The Washington Capitals welcomed back Nicklas Backstrom and took a big step toward the playoffs Saturday night, blowing a two-goal lead for the second game in a rowbefore taking the shootout for a 3-2 win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.
The result, coupled with Toronto's 4-3 win over Buffalo, moved the Capitals two points clear of the Sabres with three games to play. Washington also moved within two points of Southeast Division leader Florida.
Devils clinch playoff slot
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 host Carolina Hurricanes, 5-0. Brodeur's 119th career shutout moved him one victory from another NHL record. His next win will give him 14 seasons with at least 30 wins.