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Canucks improve playoff chances with in over Predators

April 1, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Vancouver beat Nashville 5-4 after a penalty shootout on Tuesday, moving into a share of fifth in the tight playoff race in the NHL Western Conference.

The Canucks moved level with idle Minnesota for fifth while the Predators’ single point for the shootout loss moved them four points clear atop the Central Division.

In other key results, the New York Rangers beat Winnipeg to go back to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, Ottawa boosted its postseason hopes while imperiling those of Detroit by downing the Red Wings in a shootout, and Boston improved its playoff chances and gave a severe dent to those of Florida.

Vancouver’s Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata scored in the shootout, while goaltender Eddie Lack turned away both Nashville attempts, after having blocked four shots in overtime.

Alexandre Burrows had a goal and an assist, while Chris Higgins, Linden Vey and Jannik Hansen scored in regulation for the Canucks.

Mike Fisher, Cody Franson, Taylor Beck and Viktor Stalberg scored for the Predators.

The New York Rangers won 3-2 at Winnipeg, with Chris Kreider scoring the winner with 3:46 left in the third period.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, playing for the second time since missing 25 games with a neck injury, stopped 32 shots and earned his first win in his return.

The playoff-bound Rangers also got goals from Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard.

Jim Slater and Lee Stempniak scored for the Jets, who stayed just two points clear of Los Angeles for the last playoff spot in the West.

Ottawa’s Mark Stone scored the final goal in the shootout to give the Senators a 2-1 win at Detroit.

Mika Zibanejad and Kyle Turris also had shootout goals for the Senators and Clarke MacArthur scored in the third period.

The Red Wings got a regulation and shootout goal from Gustav Nyquist.

Boston’s Milan Lucic scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:09 left to give the Bruins a 3-2 win against Florida.

Tuukka Rask kept the puck out during a final scramble at the buzzer with Florida on a power play and using an extra skater.

David Pastrnak scored the tying goal midway through the third and had an assist on Lucic’s goal, while Loui Eriksson also scored for the Bruins, who moved six points above Florida in the playoff race.

Brandon Pirri and Brad Boyes scored in the second period for the Panthers.

Toronto’s Nazem Kadri had a goal and assist to lead the Maple Leafs to a 3-1 win against Tampa Bay, preventing the Lightning going back to the top of the Atlantic Division.

Washington’s Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 50th goal, reaching that mark for the sixth time and tying a team record with the 472nd of his career, and added an assist to help the Capitals beat Carolina 4-2.

Columbus extended its winning streak to seven by defeating New Jersey 3-2, with Jack Johnson scoring a backhander 56 seconds into overtime.

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