April 10, 2011
Meszaros' two goals and two assists helped power the Flyers to the Atlantic Division title with a 7-4 win over the New York Islanders. Down 4-3 early in the second period, Philadelphia scored four unanswered goals to clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Scott Hartnell(notes) scored two goals of his own and Danny Briere(notes) added three points.
Tampa ended the playoff dreams of Carolina with a convincing 6-2 win. St. Louis scored the final goal of the night and helped set up a pair earlier in the game. Goaltender Mike Smith(notes) made 42 saves for his third straight win as Tampa won their 46th game of the season, tying a franchise record. Steven Stamkos(notes) scored his 45th goal of the season to finish second in the Rocket Richard Trophy race.
Florida ended another playoff-less season by snapping a 10-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals. Vokoun stopped 28 shots for his sixth shutout of the season in what could possibly be his final game as a Panther. Bill Thomas(notes) scored the only goal with 6:05 left in the third to give the Capitals only their fourth loss in their last 20 games.
Honorable mention: Drew Stafford(notes) and Paul Gaustad(notes) scored during a five-minute Buffalo power play as the Sabres edged Columbus 5-4. Brad Boyes(notes) recorded three assists as Buffalo finished the season on a 28-11-6 run since Jan. 1 ... Nathan Horton(notes) was an assist away from a Gordie Howe Hat Trick after scoring his 26th goal of the year and scrapping with Zach Smith minutes later during Boston's 3-1 win over Ottawa. Tim Thomas(notes) made 31 saves and set an NHL record by finishing the season with a .938 save percentage, .001 better than Dominik Hasek's(notes) .937 set during the 1998-99 campaign ... Jaroslav Halak(notes) made 24 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and third against Nashville in a 2-0 St. Louis win. Alex Steen(notes) scored his 100th NHL and T.J. Oshie(notes) provided the second goal of the game in highlight reel-style:
Needing a win to keep their playoff hopes a live, the New York Rangers got a three-goal second period en route to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Ryan McDonagh(notes) scored his first NHL goal and Chris Drury(notes) scored his first goal of the season as New York ended the season 11-4-1 in their final 16 games ... Brian Gionta(notes) scored two power play goals and Carey Price(notes) became the first Canadiens goaltender since Ken Dryden in 1976-77 to win 38 games as Montreal beat Toronto 3-1. The victory was Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin's 600th in the NHL ... Dan Ellis(notes) won his 21st game of the season with 43 saves as Anaheim downed Los Angeles 3-1 and moved to the fourth seed in the West. At age 40, Teemu Selanne(notes) recorded his first fighting major during this tilt with Brad Richardson(notes):
Christian Ehrhoff's(notes) goal 2:41 into overtime completed a Vancouver comeback for a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. The Canucks found themselves down 2-0 before goals from Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler(notes) would force overtime. Cory Schneider(notes) stopped 34 shots for the win. Daniel Sedin(notes) had two assists to clinch the Art Ross Trophy with 104 point ... Behind Logan Couture's(notes) 32nd goal and Antti Niemi's(notes) 35 saves, the San Jose Sharks got past the Phoenix 3-1. Your "Save of the Night" honors goes to Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) for this diving stop:
Did you know? The East playoff matchups are set. It'll be (1) Washington vs. (8) New York Rangers, (2) Philadelphia vs. (7) Buffalo, (3) Boston vs. (6) Montreal, and (4) Pittsburgh vs. (5) Tampa Bay. Out West the only seeds locked up at the moment are Vancouver (1st), San Jose (2nd), Detroit (3rd), and Anaheim (4th). The full opening round schedule will be released by the NHL tomorrow night.
Dishonorable mention: Rick DiPietro(notes) ended the season on a four-game losing streak and allowed 16 goals over that span ... Carolina came out flat in a game that had they won would have put them in the playoffs.