The Seattle Kraken clinched the first playoff berth in franchise history and set an NHL record for victories in an expansion team’s second season by beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 on Thursday night.
Jared McCann, Jordan Eberle, Matty Beniers and Vince Dunn scored for the Kraken, who earned their 44th win — the most by a second-year NHL team since the Original Six era, which ended in 1968. It’s a big turnaround for Seattle, which was 27-49-6 in its first season and finished last in the Pacific Division.
Philipp Grubauer had 27 saves for Seattle, which won its third straight game.
Barrett Hayton and Laurent Dauphin scored for Arizona, which has dropped nine in a row. Karel Vejmelka stopped 29 shots.
BRUINS 2, MAPLE LEAFS 1, OT
David Pastrnak scored his 57th goal of the season at 2:30 of overtime to give history-chasing Boston a victory over Toronto.
Pastrnak blasted a shot from inside the left circle as the Bruins notched their 61st victory — one off the NHL season record set by Detroit in 1995-96 and matched by Tampa Bay in 2018-19.
Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves for Boston, winners of four straight, and Charlie Coyle also scored.
Ilya Samsonov made 31 saves for Toronto, which led 1-0 heading into the third period on Sam Lafferty’s second-period goal.
PANTHERS 7, SENATORS 2
Alex Lyon set a franchise record for saves in a regulation game with 56 and Aleksander Barkov scored twice and Florida beat Ottawa for its fifth consecutive victory.
Lyon surpassed the mark of 53 set by Craig Anderson on March 2, 2008. The record for most saves total in a game of 57 was set in a overtime loss to Detroit by Hall of Famer Roberto Luongo on Feb. 27, 2002.
Florida remained tied with the New York Islanders for the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference but holds the tiebreaker with more wins.
Brandon Montour, Sam Reinhart, Eetu Luostarinen, Nick Cousins and Gustav Forsling also scored for Florida, which scored five goals in the second period alone. Claude Giroux, who played for the Panthers following last season’s trade deadline, scored for the Senators, who were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. Ridly Greig scored late in the third for Ottawa.
DEVILS 8, BLUE JACKETS 1
Jack Hughes scored two goals and set up two by Timo Meier and New Jersey routed Columbus with its biggest offensive output in more than four years.
Tomas Tatar, Erik Haula, Damon Severson and Ryan Graves also scored in the Devils’ 50th win of the season, one off tying the franchise record set in 2008-09. Vitek Vanecek made 16 saves.
The Devils’ franchise record is nine goals in a game.
Finnish rookie Joona Luoto scored his first NHL goal for Columbus.
STARS 4, FLYERS 1
Jason Robertson beat the first-period buzzer while scoring twice and Dallas beat Philadelphia to keep pace in the tight Central Division playoff race.
Joe Pavelski had a goal and two assists and Colin Miller scored as the Stars reached 100 points, tied with defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado atop the Central —two points ahead of Minnesota.
Kevin Hayes prevented Jake Oettinger’s fifth shutout of the season with his 18th goal in the second period. The Dallas goalie had 24 saves in the Flyers’ fourth consecutive regulation loss.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5, KINGS 2
Vegas scored four goals on its first six shots and took a major step toward clinching the Pacific Division and the top seed in the Western Conference with a victory over Los Angeles.
The third line shined for the Knights with Phil Kessel, Ivan Barbashev and Chandler Stephenson each finishing with a goal and an assist. Vegas’ other two goals came from Nicolas Roy and Jonathan Marchessault.
Laurent Brossoit, competing to be the Knights’ starting goalie in the playoffs, made 30 saves. Anze Kopitar and Vladislav Gavrikov scored for the Kings.
SABRES 7, RED WINGS 6, SO
Tage Thompson scored his 45th goal of the season, Dylan Cozens had two goals and Buffalo outlasted Detroit in a shootout.
Henri Jokiharju, Zemgus Girgensons and Jordan Greenway also scored for the Sabres, and Devon Levi made 26 saves. Alex Tuch and Jack Quinn scored in the shootout.
