Murray, John LeClair and Jim Vandermeer also scored for the Flyers, who will face Toronto in the first round of the playoffs.
Sharks 3, Coyotes 3
SAN JOSE, Calif. Rookie Niko Dimitrakos scored his second goal with 7:40 left as the San Jose Sharks rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period.
The Sharks and the Coyotes faced each other in the first round of last year's playoffs, but both are headed home early this spring after disappointing seasons.
Kings 2, Vancouver 0
VANCOUVER, British Columbia Mikko Eloranta snapped a scoreless tie with 5:55 left as the Kings cost the Canucks the Northwest Division title.
Vancouver almost tied it on a wild power-play scramble with four minutes left. The puck somehow stayed out of the net.
Peninsula Clarion © 2016. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us