NHL: Penguins win, extend lead as top seed in East

2013-04-18T00:00:00Z NHL: Penguins win, extend lead as top seed in EastThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PITTSBURGH - Brenden Morrow scored two goals Wednesday night for the second straight game, and Pittsburgh beat Montreal 6-4 to move closer to clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Penguins lead the Canadiens by nine points in the fight for the top seed. Both teams have five games remaining.

Brandon Sutter added two goals for Pittsburgh, and newly acquired Jarome Iginla and Doug Murray also scored for the Penguins, who had little trouble with the Canadiens despite playing without injured stars Sidney Crosby (broken jaw) and Evgeni Malkin (shoulder).

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots, and Pittsburgh dominated in racing to a quick 4-0 lead.

Brian Gionta, Alex Galchenyuk, Gabriel Dumont and Andrei Markov scored for the reeling Canadiens, who have lost three straight. Peter Budaj started in goal but was pulled after stopping just six of the nine shots he faced in the first period.

Carey Price relieved and allowed three goals on 20 shots, absorbing the loss.

• Sabres 3, Bruins 2, SO: In Boston, Drew Stafford scored the only shootout goal after Buffalo tied the game in the final minute of regulation.

The Sabres forced overtime with 26.6 seconds left when Cody Hodgson scored his 14th goal of the season, tipping in Thomas Vanek's pass into the slot during a power play.

Boston clinched a playoff berth by gaining one point. The Bruins are tied in points with Montreal atop the Northeast Division, but have one game in hand on the Canadiens. Both teams trail Pittsburgh by nine points.

There was heightened security at TD Garden where cars entering the garage were searched, and fans were checked with wands and patted down. It was the first pro game in Boston since the marathon bombings Monday.

• Flames 3, Red Wings 2: In Calgary, Alberta, Steve Begin scored two goals in the third period, and Calgary held on.

Begin took advantage of a pair of blunders by goalie Jimmy Howard to score his third and fourth goals of the season.

Lee Stempniak also scored for the Flames, who won all three games against the Red Wings this season.

• Blue Jackets 3, Ducks 2, OT: In Anaheim, Calif., Fedor Tyutin scored 2:19 into overtime, and Columbus moved into eighth place in the Western Conference.

Blake Comeau and Matt Calvert also scored for the Blue Jackets, who rallied to win and jumped two points ahead of Detroit. Columbus moved within one point of seventh-place St. Louis. Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves.

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