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Oilers down Kings 2-1 to clinch playoff spot

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Author: THE ASSOCIATED PRESSWed, 2017-03-29 03:00ID: 1490789693856140600EDMONTON, Alberta: The Edmonton Oilers are finally back in the playoffs.Cam Talbot made 34 saves as Edmonton Oilers officially earned a postseason berth for the first time in 11 years with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.”It’s a special feeling tonight, especially seeing how passionate the crowd was and how excited they were,” Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We’ve had some tough years, but it’s all worth it right now.”Connor McDavid and Eric Gryba scored for the Oilers, who have won seven of their last eight games. Edmonton last made the postseason in the 2005-06 campaign.”It’s definitely special, you saw the excitement in the building,” McDavid said. “The fans are excited, we’re excited. There is a lot of work left to be done still, though.”Talbot agreed that the Oilers can’t celebrate as if simply making it into the playoffs is enough.”That is just a checkmark next to our name,” Talbot said. “It is nice that we know we are going to be playing for it, but we have another race, and that is for first place in the division.”Jarome Iginla scored and Jonathan Quick finished with 27 saves for the Kings, who have lost four of their last five and whose playoff hopes are hanging on by a thread.”At this time of year you want to be locking up playoff spots and getting ready for a big push,” Kings assistant captain Jeff Carter said. “A little different, but we’ll play right to the end.”The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks also clinched playoff spots with Edmonton’s win.The Oilers appeared to have scored just 49 seconds in on Oscar Klefbom’s backhander, but the goal was called back on goaltender interference.McDavid’s pass hit the stick of defender Derek Forbort and deflected past Quick as the Oilers made up for that decision with five minutes left in the opening period. It was McDavid’s 27th goal of the season and league-leading 89th point, extending point streaks for himself and Leon Draisaitl to eight games apiece.The Kings responded with three minutes remaining in the first as Iginla picked off a soft attempt to advance the puck by Talbot and beat him high to the glove side.Edmonton regained the lead seven minutes into the second period as Gryba’s point shot caromed off a pair of Kings players before inching past Quick and into the net.The Oilers what looked like another sure goal by Zack Kassian called back because the whistle had gone due to an upcoming penalty to the Kings.Capitals 5 Wild 4: In St. Paul, Minnesota, T.J. Oshie scored his second goal of the game 1:42 into overtime to bookend Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick, Braden Holtby earned his 40th win and the NHL-leading Washington Capitals beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.After Eric Staal’s goal for the Wild tied the game with 26.6 seconds left in regulation, Oshie took a pass in the left circle from Marcus Johansson and beat struggling Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk with a wrist shot. Johansson had four assists.Martin Hanzal and Jason Pominville had a goal and an assist apiece, but the Wild lost for the eighth time in nine games and fell to 3-11-1 in March after forward Zach Parise exited early with an injury .Oshie started Washington’s longest road trip in six years, five games over an eight-day span, with a first-period goal set up by Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Holtby made 26 saves, brushing off goals by Jared Spurgeon and Staal in the final five minutes to reach 40 victories for the third consecutive season. Martin Brodeur (2005-08, New Jersey) and Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10, San Jose) are the only other goalies in NHL history to do so.Dubnyk, who stopped 15 shots, has given up 26 goals over his last eight games.Ovechkin gave him even more trouble, guiding the Capitals one step closer to the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. His 17th career three-goal game came all on power plays.Ovechkin has a whopping 11 goals and six assists in six career games against Dubnyk, four of those with Minnesota. Sharks 5 Rangers 4, OT: In San Jose, California, Brent Burns scored a power-play goal 3:10 into overtime and San Jose snapped a six-game losing streak, rallying past New York on a night when both teams clinched a playoff berth.Chris Tierney tied the game with his second goal with 2:15 to play in regulation after San Jose had blown a 3-1 lead. Jannik Hansen added his first goal since joining the Sharks, and Melker Karlsson scored short-handed.San Jose’s postseason spot was secured midway through the game when Los Angeles lost at Edmonton.The scuffling Rangers also wrapped up a playoff trip, their seventh in a row, by earning one point. New York lost for the fourth time in five games.Burns’ drive from the circle in overtime ended his 16-game goal drought.J.T. Miller scored his second goal early in the third period to put New York up 4-3. Derek Stepan and Jesper Fast also scored for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves but lost his second straight start after missing seven games with a hip injury.Martin Jones stopped 24 shots for San Jose.The Sharks remained tied for second place in the Pacific Division with the Oilers, two points behind Anaheim with six games to play. Ducks 4 Canucks 1: In Vancouver, British Columbia (AP) — Corey Perry and Patrick Eaves scored 74 seconds apart early in the first period, and Anaheim cruised past Vancouver to extend its season-high winning streak to five games.Nick Ritchie, with a goal and an assist, and Brandon Montour also scored for Anaheim, which clinched a playoff spot earlier in the night when the Oilers defeated the Kings.Jonathan Bernier made 33 saves and Antoine Vermette added two assists as the Pacific Division leaders improved to 9-1-1 over their last 11 games. Bernier is 9-0-1 over his last 10 starts, including eight wins in a row.Highly touted rookie forward Brock Boeser scored in his home debut for Vancouver, and Ryan Miller stopped 35 shots in the loss. The Canucks, already eliminated from playoff contention, are 2-7-2 over their last 11 games.
Main category: Sports

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