BUFFALO, N.Y. – Peter Budaj stopped 14 shots, and the Montreal Canadiens clinched a playoff berth and regained the Northeast Division lead with a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov had a goal and assist each, and Rene Bourque, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher also scored for the Canadiens.
In earning its fourth postseason berth in five years, Montreal is returning to the playoffs after bottoming out last year, when the Canadiens finished last in the Eastern Conference.
Budaj had his shutout bid snapped 6:45 into the third period when Brian Flynn scored a short-handed goal.
SENATORS 3, FLYERS 1: Colin Greening scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, and Ottawa snapped a five-game losing streak at Philadelphia.
Flyers forward Claude Giroux was hit with a double-minor penalty for high-sticking with 6:07 left. Greening buried a wrister past Ilya Bryzgalov for his eighth goal seconds later for the 2-1 lead.
Daniel Alfredsson scored an empty-net goal with 6.9 seconds left. Zack Smith also scored for Ottawa.
Giroux had the lone goal for the Flyers.
CAPITALS 3, HURRICANES 1: Washington won its sixth straight and extended Carolina’s losing streak to seven.
Troy Brouwer and Mike Green scored second-period goals, Brouwer added an empty-netter and Braden Holtby made 43 saves for the Southeast Division leaders almost one month to the day after their playoff hopes appeared buried following a shutout loss to the then-surging Hurricanes.
Jeff Skinner scored in the first period, and Justin Peters had 28 stops for the Hurricanes, who now trail the Capitals by 12 points.
JETS 7, PANTHERS 2: Evander Kane scored two goals and host Winnipeg routed Florida to win its third straight and tie the New York Rangers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
PENGUINS 6, LIGHTNING 3: Jussi Jokinen scored two goals and added an assist, Pascal Dupuis had a goal and two assists, and the Eastern-Conference leading Pittsburgh beat Tampa Bay.
Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang was back in the lineup and had an assist after missing the previous six games with a lower body injury. The Penguins are still without center Sidney Crosby (broken jaw), left wing James Neal (concussion) and defenseman Paul Martin (hand).
BLUES 2, WILD 0: Brian Elliott notched his third straight shutout and St. Louis won its sixth straight.
Roman Polak ended a 120-game streak without a goal, and Andy McDonald also scored, sending the Wild to their sixth loss in eight games. They have been shut out in 3 of 4.
SHARKS 3, RED WINGS 2: Patrick Marleau scored the winner in the shootout and had a short-handed goal early in the game, lifting San Jose to victory on the road.
Antti Niemi made 27 saves through overtime, while Jimmy Howard stopped 28 shots for Detroit. Niemi got his glove on Niklas Kronwall’s slap shot with 44 seconds left in the extra period, giving the Sharks a chance in the shootout.