CHICAGO (AP) — Artemi Panarin had two goals, Corey Crawford made 32 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Friday to reach the cusp of clinching the Central Division.
Panarin scored in the opening minute, then added an empty-netter with 44 seconds left for his 28th goal of the season. Marian Hossa also scored in the first period for Chicago, and Patrick Kane assisted on all three goals as Chicago extended its division lead to nine points over idle Minnesota.
The Wild have five games remaining and the Blackhawks have four.
Nick Foligno scored his 25th goal to end an eight-game drought and Sergei Bobrovksy made 21 saves, but the Blue Jackets lost for the second time in two nights.
PENGUINS 4, RANGERS 3, SO
NEW YORK (AP) — Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist in regulation and then got the clinching tally in the shootout as Pittsburgh snapped a four-game skid.
Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust also scored for the Penguins, and Matt Murray stopped 30 shots for his 29th win of the season. Pittsburgh pulled one point behind Columbus for second place in the Metropolitan Divisioin and home-ice advantage in their likey first-round playoff series.
Chris Kreider tied the score with 11.6 seconds left in the third period to force overtime. Nick Holden had a goal and an assist, Rick Nash also scored and J.T. Miller added two assists for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 32 saves.
Phil Kessel also scored in the tiebreaker for the Penguins, and Murray stopped Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello.
COYOTES 6, CAPITALS 3
GLENDALE, Arizona (AP) — Christian Dvorak scored two unassisted goals and the Arizona Coyotes chased Capitals goalie Braden Holtby early while snapping Washington's six-game winning streak.
Alexander Burmistrov also scored twice for the Coyotes, giving him three this season. He scored 13:12 into the game to make it 3-0 and prompted Capitals coach Barry Trotz to replace Holtby with Philipp Grubauer. Holtby returned to the net for the final two periods, but only stopped 18 shots in the game.
While Holtby had a night to forget, Louis Domingue stopped 45 shots in making his second straight start for the Coyotes.
Josh Jooris and Peter Holland also scored for the Coyotes. Nicklas Backstrom, Daniel Winnik and Justin Williams had the goals for the Capitals.
AVALANCHE 2, BLUES 1, SO
DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene scored shootout goals, Calvin Pickard had 27 saves through overtime and two more in the shootout and Colorado beat St. Louis.
Jake Allen had 31 saves and Ryan Reaves scored for the Blues, who clinched a playoff spot by earning a point.
The Blues are in the postseason for the sixth straight season and are in the hunt for a top-three finish in the Central Division, which would mean avoiding a first-round matchup against a division winner. They have 91 points, three more than fourth-place Nashville and both teams have five games remaining.
The Avalanche ended a seven-game skid with the win and put a damper on St. Louis' celebration. J.T. Compher scored in regulation and MacKinnon also had an assist.
ISLANDERS 2, DEVILS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier scored to help New York preserve its slim playoff chances.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots as the Islanders pulled four points behind Boston for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. New York won at home for the first time since beating the Devils here on Feb. 19, going 0-4-1 at Barclays Center in between.
Halak has won both starts since being called up from AHL Bridgeport on March 23.
The Islanders might have suffered a big injury as captain John Tavares left the game late in the third period. Tavares fell awkwardly with 3:14 left while chasing a puck behind the Devils net, and immediately began clutching his left leg. He was helped off the ice and to the dressing room.
Adam Henrique scored and Keith Kincaid had 36 saves for the Devils, who have won just twice in their last 19 games.
KINGS 2, CANUCKS 0
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Jarome Iginla scored his 625th career goal and Jonathan Quick made 35 saves for his 44th career shutout to lead Los Angeles.
Tyler Toffoli also scored for the Kings, who are clinging to slim playoff hopes and now sit eight points behind Nashville for the second wild card in the Western Conference with five games remaining for each team.
Iginla's milestone goal tied Joe Sakic for 15th place on the league's all-time list.
Ryan Miller made 24 stops for Vancouver, which was eliminated from postseason contention last week and was shut out for the 10th time this season.
FLAMES 5, SHARKS 2
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Matt Stajan got his first goal in 24 games during Calgary's three-goal second period, and the Flames clinched a playoff berth.
Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Alex Chiasson and Sam Bennett also scored for Calgary, which won three out of the four meetings this season against San Jose. Brian Elliott finished with 36 saves as the Flames pulled one point behind the third-place Sharks in the Pacific Division with four games remaining for each team, including a matchup in the season finale at San Jose.
Calgary is back in the playoffs for just the second time in eight seasons.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Melker Karlsson scored for the Sharks, who have lost eight of their last nine. Martin Jones gave uup four goals on 22 shots before he was replaced by Aaron Dell to start the third period. Dell stopped all 12 shots he faced.