Devils clinch playoff berth

Published: Sunday, April 1 2012 12:17 a.m. MDT

New Jersey's Zach Parise (9) shoots the puck past Carolina goalie Brian Boucher (33) with Tim Gleason (6) nearby.

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists, Martin Brodeur made 22 saves in his third shutout of the season and the New Jersey Devils clinched a playoff berth by routing the Carolina Hurricanes 5-0 on Saturday night.

Petr Sykora added a goal and an assist for the Devils. David Clarkson, Ryan Carter and Zach Parise also scored, and Patrik Elias had two assists.

New Jersey scored three goals in a 3:50 span and had no trouble after that while wrapping up a return to the playoffs after a one-year absence.

Brodeur's 119th career shutout moved him one victory from becoming the first goalie in NHL history to reach 30 victories in 14 seasons with at least 30 victories.

Brian Boucher stopped 26 shots in his second appearance after missing 43 games because of a groin injury. The Hurricanes have lost four of five.

CANUCKS 3, FLAMES 2, OT: At Vancouver, British Columbia, Andrew Ebbett scored at 3:58 of overtime to lift Vancouver past Calgary, giving the Canucks the top spot in the Western Conference.

BLUE JACKETS 5, BLUES 2: At St. Louis, R.J. Umberger scored twice, rookie goalie Allen York made it three wins in three career starts and Columbus made St. Louis need some help to clinch the Central Division title.

BLACKHAWKS 5, PREDATORS 4: At Nashville, Tenn., Brent Seabrook scored at 8:19 of the third period, and Chicago clinched a playoff berth, beating Nashville after blowing a 4-0 lead.

BRUINS 6, ISLANDERS 3: At Uniondale, N.Y., Brad Marchand snapped a third-period tie with his team-leading 27th goal, and playoff-bound Boston ended New York's postseason chances.

LIGHTNING 3, JETS 2, OT: At Tampa, Fla., Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 56th goal of the season 45 seconds into overtime to lift Tampa Bay past Winnipeg.

CAPITALS 3, CANADIENS 2, SO: At Washington, Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin scored in a shootout to help Washington beat Montreal, moving the Capitals two points ahead of Buffalo for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

WILD 4, KINGS 3, SO: At St. Paul, Minn., Erik Christensen and Mikko Koivu scored in a shootout for Minnesota.

COYOTES 4, DUCKS 0: At Glendale, Ariz., Mike Smith had 44 saves in his second straight shutout and seventh of the season, and Ray Whitney passed 1,000 career points with a goal and assist in Phoenix's victory over Anaheim.

SHARKS 3, STARS 0: At San Jose, Calif., Joe Pavelski scored two goals, Antti Niemi earned his sixth shutout of the season and San Jose beat Dallas to move back into playoff position.

MAPLE LEAFS 4, SABRES 3: At Toronto, Joey Crabb had a goal and an assist, Ben Scrivens made 29 saves and Toronto beat Buffalo to end a team-record 11-game home losing streak.

SENATORS 4, FLYERS 3, SO: At Philadelphia, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek scored shootout goals to lift Ottawa past Philadelphia.

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