Artturi Lehkonen broke a scoreless tie with 4:11 left in regulation and Carey Price stopped all 22 shots he faced Friday as the Montreal Canadiens posted a 2-0 win that eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins in a qualifying round series in Toronto.
Montreal, seeded 12th and last in the Eastern Conference, won the best-of-five series 3-1. The Canadiens’ opponent in the upcoming first round has not been determined.
Pittsburgh, seeded fifth, got its only win in Game 2.
During a delayed penalty, Montreal winger Paul Byron carried the puck nearly behind the Penguins’ net before dishing a backhand shot out to Lehkonen, who banged the puck in from the low slot with Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry drawn over to the post by Byron.
Shea Weber added an empty-net goal with 32 seconds remaining.
Blackhawks 3, Oilers 2
Dominik Kubalik scored the go-ahead goal with 11:30 left in the third period, and Chicago held on to close out Edmonton in the best-of-five qualifying series in four games and advance to the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Twelfth-seeded Chicago earned a 3-1 series victory after posting its second straight win over fifth-seeded Edmonton, the conference’s hub city host. Brandon Saad and Matthew Highmore also scored for the Blackhawks, who advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign.
Josh Archibald and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the Oilers, who failed to qualify for the round of 16 for the third season in a row. Connor McDavid tallied two assists and finished the series with nine points (five goals, four assists) in four games. Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford finished with 43 saves. Mikko Koskinen made 26 saves for Edmonton.
Canucks 5, Wild 4 (OT)
Christopher Tanev scored 11 seconds into overtime, and Vancouver advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs’ main draw with a victory over Minnesota in Game 4 at Edmonton.
Tanev, who also had two assists, fired a shot from the right point through traffic and past the blocker side of Minnesota goaltender Alex Stalock to clinch the best-of-five Western Conference qualifying series 3-1.
Bo Horvat also scored a goal and had two assists, Quinn Hughes and Tanner Pearson each had a goal and an assist, and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Canucks. Jacob Markstrom finished with 25 saves. Eric Staal, Luke Kunin, Joel Eriksson Ek and Nico Sturm scored goals and Jonas Brodin had a pair of assists for Minnesota.
Coyotes 4, Predators 3 (OT)
Brad Richardson’s overtime goal gave Arizona the win in Game 4, eliminating Nashville in Game 4 of their Western Conference best-of-five qualifying series.
The Coyotes will advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after winning their first postseason series since 2012. It is only the Coyotes’ third series win in 24 seasons since relocating to Arizona. The sixth-seeded Predators finished four points ahead of the 11th-seeded Coyotes during the regular season.
Michael Grabner, Phil Kessel, and Jordan Oesterle also scored for Arizona. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists. Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped 49 of 52 shots. Matt Duchene, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville, and Forsberg added an assist. Juuse Saros stopped 30 of 34 shots.
Maple Leafs 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
Auston Matthews scored the overtime game winner to complete a wild comeback and Toronto claimed a win over Columbus in Toronto to force a fifth and deciding game in their Eastern Conference qualifying-round series.
The clubs will decide who advances in the playoffs Sunday in Toronto, with the winner meeting either the Tampa Bay Lightning or Philadelphia Flyers.
One night after erasing a three-goal deficit to claim a 4-3 overtime victory, the Blue Jackets saw a 3-0 lead of their own disappear in stunning fashion. The Maple Leafs scored three times in the final four minutes of regulation with their goalie pulled for the extra attacker. William Nylander began the comeback by banging home a rebound with 3:57 left on the clock to put Toronto on the board.
Islanders 5, Panthers 1
Anthony Beauvillier scored two first-period goals as New York earned a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs by beating Florida in Toronto, winning the best-of-five qualifying series in four games.
New York also got a goal and an assist each from Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal. Semyon Varlamov had 24 saves, Josh Bailey added two assists, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau added an empty-net goal with 2:43 remaining.
Florida got a first-period goal from Mike Hoffman and 33 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky.
--Field Level Media
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.