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Devils cling to slim hope

NEWARK, N.J. — Patrik Elias scored his eighth career hat trick and the Devils kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a 4-2 victory over the Flyers on Friday.

"Mathematically we're still in," Elias said. "We're trying to play well, work hard and have fun. We'll see where we're at in five games." New Jersey has to win its final five games and get a lot of help, or it will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

The East-leading Flyers have lost two in a row and three of four. "We keep talking about being the top team in the league, but we haven't played that way," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said.

Game highlights: The Blackhawks strengthened their playoff position in the chaotic West with a 3-2 shootout victory over the host Blue Jackets. The defending Stanley Cup champions remained in the eighth and final postseason spot, but at 92 points, only three separated them from the fourth-place Coyotes, who hosted the Avalanche late. … Jarome Iginla scored twice and the Flames kept their fading playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the host Blues. They are ninth in the West with 89 points but have just three games left.

Canucks clinch Presidents' Trophy: The Canucks didn't waste a lot of energy celebrating the first Presidents' Trophy in their 40 years. They were focused on adding a more important trophy. "It's nice, but we want another first to come in a few months," goalie Roberto Luongo said, referring to winning the Stanley Cup, after clinching the league's best regular-season record with a 3-1 victory over the Kings late Thursday.

Canadiens: Forward Max Pacioretty skated for 20 minutes in full equipment before the team practiced, his first time on the ice since sustaining a concussion and fractured neck vertebra on a hit March 8 from Boston's Zdeno Chara that sent his head into a padded stanchion supporting a glass partition.

Sabres: Injured goalie Ryan Miller did not travel with the team for a two-game road trip. The Sabres, in a tight fight for one of the last three playoff spots in the East, said only he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

at Devils 0 2 2 4
Flyers 1 0 1 2

First Period1, Phila., van Riemsdyk 20 (Richards, Meszaros), 10:50. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period2, N.J., Elias 17 (Rolston, Tallinder), 6:28. 3, N.J., Elias 18 (Rolston), 8:20 (sh). PenaltiesVolchenkov, NJ (tripping), 7:11.

Third Period4, Phila., Carter 36 (Zherdev, Giroux), 4:18. 5, N.J., Palmieri 8 (Kovalchuk, Zajac), 8:55. 6, N.J., Elias 19 (Rolston, Zubrus), 17:14. PenaltiesPowe, Phi (holding), 4:52. Shots on GoalPhila. 14-9-13—36. N.J. 8-10-6—24. Power-play opportunitiesPhila. 0 of 1; N.J. 0 of 1. GoaliesPhila., Boucher 17-10-4 (24 shots-20 saves). N.J., Hedberg 14-11-2 (36-34).

Blackhawks 2 0 1 0 4
at Blue Jackets 1 1 1 0 3
Blackhawks win shootout 1-0

First Period1, Chicago, Kane 26 (Campoli, Leddy), 2:41. 2, Chicago, Seabrook 7 (Kane, Hossa), 5:49 (pp). 3, Columbus, Mayorov 1 (Stralman, Vermette), 9:17. PenaltiesBoll, Clm (roughing), 5:33; Keith, Chi (hooking), 10:31; Stralman, Clm (tripping), 16:55.

Second Period4, Columbus, Brassard 16 (Stralman, Vermette), 14:07 (pp). PenaltiesHejda, Clm (elbowing), 1:05; Kane, Chi, double minor (high-sticking), 3:00; Toews, Chi (roughing), 9:44; Dorsett, Clm (roughing, cross-checking), 9:44; Frolik, Chi (interference), 11:18; Hossa, Chi (boarding), 13:18; Hjalmarsson, Chi (delay of game), 13:34; Kopecky, Chi (high-sticking), 17:05.

Third Period5, Columbus, Pahlsson 7 (Stralman, Lepisto), 13:22. 6, Chicago, Bickell 17 (Keith), 14:57. PenaltiesNone.

OvertimeNone. PenaltiesNone. ShootoutChicago 1 (Toews NG, Kane NG, Stalberg G), Columbus 0 (Mayorov NG, Kubalik NG, Voracek NG). Shots on GoalChicago 10-7-9-3—29. Columbus 15-14-4-1—34. Power-play opportunitiesChicago 1 of 4; Columbus 1 of 7. GoaliesChicago, Crawford 31-16-5 (34 shots-31 saves). Columbus, Garon 10-12-6 (29-26).

Flames 0 1 2 3
at Blues 1 1 0 2

First Period1, St.L, D'Agostini 21 (Backes, Shattenkirk), 12:20 (pp). PenaltiesShattenkirk, StL (high-sticking), 2:11; Backlund, Cal (interference), 5:32; Calgary bench, served by Iginla (too many men), 10:43.

Second Period2, St.L, Backes 29 (Shattenkirk, Oshie), 14:27. 3, Calgary, Iginla 38 (Tanguay, Giordano), 15:48. PenaltiesReaves, StL (roughing), 3:18; Steen, StL (cross-checking), 10:36; Kostopoulos, Cal (interference), 12:23; T.Jackman, Cal (cross-checking), 14:45; B.Jackman, StL (cross-checking), 14:45; B.Jackman, StL (cross-checking), 17:10.

Third Period4, Calgary, Tanguay 20 (Iginla, Langkow), 8:01. 5, Calgary, Iginla 39 (Tanguay), 14:57. PenaltiesNikitin, StL (high-sticking), 16:32; Regehr, Cal (roughing), 18:01; B.Jackman, StL (roughing), 18:01. Shots on GoalCalgary 5-11-9—25. St.L 11-7-9—27. Power-play opportunitiesCalgary 0 of 5; St.L 1 of 3. GoaliesCalgary, Kiprusoff 35-24-6 (27 shots-25 saves). St.L, Halak 24-21-7 (25-22).

Playoff chase

With nonshootout wins (first tiebreaker in determining final playoff spots) and games left. Division winners get top three seeds:

East Pts. Wins GR

1. Flyers-x102 43 4

2. Capitals-x 101 41 4

3. Bruins-x 97 41 5

4. Penguins-x 98 36 4

5. Lightning-x 95 36 5

6. Canadiens 89 38 4

7. Sabres 87 34 5

8. Rangers 87 33 4

9. Hurricanes 84 32 5

10. Maple Leafs 82 31 4

West Pts. Wins GR

1. Canucks-p 113 48 4

2. Sharks-x 99 40 5

3. Red Wings 98 40 5

4. Coyotes* 95 37 4

5. Predators 94 36 4

6. Kings 94 35 5

7. Ducks 93 40 5

8. Blackhawks92 36 5

9. Flames89 30 3

10. Stars 87 33 6

p-Clinched Presidents' Trophy

x-Clinched playoffs

* Late result not included

Devils cling to slim hope 04/01/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 2, 2011 1:59am]

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