Penguins clinch playoff berth

Edmonton goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin stops a shot by Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos during the second period. The Lightning beat the Oilers in a shootout.

PITTSBURGH — Evgeni Malkin scored twice, James Neal had four assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a playoff spot with a 5-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.


Chris Kunitz, Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis also scored to help Pittsburgh pull within a point of the New York Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining.

Marc-Andre Fluery made 29 saves for his NHL-leading 40th victory.



In Philadelphia, Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds scored shootout goals to lift Philadelphia.

Claude Giroux scored his 27th goal for the Flyers, and Alex Ovechkin had his 33rd for the Capitals.

Read scored on the first shot of the shootout against Braden Holtby, and Matt Hendricks beat Ilya Bryzgalov on Washington’s first attempt.

Giroux and Ovechkin were both denied and another round came up empty for both teams. Simmonds scored, and Bryzgalov stuffed Troy Brouwer to preserve the win.



In Tampa, Fla., Teddy Purcell scored in the sixth round of a shootout, and Tom Pyatt had two goals in regulation in Tampa Bay’s victory over Edmonton.

Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis also scored in the extra session.



In St. Paul, Minn., Devin Setoguchi scored in the fourth round of a shootout in Minnesota’s comeback victory over Calgary.

Dany Heatley and Darroll Powe scored in regulation for the Wild. Josh Harding stopped 27 shots and all four Calgary shots in the shootout to hand the Flames their fourth consecutive loss.

Lee Stempniak and Anton Babchuk scored for Calgary.



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From Staff and Wire Reports

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