Thompson is the first Sabres player to reach 45 or more goals in a single season since Alexander Mogilny (76) and Pat LaFontaine (53) in 1992-93. Thompson also has 91 points, becoming the first Sabres player to reach that mark since Daniel Briere had 95 in 2006-07.
Austin Czarnik, Dylan Larkin, Alex Chiasson, Simon Edvinsson, Jonatan Berggren and David Perron scored in regulation for the Red Wings. Lucas Raymond scored the only shootout goal for Detroit.
PENGUINS 4, WILD 1
Tristan Jarry stopped 27 shots and Pittsburgh beat Minnesota to keep pace in the race for one of the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference.
Kris Letang beat Fleury, a good friend who won three Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh before leaving in the 2017 expansion draft, over the glove in the first period for his 11th goal of the season. Rickard Rakell, Jason Zucker and Jeff Carter also scored for the Penguins, who are trying to extend their playoff streak to 17 years.
Marcus Johansson scored on the two-man advantage midway through the third period to spoil Jarry’s bid for a shutout.
ISLANDERS 6, LIGHTNING 1
Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson, Kyle Palmieri and Ryan Pulock scored second-period goals, Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves and New York beat Tampa Bay to keep pace in the Eastern Conference wild-card race.
Simon Holmstrom and Bo Horvat also scored for the Islanders, who had lost their previous two games and three of their last five before emerging with two key points in a battle with Florida and Pittsburgh for the two wild-card spots.
All three teams won Thursday night. The Panthers and Islanders are tied with 89 points, with the Penguins just one point behind. Each has three games remaining.
Nikita Kucherov scored for Tampa Bay.
BLUES 3, RANGERS 2, OT
Kasperi Kapanen scored 1:16 into overtime to lift St. Louis past New York.
Kapanen took a pass from Brayden Schenn to score his 15th goal of the season for St. Louis, which has won two in a row. Tyler Pitlick and Alexey Toropchenko also scored, and Jordan Binnington made 21 saves.
Vincent Trocheck tied it for the Rangers with 2:03 remaining in regulation on a power play and Jaroslav Halak pulled for an extra attacker.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored and added an assist in his first game in St. Louis since being traded to New York along with Niko Mikkola on Feb. 9.
CANADIENS 6, CAPITALS 2
Joel Armia had his second career hat trick and Montreal beat Washington to snap a four-game skid.
Nick Suzuki, Brendan Gallagher and Mike Hoffman also scored for Montreal, Mike Matheson had two assists and Sam Montembeault made 24 saves.
Dylan Strome and Nicklas Backstom scored for Washington and Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves. Washington has lost three straight.
Freshly eliminated from playoff contention, the Capitals played a man short with forward Anthony Mantha ruled out with a lower-body injury.
PREDATORS 3, HURRICANES 0
Mark Jankowski had a goal and an assist in the first period and Nashville beat Carolina to keep alive its improbable playoff hopes.
Michael McCarron also scored as the Predators won their second straight and third in four games after jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Dante Fabbro added an empty-net goal with 2:44 remaining, and Spencer Stastney had two assists for his first NHL points.
Juuse Saros made 32 saves for the win with his second shutout this season and 20th of his career. Saros got some help.
CANUCKS 3, BLACKHAWKS 0
Thatcher Demko stopped 33 shots for his first shutout of the season and third overall in Vancouver’s victory over Chicago.
Andrei Kuzmenko, Vitali Kravtsov and J.T. Miller — into the empty net — scored and defenseman Akito Hirose had two assists to help the Canucks end a four-game losing streak.
Alex Stalock stopped 26 shots for the Blackhawks. They were coming off a 4-3 victory at Calgary on Tuesday night, but have lost nine of 10.
AVALANCHE 6, SHARKS 2
Mikko Rantanen had a hat trick to lead Colorado past San Jose.
Rantanen reached 52 goals on the season and finished with four points in the game. Nathan MacKinnon also scored a goal and had four points. Ben Meyers scored the other two goals for Colorado and Alexandar Georgiev made 21 saves.
Erik Karlsson had a goal and assist to up his point total to 98 for the season for San Jose. Steven Lorentz also scored, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 15 saves before he was pulled.