NEWARK, N.J. — Taylor Hall scored two goals and the New Jersey Devils took a major step toward their first playoff berth since 2012 with a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Coupled with Florida’s 5-1 loss to Boston earlier in the day, the Devils opened a five-point lead over the Panthers in the race for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and moved within a point of Philadelphia for the top wild-card spot. The Devils and Flyers have four games left, one fewer than Florida.

Stefan Noesen and Blake Coleman each had a goal and assist as the Devils won for the seventh time in 10 games (7-2-1).

PENGUINS 5, CANADIENS 2: Patric Hornqvist picked up his 200th career goal and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions clinched their 12th straight playoff berth with a victory at home.

Phil Kessel, Riley Sheahan, Conor Sheary and Carl Hagelin also scored for Pittsburgh, which improved to 17-1-1 in its last 19 games at PPG Paints Arena.

RANGERS 2, HURRICANES 1: Ryan Sproul scored and Kevin Hayes added a short-handed goal as visiting New York eliminated Carolina from the playoff race.


RED WINGS 2, SENATORS 0: Jimmy Howard stopped 31 shots for his first shutout of the season and 24th of his career as Detroit won at home.

JETS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 1: Josh Morrissey and Dustin Byfuglien scored 1:10 apart in the second period as Winnipeg won at Toronto.

CANUCKS 5, BLUE JACKETS 4: Alex Edler scored 1:21 into overtime to give Vancouver a win over visiting Columbus.


AVALANCHE: Colorado received a big blow in its quest to make the playoffs when goalie Semyon Varlamov and defenseman Erik Johnson were ruled out for the remainder of the regular season because of injuries.

Varlamov suffered a lower-body injury Friday against the Blackhawks. Johnson has a fractured patella and will be sidelined at least six weeks.

Going into Saturday’s games, the Avalanche were tied with the Blues for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.