NHL Wrap: Caps clinch Southeast division

NHL Wrap: Caps clinch Southeast division
April 23, 2013, 11:00 pm
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After remembering and honoring all those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings, the Flyers put up five goals to beat the Bruins, 5-2 (see story).

The game followed an emotional tribute to the city of Boston, eliciting "WE LOVE YOU, BOSTON!" cheers from Flyers fans (see story).

Now, here is a recap of Tuesday's action in the NHL:

Caps clinch Southeast division with win
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals clinched the Southeast Division title Tuesday night, completing a stark turnaround in a lockout-shortened season with a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 31st goal, John Erskine cleared two shots off the goal line, and Braden Holtby made 24 saves for the Capitals, who have won 10 of 11 to secure a playoff berth with two games to spare.

The Capitals were next-to-last in the Eastern Conference as recently as March 21, but Ovechkin and first-year coach Adam Oates have led them to the postseason for the sixth consecutive season, including five Southeast titles.

As the division winner, Washington leapfrogs several teams with better records to enter the playoffs as the conference's No. 3 seed (see full recap).

- The Associated Press

Islanders secure playoff berth with SO loss
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The New York Islanders clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot despite a 4-3 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

With the point they received by reaching overtime, coupled with a loss by the Winnipeg Jets at Washington, the Islanders secured a place in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Kyle Okposo tied it with 1:01 left in regulation and had an assist. Josh Bailey and Brad Boyes also scored, and Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves for the Islanders.

Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner scored in the shootout to give the Hurricanes the victory.

Carolina's Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist, Patrick Dwyer and Alexander Semin added goals, and Dan Ellis made 36 saves before stopping Frans Nielsen and Boyes in the shootout (see full recap).

- The Associated Press

Canadiens suffer blow to division title hopes
NEWARK, N.J. -- Patrik Elias scored his 375th NHL goal, Martin Brodeur made 19 saves for his 669th victory and the New Jersey Devils earned a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

New Jersey, which was eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, dealt a blow to Montreal's hopes of winning the Northeast Division. The Devils (18-18-10) won for the third time in four games following a 10-game losing streak.

The sputtering Canadiens (27-14-5) lost for the fifth time in six games. They trail Boston by two points in the Northeast with only two games remaining.

Elias gave the Devils a 1-0 lead in the first period, Jacob Josefson netted his first of the season in the opening frame, and Steve Sullivan made it 3-0 in the second.

Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller both had second-period goals for Montreal (see full recap).

- The Associated Press

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