Light­ning clinch play­off by beat­ing Cana­di­ens

The China Post - - SPORTS -

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.

Jake Muzzin

scored

for

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.

AP

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.

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