Down 2 goals, Predators rally, repeat as Central Division champs

Viktor Arvidsson scored the go-ahead goal at 3:33 of the third period, and the host Nashville Predators won their second straight Central Division title by beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 after rallying from a two-goal deficit.

With St. Louis beating Vancouver 3-2 earlier Saturday, the Predators needed two points against Chicago in the league’s regular-season finale to win the Central or risk going from division champs to possibly third if Winnipeg finished off with a win at Arizona later. The Predators now are assured of home-ice advantage through at least the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Lightning 6, Bruins 3: Tampa Bay won its NHL record-tying 62nd game, getting a short-handed goal by Steven Stamkos during a three-goal second period in Boston. The Lightning (62-16-4) tied the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for most victories in the regular season. Six of the wins, though, came in shootouts. The league introduced shootouts to decide ties after overtime at the start of the 2005-06 season. Before that, games ended in ties after overtime.

Jets 4, Coyotes 2: Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba had goals for visiting Winnipeg, which clinched second place in the Central.

Blues 3, Canucks 2: Jordan Binnington stopped both shots he faced in the shootout for host St. Louis, which was third in the Central. Binnington finished with 23 saves and closed out his breakthrough season with a 24-5-1 record. Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn scored in regulation for the Blues. Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron converted in the tiebreaker.

Oilers 3, Flames 1: Edmonton star Connor McDavid injured his left leg and left the season finale after crashing into the Calgary net. Alex Chiasson, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse scored for the visiting Oilers.

Islanders 3, Capitals 0: Valtteri Filppula scored twice in his return from injury, Robin Lehner stopped all 29 shots he faced and visiting New York beat defending Stanley Cup champion Washington. The Islanders will open the playoffs at home for the first time since 1988 against Pittsburgh. The Capitals will face Carolina.

Stars 3, Wild 0: Tyler Seguin broke open a scoreless game with two third-period goals and host Dallas took the Western Conference’s top wild-card spot.

Hurricanes 4, Flyers 3: Jordan Staal scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and visiting Carolina won its fourth in five games to finish in the top wild-card spot in the East.

Rangers 4, Penguins 3: Ryan Strome scored 2:09 into overtime and lottery-bound New York beat host Pittsburgh, which earned a point to secure third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Blue Jackets 6, Senators 2: Pierre-Luc Dubois scored two goals for visiting Columbus, which warmed up for its first-round matchup against Tampa Bay.

Canadiens 6, Maple Leafs 5: Ryan Poehling recorded a hat trick and added the shootout winner in his NHL debut for host Montreal as both teams ended their season. Play-by-play man Bob Cole capped a 50-year run behind the microphone.

Sabres 7, Red Wings 1: Jeff Skinner scored twice to reach the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career as host Buffalo and Detroit closed out their seasons.

Devils 4, Panthers 3: Travis Zajac scored the winning goal on the power play in overtime, lifting visiting New Jersey in the season finale for both teams, each of which will miss the playoffs.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Down-2-goals-Predators-rally-repeat-as-Central-13747779.php.

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