SPORTS

NHL Playoffs 2013: Eastern Conference standings, schedule, key games

Washington can earn its 5th division title in six seasons with a win Tuesday. Photo: Associated Press
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The Washington Capitals are the kings of the Southeast Division yet again, and they're busy getting prepared for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Bookmark this page to see the latest on the Capitals and their opponents as they prepare for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Thursday's game: Ottawa Senators 2, Washington Capitals 1 (OT)

(AP/ABC7) - The Washington Capitals have lost only twice in the month of April, and its to a team they may be facing in the first round of the playoffs.

Sergei Gonchar scored 47 seconds into overtime, Erik Karlsson set up Ottawa's first goal in his sooner-than-anticipated return from a torn Achilles tendon, and the Senators clinched a playoff berth by beating Washington.

Craig Anderson made 19 saves. The only shot that got past him was Alex Ovechkin's NHL-leading 32nd goal, which tied the game 8½ minutes into the third period.

But ex-Capitals defenseman Gonchar put the winner past Michal Neuvirth, who made 39 saves.

The Senators' win eliminated the Winnipeg Jets from playoff contention, meaning that the Capitals will be the only Southeast Division team represented in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Washington wraps up the regular season on Saturday with a home game against the Boston Bruins.


Eastern Conference Standings

Seed Team GP W L OTL PTS ROW
3 Y - Washington Capitals 47 26 18 3 55 23
4 X - Montreal Canadiens 47 28 14 5 61 25
5 X - Toronto Maple Leafs 47 26 16 5 57 26
6 X - Ottawa Senators 46 24 16 6 54 20
7 X - New York Rangers 47 25 16 4 54 21
8 X - New York Islanders 47 24 17 6 54 20

X designates a team has clinched a playoff berth. Y designates a team has clinched a division title.

The top eight teams in each conference make the playoffs. Division winners are automatically seeded 1-3. ROW is the team's total of regulation and overtime wins, which is the NHL's first standings tiebreaker.


Tuesday's key results

Philadelphia Flyers 2, New York Islanders 1

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Oliver Lauridsen and Danny Briere scored to lead Philadelphia over the New York Islanders, who dropped to eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Lauridsen scored his second career NHL goal on a slap shot high above the circle late in the third period to lift the Flyers to a win in their home finale. They will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who are headed to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. They dropped to eighth place after failing to earn a point for the first time in 12 games.

New York Rangers 4, Carolina Hurricanes 3 (OT)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Rangers captain Ryan Callahan scored 2:55 into overtime, and New York rallied to clinch a third straight Eastern Conference playoff berth by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Thursday night.

Brad Richards tied it for the Rangers with 2:57 remaining in regulation after New York blew an early 2-0 lead and fell behind already-eliminated Carolina.

Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Florida Panthers 0

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Phil Kessel scored two goals to lead playoff-bound Toronto over last-place Florida.

Clarke MacArthur and Leo Komarov also scored for the Maple Leafs. James Reimer stopped 34 shots for his fourth shutout of the season. Nazem Kadri had a pair of assists.

Montreal Canadiens 4, Winnipeg Jets 2

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - The Winnipeg Jets saw their playoff hopes end on the scoreboard before they were beaten by Montreal.

The Jets were ahead 2-1 as they started the third but already knew whatever they did wouldn't be enough.

Both the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators won to clinch the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

 

Friday's key game

New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.

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