Flyers

Best of NHL: Senators clinch playoff berth with shootout win over Bruins

Best of NHL: Senators clinch playoff berth with shootout win over Bruins

BOSTON -- Craig Anderson stopped 28 shots in regulation and overtime and three more in the shootout Thursday night to help the Ottawa Senators beat Boston 2-1, snapping the Bruins' six-game winning streak and pulling ahead of them in the Atlantic Division standings.

Kyle Turris scored the only goal in the shootout. Anderson stopped Drew Stafford, who scored Boston's only regulation goal, and Ryan Spooner before straddling the goalpost to turn away David Pastrnak's attempt at the end.

Tuukka Rask stopped 25 shots for Boston, which went 0-4 against Ottawa this season. The Senators had never swept the Bruins in a season series.

Ottawa, which got a goal in the second from Alexandre Burrows, now has 96 points to 95 for Boston after entering the night tied. The Senators still have two games remaining -- one more than the Bruins -- and also have the head-to-head tiebreaker but not the most important one: regulation and overtime wins (see full recap).

Leafs fail to clinch as Lightning stay alive
TORONTO -- Brayden Point scored two goals and the Tampa Bay Lightning kept their slim playoff hopes alive by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night.

Nikita Kucherov and Michael Bournival also scored for the Lightning, who prevented the Maple Leafs from clinching their first postseason berth in four years. There is only one spot remaining in the Eastern Conference after Ottawa clinched a berth with a 2-1 shootout win at Boston.

Toronto, which would have clinched with a win, needs two points over its final two games -- against Pittsburgh and Columbus -- to beat out the Lightning and New York Islanders for the last spot.

Nazem Kadri scored the only goal for Toronto, with Frederik Andersen surrendering four goals on 30 shots (see full recap).

Hurricanes eliminated from playoff contention with loss to Isles
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jaroslav Halak stopped 29 shots in his second shutout of the season, and the fast-starting New York Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Thursday night.

Brock Nelson and Scott Mayfield scored early goals 3 minutes, 12 seconds apart, and Andrew Ladd added a power-play goal to help the Islanders win their fourth straight and preserve their long-shot playoff hopes for a little while longer.

Eddie Lack stopped 20 shots for the Hurricanes, who lost their fourth straight overall, a slide that coincides with their mathematical elimination from the playoff race for the eighth straight year -- the longest active postseason drought in the NHL. They've also been shut out in their last two home games.

Halak won his fourth straight start since his recall from Bridgeport of the AHL, and his first shutout since blanking Washington on Dec. 1 came in a must-win scenario for his team (see full recap).

Penguins lock up home ice for opening round
NEWARK, N.J. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched home-ice advantage for their first-round playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 7-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

The Penguins got goals from seven players, two assists from Sidney Crosby -- including a spectacular no-look, backhand pass to give Conor Sheary a shot into an open net -- and 34 saves from Matt Murray in picking up their 50th win of the season.

The win gave Pittsburgh 111 points -- the second-highest total in franchise history. Coupled with Columbus' 5-4 loss to Winnipeg, the Penguins will finish second ahead of the Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division, gaining home-ice for the best-of-7 first-round series.

Bryan Rust, Jake Guentzel, Josh Archibald, Patric Hornqvist, Matt Cullen and Nick Bonino also scored for the Penguins. Bonino also had two assists.

Stefan Noesen, John Moore, Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils (see full recap).

Milestone night for Boyle sparks Devils' win

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USA Today Images

Milestone night for Boyle sparks Devils' win

NEWARK, N.J. -- Brian Boyle broke a tie with his 100th career goal and added an empty-netter and an assist to help the New Jersey Devils beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Friday night.

Steven Santini, Blake Coleman and Nick Lappin also scored for the Devils, and Corey Schneider made 28 saves.

Martin Hanzal and Alexander Radulov scored for Dallas.

Midway through Stephen Johns' double-minor for high-sticking, Devils fans booed the team's power-play effort. Boyle responded by knocking in a rebound from the crease off of Will Butcher's shot to give the Devils a 3-2 lead with 3:21 left in the period.

Boyle assisted on Lappin's goal midway through the third period and completed the scoring with the empty-net goal (see full recap).

Nash, Rangers push past Kings
NEW YORK -- Rick Nash scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:27 remaining to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.

Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller also scored to help New York win for the second time in five games (2-2-1). Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 shots.

On the go-ahead goal, Nash stole the puck in the Kings' zone on the left side near the center line, drove into the left circle and beat Quick for his ninth of the season to give the Rangers their third lead of the game.

Miller added an empty-netter with 54 seconds remaining, sealing New York's 11th win in the last 13 at home (11-1-1) (see full recap).

Red Wings earn much-needed win
DETROIT -- Trevor Daley scored a tiebreaking, short-handed goal midway through the second period and the Detroit Red Wings went on to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Friday night.

Jimmy Howard had 25 saves for the Red Wings. They had won only one of their previous 11 games.

The Maple Leafs lost their third straight, matching a season high. Toronto was without star center Auston Matthews for a fourth straight game because of an upper-body injury.

Curtis McElhinney stopped 26 shots for Toronto.

The Maple Leafs' Andreas Borgman opened the scoring 1:58 into the game.

Detroit's Danny DeKeyser pulled the Red Wings into a tie early in the first. Tomas Tatar's power-goal goal gave them a two-goal cushion they needed after losing the last two games after having a one-goal lead in the third period (see full recap).

Get in the holiday spirit with the Flyers

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Philadelphia Flyers

Get in the holiday spirit with the Flyers

Before the Flyers get in the spirit for a sixth straight win on Saturday night, they’ll get you in the holiday spirit, too.

Prior to puck drop against the Stars on NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Flyers will put on a unique holiday-themed light show, which will illuminate the Wells Fargo Center and its ice.

The “Holiday Light Spectacular,” which is presented by the Rothman Institute at Jefferson, will be a 10-minute show starting at 7 p.m., as all fans will be given light-up bracelets to complement a fun Flyers holiday video featured on the ice.

“This show is a new, can’t-miss holiday attraction in Philadelphia and one that we hope becomes an annual tradition for us,” Shawn Tilger, the Flyers’ executive vice president, chief operating officer, alternate governor, said in a release by the team. “This show is in line with the holiday staples of the region, and we’re excited to bring entertainment of this caliber to Flyers fans here on Saturday night.”

For fans with youngsters, Santa Claus will also be in attendance, taking free photos on the main concourse.