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Stanley Cup Playoffs

GM says coach change 'wake-up call' for Predators

Barry Trotz, NHL's longest tenured coach, out after 15 seasons as Predators make 1st change
Teresa M. Walker, The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - General manager David Poile hopes he sent the strongest message possible by making the first coaching change in Nashville's history: missing the playoffs is not acceptable for the Predators.

Spezza lifts Senators to SO win over Penguins

Spezza scores in SO, Senators beat playoff-bound Penguins 3-2
Dan Scifo, The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Pittsburgh Penguins are ready for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Ottawa Senators aren't headed to the post-season, but captain Jason Spezza wanted to make sure his team finished the season strong.

Spezza scored in the shootout to help the Senators beat the Penguins 3-2 on Sunday night and stretch their season-ending winning streak to five games.

Staal scores twice as 'Canes beat Flyers

Jordan Staal scores twice and Hurricanes beat Flyers 6-5 in shootout
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Jordan Staal scored twice in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in regular-season finale Sunday.

Jeff Skinner added a pair of goals for the Hurricanes, who finish the season in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, outside of the playoff picture.

Red Wings keep Blues down with 3-0 shutout

Red Wings keep Blues down, finish strong with 3-0 shutout heading into playoffs
R.B. Fallstrom, The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS - Without Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson, the Detroit Red Wings warmed up for the playoffs with a win.

They sent the sagging St. Louis Blues, minus even more big names, limping into the post-season.

"They didn't have their team and we didn't have chunks of our team, too, so I don't know if you can evaluate much about the game," coach Mike Babcock said after a 3-0 victory on Sunday. "But it's always nice to win it."

Bruins clinch NHL's top record, beat Sabres 4-1

Bruins clinch best record in NHL as Krejci scores 2 goals in 4-1 win over Sabres
Howard Ulman, The Associated Press

BOSTON - Cheering fans stood and waved gold and black towels as the Boston Bruins claimed the Presidents' Trophy for the NHL's best regular-season record.

The celebration will be a lot bigger if the Bruins achieve their ultimate goal, winning the Stanley Cup.

"We've still got to do some work here in order to get the trophy that we all really want," Boston coach Claude Julien said.

NHL Capsules

NHL Capsules
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Rick Nash scored the winning goal with 1:42 left, on New York's third shot of the third period, and the Rangers clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

New York secured second place in the Metropolitan Division when the Philadelphia Flyers lost at Tampa Bay later Thursday. The Rangers will face either the Flyers or Columbus in the playoffs.

Sharp lifts Blackhawks past Canadiens in OT

Sharp's goal at 43 seconds of OT lifts Blackhawks to 3-2 win over Canadiens
Matt Carlson, The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Patrick Sharp stepped up late to make sure the Chicago Blackhawks a win in their last regular-season home game.

Sharp set up Marian Hossa's tying goal in the final minute of regulation and then got the game-winner 43 seconds into overtime to lift the Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

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