Blues first team to clinch playoff berth…Penguins win 11th consecutive game…Varlamov backstops Avalanche over Rangers…Thomas adjusts as Bruins edge Flyers…Panthers edge Sabres…Sharks down Red Wings…Kings over Predators…Hurricanes rally to defeat Wild… Bolland getting playoff ready…Cogliano an ironman…Bissonnette’s role changing.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues became the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season, as well as the first to reach 1oo points, downing the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. Rookie Jaden Schwartz, playing in his first NHL game, scored his first NHL goal in the contest.
POST-GAZETTE: Sidney Crosby had 3 assists, Evgeni Malkin a goal and an assist, and Matt Cooke tallied twice, as the Pittsburgh Penguins won their 11th straight with a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
DENVER POST: Semyon Varlamov made 41 saves, and rookie Gabriel Landeskog got the game winner, carrying the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-1 win over the slumping NY Rangers. Varlamov has rallied back strong from his mid-season slump, and those who questioned the Avs decision to acquire him last summer are silent now.
BOSTON HERALD: Tim Thomas made the necessary adjustments to backstop the Bruins to a 3-2 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Dmitry Kulikov scored in a shootout for a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres for their fourth straight home win, widening their lead over the Capitals in the Southeast Division by 5 points.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: Martin Havlat, playing in only his second game since returning from injury, tallied in OT as the Sharks downed the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 to move into a tie for eighth in the Western Conference.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings got three goals in the third to rally back and defeat the Nashville Predators 4-2.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Hurricanes overcame a 3-1 deficit to down the Minnesota Wild 5-3.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: As the playoffs near, Blackhawks center Dave Bolland elevates his game.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Andrew Cogliano stretched his ironman streak to 400 consecutive games during the Ducks 4-2 loss to the LA Kings on Friday.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Popular Phoenix Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette faces a changing world as fighting declines in the NHL.