Capitals beat Hurricanes 3-2 to clinch playoff spot

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Nic Dowd scored on a deflection with 4:56 remaining and the Washington Capitals clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana also scored and Braden Holtby made 24 saves to help the defending Stanley Cup champions reach the 100-point mark for the fifth straight season and wrap up their 11th spot in the playoffs in 12 years. Alex Ovechkin — with 49 goals — was held off the score sheet and missed a long shot toward an empty net with about 45 seconds remaining.

Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter scored for the Hurricanes. They lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since mid-January and missed out on an important two points that would have helped their chase for their first playoff berth in a decade.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice, Sergei Bobrovsky had 28 saves and Columbus beat Montreal to move into an Eastern Division wild-card spot.

The Blue Jackets tied Montreal for the second wild card and they hold the tiebreaker with five games remaining. Carolina is one point ahead in the first slot.

David Savard, Artemi Panarin, Riley Nash and Brandon Dubinsky also scored for Columbus. Brett Kulak had a goal and an assist, and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Tyler Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the game in overtime to lift Detroit over Buffalo.

Dylan Larkin also had two goals for Detroit, Filip Hronek added a goal, and Jimmy Howard made 35 saves.

Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo, Marco Scandella and Casey Mittelstadt scored for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost 12 of their last 13 games.


OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and Florida beat Ottawa to snap a three-game losing streak.

Troy Brouwer, Dryden Hunt and Evgenii Dadonov also scored for Florida. Roberto Luongo made 28 saves. Colin White and Brady Tkachuk scored for Ottawa.