NHL Playoffs: Rangers ride Zuccarello to 3-1 win in series-clinching Game 6

NHL Playoffs: Rangers ride Zuccarello to 3-1 win in series-clinching Game 6

NEW YORK -- Mats Zuccarello scored twice in the second period and the New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in Game 6 on Saturday night to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Derek Stepan also scored and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots to help New York get past the first round for the fifth time in six years. The Rangers won three straight after falling behind 2-1 to beat Montreal for the ninth time in 16 postseason series.

The Rangers will face the winner of the Ottawa-Boston series, which the Senators lead 3-2.

Alexei Emelin scored for Montreal and Carey Price finished with 20 saves. The Canadiens, winners of the Atlantic Division after missing the playoffs last year, were bounced from the postseason by the Rangers for the second time in four years. In 2014, it was in the conference finals (see full recap).

Paajarvi's OT goal gives Blues 4-3 win to oust Wild in 5
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Magnus Paajarvi scored at the 9:42 mark in overtime, giving the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over Minnesota on Saturday in Game 5 of their playoff series, eliminating the Wild.

The Blues advanced to play Nashville in the second round.

Jake Allen made 34 saves for the Blues, who led 2-0 and 3-1 before a furious rally by the Wild to try to keep their season alive forced the extra frame.

Paajarvi's first career playoff goal gave Blues coach Mike Yeo the satisfaction of beating the team that fired him a little over a year ago.

Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker scored to bring the Wild back from their second two-goal hole, a deficit that held past the midpoint of the third period (see full recap).

NHL Playoffs: Predators sweep Blackhawks; Rangers win Game 5 in OT

NHL Playoffs: Predators sweep Blackhawks; Rangers win Game 5 in OT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Roman Josi scored twice, Pekka Rinne had 30 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Thursday night to complete a surprising sweep of the Western Conference's top seed.

Colton Sissons also scored and Viktor Arvidsson added an empty-net goal as Nashville completed the franchise's first playoff sweep. Led by Rinne and a terrific defensive performance by their lines and defensive pairings, the Predators limited the high-scoring Blackhawks to just three goals in 13 periods.

Nashville will face the winner of the St. Louis-Minnesota series in the second round. The Blues have a 3-1 lead heading into Game 5 on Saturday in Minnesota.

Chicago became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the opening round since the Los Angeles Kings knocked off the Vancouver Canucks on their way to the Stanley Cup title in 2012. Chicago's second straight first-round exit followed a regular season in which the Blackhawks went 50-23-9 and recorded 109 points, the second-highest total in franchise history (see full recap).

Zibanejad's OT goal lifts Rangers past Canadiens
MONTREAL -- Mika Zibanejad scored at 14:22 of overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series.

Chris Kreider's shot on a rush went off Alexei Emelin's stick right to Zibanejad for a shot into an open side.

The Rangers grabbed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and will look to advance when they host Game 6 on Saturday.

Jesper Fast and Brady Skjei also scored for New York.

Artturi Lehkonen scored and set up a goal by Brendan Gallagher in the first period for Montreal (see full recap).

Penguins eliminate Blue Jackets with 5-2 win
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby and Scott Wilson scored 51 seconds apart in the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins eliminate the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 5-2 win in Game 5 of their first-round series on Thursday.

Bryan Rust scored twice for Pittsburgh, Phil Kessel added his second of the playoffs and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 49 saves. The defending Stanley Cup champions will face the winner of the Toronto-Washington series in the conference semifinals starting next week.

William Karlsson and Boone Jenner scored for the Blue Jackets, but Sergei Bobrovsky stopped just 27 of 32 shots to finish a forgettable series (see full recap).

Desharnais scores late in OT to lift Oilers over Sharks
EDMONTON, Alberta -- After struggling through the first part of the series, David Desharnais scored in OT to lift the Edmonton Oilers.

Desharnais' goal with less than two minutes to go in the first overtime helped the Oilers beat the Sharks 4-3 on Thursday night and push San Jose to the brink of elimination in the NHL playoffs.

The fourth-line center, in the slot, one-timed a Leon Draisaitl cross-ice pass past Sharks goaltender Martin Jones as the orange and blue-clad fans roared at Rogers Place.

"It feels amazing," said Desharnais, who was a trade-deadline pickup from Montreal. "Everybody was tired a little bit on the ice, so I just jumped in the hole, and (Draisaitl) made a really good pass and I just tried to shoot it as quick as I could and it went in," (see full recap).

NHL Playoffs: Canadiens overcome Lundqvist, Rangers to tie series in OT

NHL Playoffs: Canadiens overcome Lundqvist, Rangers to tie series in OT

MONTREAL -- Alexander Radulov scored at 18:34 of overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday night in Game 2 of the first-round series.

Radulov jammed the puck in from the edge of the crease after a feed from Max Pacioretty to tie the best-of-seven series 1-1. The victory was the first for a Canadian team in the playoffs since 2015.

Game 3 is Sunday night in New York.

Trailing 3-2 in the third period, the Canadiens pressed hard and finally scored with 18 seconds left, with goalie Carey Price pulled for an extra attacker. Tomas Plekanec redirected Radulov's feed past goalie Henrik Lundqvist to force overtime.

Jeff Petry and Paul Byron also scored for Montreal, which wasted early leads of 1-0 and 2-1. Michael Grabner, Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash scored for New York.

Montreal had a 45-30 shots advantage in regulation and a 58-38 overall edge (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins edge Jackets for 2-0 series lead
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists, Marc-Andre Fleury stayed sharp in his second straight playoff start and the Pittsburgh Penguins pulled away for a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

Jake Guentzel added a goal and an assist for the defending Stanley Cup champions. Evgeni Malkin scored his first goal of the postseason, and Patric Hornqvist pushed in an empty-net goal.

Fleury finished with 39 saves while filling in for the injured Matt Murray, and received plenty of help. Pittsburgh blocked 23 shots before they even got to Fleury.

Brandon Saad scored for Columbus, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots.

Game 3 is Sunday night in Columbus (see full recap).

Schwartz goal gives Blues win for 2-0 lead on Wild
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jaden Schwartz scored with 2:27 remaining during a 4-on-4 situation and the St. Louis Blues beat the Wild 2-1 on Friday night to leave Minnesota with a 2-0 lead in the first-round series.

Joel Edmundson had the first goal for the Blues after winning Game 1 in overtime, Jake Allen was as steady as ever in the net again with 23 saves and coach Mike Yeo devised another shrewd plan against his former team.

Zach Parise scored again for the Wild, on a 5-on-3 late in the second period, but goalie Devan Dubnyk simply hasn't been as dominant as Allen at the other end. Screened by David Perron, Dubnyk didn't track Schwartz's deep shot from the slot. He made 20 saves.

The best-of-seven shifts to St. Louis for Game 3 on Sunday (see full recap).