Thursday's NHL: Canes finish with team-high 54 wins, Bergeron nets hat trick
Raleigh, N.C. — Jesperi Kotkaniemi had a goal and two assists and the Carolina Hurricanes closed out a record-setting season with a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
The Hurricanes, who clinched the Metropolitan Division title two nights earlier, added to their franchise records for wins (54) and points (116) in a season.
Ethan Bear, Martin Necas, Teuvo Teravainen, Steven Lorentz and Jordan Martinook also scored for the Hurricanes, who will carry a six-game winning streak into the playoffs.
Carolina goalie Antti Raanta made 27 saves and improved to 7-0-1 all-time against New Jersey.
Fabian Zetterlund, Jesper Bratt and Jimmy Vesey scored for the Devils, who are 0-3-2 in their last five games with one game remaining. Pavel Zacha had two assists and Andrew Hammond stopped 30 shots. The Devils will host the Red Wings on Friday.
► (At) Boston 5, Buffalo 0: Patrice Bergeron recorded his eighth career hat trick and his 400th NHL goal, and David Pastrnak ended Boston’s 0-for-39 power-play slump with his 40th goal of the season to lead the Bruins past Buffalo.
It was already 4-0 when Bergeron gathered in a pass from Charlie McAvoy in the center and wristed it into the net with 2:13 remaining for his third of the game. Hats came flying over the glass, and the Bruins hugged their captain, jumping up and down on their skates.
Linus Ullmark made 37 saves against his former team for his first shutout of the season as he tries to win the job as No. 1 goaltender for the playoffs.
Dustin Tokarski stopped 27 shots for the Sabres, who will miss the playoffs for the 11th straight season.
► (At) Columbus 5, Tampa Bay 2: Oliver Bjorkstrand led Columbus with a goal and an assist in the win over Tampa Bay, keeping the Lightning from clinching the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Division.
Jakub Voracek, Cole Sillinger, Jack Roslovic and Andrew Peeke also scored in the Blue Jackets’ final home game of the season. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 25 shots in his 27th win.
Nikita Kucherov and Corey Perry scored for Tampa Bay, while Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each had two assists. Brian Elliott stopped 30 shots.
Tampa Bay has a one-point lead over Boston with one game remaining for each team. The No. 3 seed will play the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the other will get the East’s No. 1 wild-card spot and a series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
► Florida 4, (at) Ottawa 0: Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and Spencer Knight stopped 27 shots for his second career shutout as Florida beat Ottawa.
Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett also scored for Florida, which halted Ottawa’s four-game winning streak.
Filip Gustavsson made 26 saves for Ottawa.
With the top seed in the Eastern Conference locked up, the Panthers rested a few of their starters, including Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Claude Giroux, MacKenzie Weegar and Gustav Forsling.
► (At) N.Y. Islanders 5, Washington 1: Brock Nelson and Anders Lee scored first-period goals, Mathew Barzal had three assists and Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves as New York routed playoff-bound Washington.
J.G. Pageau, Kyle Palmieri and Josh Bailey added third-period goals for the Islanders, who swept a home-and-home series with the playoff-bound Capitals this week.
Varlamov’s shutout was ruined with 41.4 seconds left in the game when Washington’s Axel Jonsson-Fjallby scored. Vitek Vanecek made 21 saves for the Capitals.
The Islanders were coming off a 4-1 victory at Washington on Tuesday when Ryan Pulock and Dobson each scored power-play goals as New York snapped a five-game winless streak. That win ended the Islanders’ road season at 17-19-5.