Justin Faulk scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period, and the Carolina Hurricanes went on to wrap up a playoff spot for the first time in a decade by defeating the visiting New Jersey Devils 3-1 in the regular-season home finale Thursday night in Raleigh, N.C.
Nino Niederreiter’s goal with 3:25 remaining gave the Hurricanes a two-goal cushion. Fans chanted, “We want playoffs,” and that’s what they’ll get.
The Hurricanes have secured a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2009. That ends the longest active drought without a playoff appearance for any NHL team.
Warren Foegele tallied the first goal for the Hurricanes. Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek stopped 36 shots, including 16 in the third period. Andy Greene tallied for New Jersey.
Avalanche 3, Jets 2 (OT)
Erik Johnson scored 1:49 into overtime, and Colorado rallied to clinch a playoff berth with a win over visiting Winnipeg.
Tyson Barrie and Carl Soderberg also scored and Philipp Grubauer had 34 saves for the Avalanche. Colorado came in needing one point but got a pair to earn the last postseason spot in the Western Conference.
The Avalanche, with 90 points, can move up to the first wild card with a win in San Jose on Saturday night and two regulation losses by Dallas.
Penguins 4, Red Wings 1
Phil Kessel scored twice and had an assist, and host Pittsburgh clinched a playoff spot with a win over Detroit.
Sidney Crosby added a goal and two assists to reach 98 points, and Jake Guentzel scored his 39th goal for Pittsburgh. The Penguins increased their run of playoff appearances to 13 seasons, the longest current streak in the NHL and the longest in Penguins history.
Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray, in his career-high 10th straight start, made 33 saves.
Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 1
Alex Killorn scored the go-ahead goal at 14:12 of the third period, and visiting Tampa Bay went on to defeat Toronto to move closer to NHL history.
If the Lightning (61-16-4, 126 points) can win at Boston on Saturday in their regular-season finale, they would equal the record of 62 wins for a season set by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings.
Killorn notched his 18th goal of the season from the right circle on a pass from the left circle by Steven Stamkos as the Lightning took advantage of a Maple Leafs turnover. Stamkos also scored a goal to match his career best for a season at 97 points.
Sharks 3, Oilers 2
Brent Burns collected a goal and an assist to reach the 80-point mark in a season for the first time in his career and pace visiting San Jose to a victory over Edmonton.
Burns is just the sixth player in NHL history and second defenseman to record his first 80-point season at the age of 34 or older.
San Jose will face the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday to close out the regular season before having home-ice advantage in a series with the Vegas Golden Knights to kick off the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Capitals 2, Canadiens 1
Nic Dowd scored the tiebreaking goal early in the second period, and goalie Braden Holtby made 33 saves as Washington clinched the Metropolitan Division title with a victory over visiting Montreal.
Washington, which won the Stanley Cup last season for the first time in franchise history, captured its fourth consecutive Metropolitan Division title.
The Capitals now have 104 points while the New York Islanders can finish with no more than 103. Meanwhile, despite the loss, Montreal remains in the wild-card hunt.
Predators 3, Canucks 2
Ryan Johansen’s goal with 20.4 seconds left in regulation lifted Nashville to a comeback, home-ice victory over Vancouver.
The Predators (46-29-6, 98 points) took a one-point edge in the Central Division, as Winnipeg’s overtime loss to Colorado left the Jets at 97 points. The St. Louis Blues are also at 97 points after beating Philadelphia. Each of the three teams has one game remaining.
The Canucks took their first loss in four games.
Blues 7, Flyers 3
Alexander Steen had two goals and an assist as St. Louis made franchise history while scoring five times within the first 10 minutes in a win over Philadelphia.
Alex Pietrangelo recorded three assists and Vladimir Tarasenko added two for the Blues. Amid an 8-1-2 stretch, St. Louis concludes the regular season at home against Vancouver on Saturday.
Philadelphia enters its finale Saturday at home versus Carolina a loser in six of seven. However, the Flyers didn’t make it easy on St. Louis, which, according to the team, set a club record for the quickest five goals (9:41) to open a regular-season game — topping the previous mark of 13:45 from Jan. 3, 1970.
Bruins 3, Wild 0
Joakim Nordstrom, David Pastrnak and Zach Senyshyn each scored and Jaroslav Halak was perfect in net as visiting Boston skated to a victory over Minnesota.
Halak made 26 saves for his fifth shutout of the season for the Bruins, who went into the game having clinched second place in the Atlantic Division and will face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Minnesota, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2012, will face the Dallas Stars on Saturday to close out a disappointing campaign.
Coyotes 4, Golden Knights 1
Derek Stepan scored two goals, and Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves to lead Arizona over host Vegas.
Despite the win, the Coyotes were eliminated from the playoff contention when Colorado defeated Winnipeg in overtime earlier Thursday night to clinch the final postseason berth in the Western Conference.
It’s the seventh straight year that Arizona has missed the playoffs.
Islanders 2, Panthers 1 (SO)
Brock Nelson scored in regulation and had the only goal in four rounds of a shootout as New York defeated host Florida.
Thomas Greiss stopped 29 shots through regulation and overtime and was brilliant in the shootout to earn the win.
The Islanders already have clinched their first playoff berth since 2016. With one game left in the regular season, they need just one more point or a Pittsburgh Penguins loss to assure themselves of home ice in the first round of the postseason.
Sabres 5, Senators 2
Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists as Buffalo snapped an eight-game losing streak with a win against visiting Ottawa.
Victor Olofsson, Kyle Okposo, Sam Reinhart and Jason Pominville also scored for the Sabres, who won for just the second time in their past 17 games (2-13-2). Carter Hutton made 21 saves and held the Senators scoreless over the final two periods.
The Sabres, who went 2-for-3 on the power play, spoiled the debut of Ottawa goalie Joey Daccord, who earlier this week became the first Arizona State player to sign an NHL contract. Daccord stopped 35 of 40 shots.
—Field Level Media