Eric Staal had a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves as the Minnesota Wild held on to edge the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Friday night in Las Vegas.
Despite sustaining a fourth consecutive loss, Vegas still clinched a Stanley Cup playoff berth by virtue of Colorado’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes.
Kevin Fiala and Greg Pateryn also scored goals for Minnesota, which remained four points behind the Avalanche for the second Western Conference wild-card spot with four games remaining for both teams. Dubnyk, playing in his 65th game, a league high among goalies, hit the 30-win mark for the fourth straight season while improving to 4-0-1 all-time against the Golden Knights.
Paul Stastny scored both goals for Vegas while Malcolm Subban finished with 29 saves to lose for just the second time (13-2-1) in his career at T-Mobile Arena.
Rangers 4, Blues 2
Jimmy Vesey scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period for New York, which stormed back from a two-goal, first-period deficit and briefly denied visiting St. Louis a chance to clinch a playoff spot.
The Blues later ended up earning a postseason berth when Colorado defeated Arizona.
Vesey scored on the rebound of a shot by Brett Howden to cap a chaotic sequence deep in the Blues’ zone. Howden had a point-blank shot and a backhanded attempt turned away by St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington before Vesey swooped in and tucked over the leg of the sprawled-out Binnington at the 5:47 mark.
Avalanche 3, Coyotes 2 (SO)
Nathan MacKinnon matched a career high with his 39th goal and provided the lone score in the shootout as surging Colorado earned a key victory over Arizona in Denver.
The Avalanche seemed headed toward a 2-0 victory as time was winding down in the third period, but Oliver Ekman-Larsson took over for Arizona.
The star defenseman sent a wrister from the far board blue line past Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer to get the Coyotes within a goal with eight minutes left in regulation. Then, with goalie Darcy Kuemper on the bench and an extra skater on the ice, Ekman-Larsson struck from the left circle with 50.5 seconds remaining to tie the game, force overtime and eventually the shootout.
Flames 6, Ducks 1
Sean Monahan scored twice and added two assists as host Calgary scored six unanswered goals en route to a blowout win over Anaheim.
Calgary snapped a two-game losing skid. With one win in their remaining games, the Flames would win a conference title for the first time since the 1989-90 campaign.
Mark Giordano, Garnet Hathaway, James Neal and Derek Ryan also scored for Calgary. The game’s opening goal came from Ducks rookie Andy Welinski, the first of his NHL career.
Predators 3, Penguins 1
Nashville scored in each period, and Pekka Rinne made a season-high-tying 42 saves in a solid win at Pittsburgh.
Craig Smith and P.K. Subban each had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for Nashville, which won its second in a row and tied Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division.
Nick Bjugstad scored a goal, and Matt Murray made 23 saves for Pittsburgh.
Red Wings 4, Devils 0
Dylan Larkin scored his team-high 31st goal and added an assist as host Detroit rolled to its fourth consecutive victory by silencing New Jersey.
Tyler Bertuzzi scored an empty-netter and assisted on two more goals. Danny DeKeyser and Andreas Athanasiou also scored for Detroit.
Jake Chelios, son of longtime Red Wings and Chicago defenseman Chris Chelios, made his NHL debut for Detroit. Chelios, 28, was an emergency call-up from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins due to injuries. He logged more than 17 minutes of ice time against the Devils.
—Field Level Media