Oilers deny Wild from clinching berth

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Corey Potter and Nail Yakupov both scored two goals, and the Edmonton Oilers prevented the Minnesota Wild from clinching a spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 6-1 rout on Friday night.

Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle each added a goal and two assists for the Oilers, who won for the second time in 11 games but will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 38 shots.

Mikko Koivu scored for the Wild, who could have gotten into the playoffs for the first time in five seasons with a win. Instead, Minnesota will enter today’s season finale at Colorado tied with Columbus for eighth place in the West, one point behind seventh-place Detroit. Minnesota owns the tiebreaker and can secure a postseason spot with a win.

If Detroit gets a point in its season finale, Columbus wins, and Minnesota loses, the Wild would be eliminated.

SABRES 2, ISLANDERS 1 (SO)

In Buffalo, N.Y., Thomas Vanek scored the lone goal in the shootout, and Ryan Miller made 30 saves before the tiebreaker to give the Sabres a victory over New York in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Miller, playing in his 500th game with the Sabres, sealed the win when he stopped John Tavares’ shot in the third round of the shootout. Brian Flynn scored in regulation for the Sabres, off an assist from Vanek.

Keith Aucoin scored and Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves through overtime for the Islanders, who moved up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference but will need help to stay there. The Islanders (24-17-7) lead the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators by one point, but the Rangers have one game left, and Ottawa has two remaining this weekend.

Buffalo will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season and fourth in six years.

PENGUINS: In Canonsburg, Pa., Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby returned to practice on Friday, but his status for next week’s playoff opener remains uncertain.

Crosby hasn’t played since breaking his jaw in March. He took part in non-contact drills on Friday, wearing a protective facemask.


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