Lightning clinch playoff by beating Canadiens
Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop had two assists and Vladislav Namestnikov scored two goals as the Lightning clinched an Eastern Conference playoff berth with a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL on Monday.
Bishop started plays that set up breakaway goals by Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin in the second period. Nikita Kucherov and Anton Stralman also scored for Tampa Bay, which trails Atlantic Divisionleading Montreal by one point.
The Lightning won all five games this season against the Canadiens, outscoring them 21-8. Montreal swept Tampa Bay in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Bishop also made 25 saves. In other games, Chicago beat Los Angeles 4-1 to pull within a point of second-place St. Louis in the Central Division as the struggling Blues lost to Vancouver 4-1.
Calgary held on to beat Dallas 5-3 to move three points ahead of Los Angeles in the Pacific Division and Edmonton ended a five-game, road- losing streak by topping Colorado 4-1.
Chicago defensemen Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson scored 1:04 apart in the second period, and Marian Hossa added a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks won their second game in two nights.
the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, whose playoff hopes are fading as the regular season comes to an end.
The Blues never led against Vancouver and missed a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a victory. St. Louis has one win in its last six games and remains one point shy of a seventh 100-point season.
Radim Vrbata had a goal and assist, and Eddie Lack made 23 saves for Vancouver, which strengthened its hold on second place in the Pacific Division.
Calgary’s Jiri Hudler, Raphael Diaz and Johnny Gaudreau scored within a span of 6:49 of the second period to open a 4-2 lead against Dallas.
Edmonton’s Justin Schultz broke a second-period tie, and Richard Bachman stopped 29 shots to lead the Oilers past Colorado.
And Buffalo ended a five-game losing streak by beating Arizona 4-1 in a matchup between the NHL’s worst two teams. Andrej Meszaros scored two goals for the second straight game.
Colorado Avalanche right wing Jordan Caron, front, takes a shot in front of Edmonton Oilers left wing Rob Klinkhammer in the third period of an NHL hockey game on Monday, March 30.