Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice as the host Columbus Blue Jackets moved into the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot after posting a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
Bjorkstrand has five goals in his last five games for the Blue Jackets, who have won three in a row overall and a season-best five straight at home. Columbus matched Montreal at 90 points, but the Blue Jackets have a game in hand.
Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky collected a goal and an assist, and Artemi Panarin, Riley Nash and David Savard also tallied. Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 26 saves on Thursday, has turned aside 146 of 151 shots in his last five outings.
Brett Kulak scored in his second consecutive contest, and fellow defenseman Jeff Petry also tallied for the Canadiens, who fell to 4-1-1 in their past six games. Carey Price yielded five goals on 29 shots on Thursday after surrendering 13 in his previous eight contests.
Capitals 3, Hurricanes 2
Nic Dowd’s redirection led to the winning goal as Washington clinched a playoff spot with a victory against the host Carolina.
Dowd’s seventh goal of the season came with 4:56 remaining when defenseman Nick Jensen delivered the puck from outside the right circle. Dowd put his stick on the puck, which slid between goalie Curtis McElhinney’s pads.
Washington wrapped up an Eastern Conference playoff spot and remains in the lead in the Metropolitan Division. Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana also scored for the Capitals. Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter scored for the Hurricanes.
Stars 3, Oilers 2 (SO)
Jamie Benn scored the shootout winner in the fifth round while goalie Anton Khudobin sparkled in net as Dallas erased a two-goal deficit to top host Edmonton.
Khudobin, given the reins while No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop is out due to injury, made 40 saves through overtime, plus another in the shootout. The Oilers misfired on three other shots in the shootout.
Dallas holds the first Western Conference wild-card spot and has won three straight.
Blackhawks 5, Sharks 4
Alex DeBrincat scored twice to give him 40 goals this season as Chicago maintained its playoff hopes with a win over host San Jose.
Connor Murphy, Jonathan Toews and Chris Kunitz also scored for the Blackhawks, who pulled within five points of Colorado for the Western Conference’s second and final wild-card playoff berth. Corey Crawford made 26 saves for Chicago, which has five regular-season games remaining.
The Sharks, who have already clinched a playoff berth, lost their season-high seventh game in a row (0-6-1) despite goals from Lukas Radil, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier. Martin Jones stopped 22 of 27 shots.
Red Wings 5, Sabres 4 (OT)
Tyler Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the game 2:18 into overtime as visiting Detroit defeated Buffalo for its third straight win.
Bertuzzi’s winner capped a 4-1-0 road trip for the Red Wings, who have won five of their past six overall despite being eliminated from playoff contention.
Buffalo took its fifth straight loss and is mired in a 3-15-3 stretch.
Islanders 5, Jets 4
Casey Cizikas scored the tying goal with 1:46 left in regulation, and Jordan Eberle scored the winning goal, his second of the night, just 33 seconds later as visiting New York stormed back to stun Winnipeg.
The Islanders trailed 2-0 less than seven minutes into the game and were down 3-1 in the second and 4-2 in the third before mounting an unlikely comeback.
Islanders goalie Robin Lehner made 33 saves. Adam Lowry tallied two goals for the Jets.
Canucks 3, Kings 2 (SO)
Tanner Pearson’s shootout goal gave Vancouver a home-ice victory over Los Angeles.
Pearson, Vancouver’s fourth shooter, put in a shot off the arm of Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick. The Canucks winger triumphed against his former team, as he began the season with the Kings before he was traded to Pittsburgh and then the Canucks.
Alex Edler and Brock Boeser also tallied for the Canucks, who staved off playoff elimination. Adrian Kempe and Austin Wagner were the Kings’ goal-scorers.
Panthers 5, Senators 2
Florida’s top line of Jonathan Huberdeau, Evgenii Dadonov and Aleksander Barkov totaled seven points to carry Florida past host Ottawa.
Huberdeau had two goals, Dadonov had a goal and two assists, and Barkov posted two helpers for the Panthers, who broke a three-game losing skid by winning for the first time on their four-game road trip (1-2-0).
Dryden Hunt had a goal and an assist, Troy Brouwer scored, and Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made 28 saves in the win. The Senators got goals from Brady Tkachuk and Colin White.
—Field Level Media