Cap­i­tals top Hur­ri­canes, clinch play­off spot

Dowd picks up game-win­ner

The Buffalo News - - NHL - NEWS WIRE SER­VICES

Nic Dowd’s slight re­di­rect­ion led to the win­ning goal as the de­fend­ing Stan­ley Cup cham­pion Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals clinched a play­off spot with a 3-2 vic­tory against the host Carolina Hur­ri­canes on Thurs­day night in Raleigh, N.C.

Dowd’s sev­enth goal of the sea­son came with 4:56 re­main­ing when de­fense­man Nick Jensen de­liv­ered the puck from out­side the right cir­cle. Dowd put his stick on the puck, which slid be­tween goalie Curtis McEl­hin­ney’s pads.

Wash­ing­ton wrapped up an Eastern Con­fer­ence play­off spot and re­mains in the lead in the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Di­vi­sion.

Brett Con­nolly and Jakub Vrana also scored for the Cap­i­tals.

The out­come was frus­trat­ing for the Hur­ri­canes, who are try­ing to at least keep a spot as a wild-card team for the play­offs.

Jack­ets rip Cana­di­ens

Oliver Bjork­strand scored twice as the host Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets moved into the fi­nal wild-card spot in the East af­ter post­ing a 6-2 vic­tory over the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens.

Bjork­strand has five goals in his last five games for the Blue Jack­ets, who have won three in a row over­all and a sea­son-best five straight at home to match Mon­treal at 90 points with a game in hand.

Isles rally past Jets

Casey Cizikas scored the ty­ing goal with 1:46 left and Jor­dan Eberle scored the win­ning goal just 33 sec­onds later as the vis­it­ing New York Is­landers stormed back to stun the Win­nipeg Jets, 5-4. New York passed Pitts­burgh in the Metro Di­vi­sion and now needs just two more points to clinch a play­off spot.

The Is­landers trailed 2-0 less than seven min­utes into the game and were down 3-1 in the sec­ond and 4-2 in the third be­fore mount­ing a come­back.

New York, which scored just six goals in its pre­vi­ous five games, pulled within 4-3 on Eberle’s first goal 7:49 into the third. Cizikas swooped into the crease be­hind Jets right winger Pa­trik Laine to put back the re­bound of a shot by An­thony Beauvil­lier be­fore Eberle took a no-look pass from be­hind the net by Mathew Barzal and scored.

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