April 9 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Wednesday's National Hockey League games.
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Blue Jackets 3, Stars 1
The Columbus Blue Jackets clinched a playoff spot for the second time in franchise history after getting three first-period goals and a 33-save performance from goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars.
This game was rescheduled from March 10 after Stars center Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench early in the first period with an irregular heartbeat.
Columbus (42-31-7, 91 points) last made the playoffs in 2009. Dallas (39-30-11, 89 points) remains two points ahead of the idle Phoenix Coyotes for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
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Penguins 4, Red Wings 3 (shootout)
Jussi Jokinen scored the lone goal of the shootout to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, who still clinched their 23rd consecutive berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs with their one point.
The Red Wings (38-27-15), who are 5-1-1 in their last seven games, forced overtime when Red Wings center Riley Sheahan scored his seventh goal of the season with 1:15 left with a slapshot from the right circle.
The Penguins (51-24-5) are locked into the second seed spot in the Eastern Conference, behind the Boston Bruins, with the playoffs set to begin next week.
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Chicago 3, Montreal 2 (overtime)
Patrick Sharp scored 43 seconds into overtime to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Marian Hossa tied the scores with 47.7 seconds left in regulation as the Blackhawks won their fourth in a row and prevented Montreal from winning a third straight game.
With five players out because of injury and illness, the Canadiens presented a makeshift lineup. Alex Galchenyuk suffered a lower-body injury and played only two shifts.
Corey Crawford stopped 28 shots for the Blackhawks (46-19-15), who are tied in the Western Conference with fourth-placed San Jose on 107 points.
Montreal (45-27-8) are third in the East with 98 points.
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Ducks 5, Sharks 2
Patrick Maroon scored two goals, and the Anaheim Ducks secured their second consecutive Pacific Division championship with a win over the San Jose Sharks.
Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey each added a goal and an assist, right winger Teemu Selanne contributed two assists.
Ducks goalie John Gibson made 36 saves for his second victory in two NHL starts as Anaheim (52-20-8) established single-season team records for most points, 112, and goals, 257.
The second-place Sharks (49-22-9) will open the postseason against the third-place Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks' opening playoff opponent has yet to be determined.
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Flames 4, Kings 3 (shootout)
Los Angeles was uninspired much of the night in a shootout loss to the Calgary Flames, leaving the Kings winless in three games with the playoffs just around the corner.
Flames rookie center Sean Monahan collected his fourth shootout-winning goal in the fourth round of the showdown to net Calgary the win and the season series over the King
The Kings (45-28-7) are merely killing time ahead of the postseason.
They are locked into the third spot in the Pacific Division, and they will open the playoffs against the second-place San Jose Sharks. (Editing by John O'Brien)
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