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Islanders Pull Away From Rangers – NHL Roundup For April 17th

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders - Getty Images
Florida Panthers v New York Islanders – Getty Images

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Islanders completed their home schedule by moving two points closer to their first Stanley Cup playoff berth in six years.

Michael Grabner scored twice and Evgeni Nabokov (nah-BAH’-kahv) stopped 26 shots as the Islanders beat Florida 5-2. The outcome moves the Isles three points ahead of the Rangers and Jets in the battle for the last two Eastern Conference playoff slot. New York turned it into a rout when Radek Martinek (mahr-TEE’-nehk) and Grabner tallied 13 seconds apart to make it 5-1 early in the second period.

Ottawa remains one point ahead of the Islanders following a 3-2 win over Carolina. Sergei Gonchar assisted on goals by Mika Zibanejad (MEE’-kuh zah-BIHN’-ah-zhahd) and Milan Michalek (mih-HAHL’-ek) to help the Senators win their third in a row since a five-game losing streak.

The Rangers were 4-2 losers in Philadelphia as Kimmo Timonen (TEE’-mo-nehn) scored the game-winner and had an assist. Steve Mason turned back 38 shots and was sensational at times while the Rangers were outscoring the Flyers 17-4 in the third period.

Winnipeg beat Tampa Bay 4-3 in a shootout to pull even with the Rangers for eighth in the East. Andrew Ladd provided two goals and an assist in regulation before netting the deciding shootout goal.

Washington is closer to clinching the Southeast Division crown after Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH’-kihn) notched his league-high 28th goal in the Capitals’ eighth straight win, 5-1 against Toronto. Martin Erat (EE’-rat) added a goal and an assist as the Caps kept the Maple Leafs four points behind Northeast-leading Montreal.

Shootout goals by Andy McDonald and Alex Steen lifted St. Louis past Vancouver 2-1, giving the Blues a three-point cushion over ninth-place Columbus. Jay Bouwmeester tied the score midway through the third period before the Blues gave Ken Hitchcock his 600th coaching win.

San Jose blew a 2-0 lead before Raffi Torres notched the lone shootout goal to give the Sharks a 3-2 win against Los Angeles. Brent Burns had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who are in a virtual tie for fourth with the Kings in the West.

Minnesota is still sixth in the West and a point ahead of St. Louis after Klye Brodziak scored twice in the Wild’s 5-3 win at Edmonton. Newly-acquired Jason Pominville set up goals by Zach Parise (pah-REE-say) and Brodziak to put the Wild ahead 5-1 early in the third period.

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms on a six-year, $31.8 million contract with Jimmy Howard, who could have become a free agent this summer. The 29-year-old Howard is 17-12-6 with a 2.31 goals against average and a .920 save percentage this season.

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