NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Devils are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Patrick Maroon set up second-period goals by Pavel Zacha and Miles Wood and the Devils ended a five-year postseason drought with a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Keith Kinkaid, the mainstay in goal since the end of January, made 31 saves as the Devils won their fourth straight and extended their points streak to eight games (7-0-1). He preserved the lead with a stop in close on Auston Matthews with just over seven minutes to play.

New Jersey is 10-2-1 in its past 13 in going from the worst team in the Eastern Conference a year ago to one that will get a chance to start playing for the Stanley Cup next week.

After it was over, the players went to center ice and saluted the fans who were standing for much of the final minute.

William Nylander scored on a power play in the first period for Toronto to ice his second straight 20-goal season. Frederik Andersen was outstanding, making 37 saves, including saves on breakaways by Taylor Hall and Michael Grabner in the big second period.


The loss was only the fourth in 13 games (9-4) for the Maple Leafs, who will face either Boston or Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs.

New Jersey will have to wait for its opponent to be decided.

ISLANDERS 2, RANGERS 1: Thomas Hickey and Anthony Beauvillier scored 2:32 apart in the second period and the host Islanders kept up their recent mastery of the Rangers.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 shots as the Islanders won for the 11th time in the past 12 meetings with the Rangers.

They swept the four-game season series for the second time in the past three seasons.

Kevin Hayes scored and Ondrej Pavelec finished with 20 saves for the Rangers.


FLYERS 4, HURRICANES 3: Jakub Voracek scored with 5:45 left in the third period to lift playoff-chasing Philadelphia over visiting Carolina.

Claude Giroux, Ivan Provorov and Michael Raffl also scored for Philadelphia.

PREDATORS 4, CAPITALS 3: Craig Smith scored twice and Ryan Johansen had the go-ahead goal late in the third period to help visiting Nashville clinch first place in the Central Division and the top seed in the Western Conference.

CANADIENS 4, RED WINGS 3: Nicolas Deslauriers’ second goal put visiting Montreal ahead late in the second period and it held on to beat Detroit.

PENGUINS 5, BLUE JACKETS 4: Phil Kessel scored 1:06 into overtime for visiting Pittsburgh, but Columbus still clinched a playoff spot with a point for the OT loss.


SENATORS: Forward Marian Gaborik had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.

Gaborik, 36, had 11 goals and 10 assists in 46 games this season for Los Angeles and Ottawa. He last played March 22.

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