Rangers complete stellar regular season, defeat Capitals 4-2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kevin Hayes and Dominic Moore each had a goal and an assist, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 shots and the New York Rangers capped its stellar NHL regular season with a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
The Rangers, winners of the Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s top team in the regular season, set franchise records for wins, with 53, and points (113) in a season.
Derick Brassard and Jesper Fast added goals for New York, and Martin St. Louis had two assists.
The Rangers will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs, after the Penguins’ clinched the last wild card spot with a 2-0 win over last-place Bufalo Sabres.
Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 53rd goal for Washington and Stanislav Galiev scored the first of his career.
Washington (101 points) still clinched second place in the Metropolitan Division and home ice for its first-round series against the New Jersey Islanders (101 points), after the Islanders lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Braden Holtby made 30 saves for Washington.
New York opened the scoring at 12:36 of the first when Ryan McDonagh’s shot hit Hayes, and Hayes backhanded the loose puck out of mid-air past Holtby for his 17th goal.
Brassard made it 2-0 at 15:50 with a hard shot from the point on a power play.
After Moore’s backhand made it 3-0 early in the second, Ovechkin pulled Washington within two when his one-timer from his power-play home in the left circle beat Lundqvist at 6:31.
Needing just one point in the season finale, the Ottawa Senators wrapped up its sizzling second-half rally with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers and clinched a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Senators won 23 of its final 31 games to storm into the postseason.
Goalie Andrew Hammond stopped 34 shots and made sure the Senators would not need help from other teams to make the playoffs.
Mark Stone scored twice and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for Ottawa. Matt Read scored for the Flyers.
Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais scored in the shootout and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in a shootout to clinch the Atlantic Division title and the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Desharnais, Tomas Plekanec and Jacob De La Rose scored for the Canadiens, who got 19 saves from Carey Price.
Phil Kessel, Casey Bailey and Tyler Bozak scored for Toronto.
Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg scored to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes and secure the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Frederik Anderson made 23 saves for the Ducks, which will face Winnipeg in the first round of the playoffs.
The Ducks set an NHL record with their 33rd one-goal victory, surpassing the previous mark of 32 set by the New Jersey Devils in 2006-07.
Sam Gagner scored and Mike Smith made 36 saves for the Coyotes.
Brayden McNabb and Marian Gaborik scored third-period goals, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1.
Tyler Toffoli and Andy Andreoff also scored and Jonathan Quick made 20 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champions, whose reign ended quietly in an afternoon game with no stakes. Both California rivals are missing the playoffs in the same season for the first time since 2003.
Brent Burns scored a power-play goal and Alex Stalock stopped 32 shots for the Sharks.
Elsewhere, the St. Louis Blues finished the regular season strongly with a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild, the Detroit Red Wings beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 and the Winnipeg Jets thrashed the Calgary Flames 5-1.