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Bruins beat Devils to clinch playoff berth

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Patrice Bergeron scored his 20th goal and the Boston Bruins clinched their fifth straight playoff berth with a dominating 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.

Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots for his second shutout of the season and Nick Ritchie broke a scoreless tie in the second period as the Bruins won their fourth straight game and ended the Devils’ three-game winning streak.

Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk scored on a deflection off Devils defenseman Ryan Murray late as the Bruins won for the 10th time in 12 games. Brad Marchand, who was playing in his 800th NHL game, and Bergeron got the assists on the third goal.

Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood finished with 39 saves.

Capitals 6,

Rangers 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Daniel Sprong’s tiebreaking goal in the third period led Washington past the fading, who were knocked out of playoff contention.

Nic Dowd, Conor Sheary, Garnet Hathaway, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson also scored for the Capitals as they snapped a two-game skid. Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves to earn the 19th win of his rookie season.

Mika Zibanejad scored twice and Kaapo Kakko also had a goal for New York, which dropped its third consecutive game. Artemi Panarin added two assists and Igor Shesterkin stopped 34 shots, but the Rangers were eliminated from the postseason picture when Boston beat New Jersey.

Alex Ovechkin returned to Washington’s lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury but went to the locker room after playing 39 seconds in the first period and did not return.

Sabres 4,

Islanders 2

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Michael Houser stopped 34 shots in his NHL debut, Sam Reinhart scored twice in Buffalo’s three-goal third period and the Sabres rallied from a two-goal deficit.

Tage Thompson and Rasmund Asplund also scored for Buffalo. Houser spent the past 8 1/2 seasons in the minor leagues. It was his first game since March 7, 2020, with Cincinnati of the ECHL.

Adam Pelech and Oliver Wahlstrom scored for the Islanders. Semyon Varlamov, coming off three straight shutouts, finished with 36 saves.

The Islanders fell to fourth place in the Eastern Division –one point behind Boston, which beat New Jersey 3-0. The Bruins also have a game in-hand on the Islanders.

Flyers 7, Penguins 2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Claude Giroux had two goals and an assist, Kevin Hayes gave Philadelphia a rare early lead, and the Flyers skated to an easy 7-2 victory over the first-place Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night.

Joel Farabee had a goal and two assists and Shayne Gostisbehere, Wade Allison and Robert Hagg also scored for the Flyers, who snapped a three-game skid and won for just the sixth time in the last 16.

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