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NHL roundup: Knights beat Wild to clinch final playoff berth

Vegas Golden Knights centre Nicolas Roy takes a face-off against Minnesota Wild centre Joel Eriksson Ek
Vegas Golden Knights centre Nicolas Roy takes a face-off against Minnesota Wild centre Joel Eriksson Ek Reuters
The defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights built an early lead and went on to a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild in Las Vegas on Friday, clinching the final Western Conference playoff berth in the process.

Jack Eichel, Nicolas Roy and Pavel Dorofeyev each had a goal and an assist and Chandler Stephenson tied his career high with four assists for Vegas, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Jonathan Marchessault, Tomas Hertl, William Karlsson and Keegan Kolesar scored one goal apiece, Noah Hanifin added two assists and Logan Thompson finished with 25 saves for the Golden Knights. Vegas also moved within one point of the third-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.

Marat Khusnutdinov scored his first NHL goal and Ryan Hartman also scored for Minnesota. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 23 saves for the Wild, who lost for the fourth time in their past five games.

Flames 6, Ducks 3

Nazem Kadri collected one goal and two assists in his 900th career game and Andrei Kuzmenko posted his second career hat-trick as visiting Calgary claimed a victory over Anaheim.

Andrew Mangiapane and Connor Zary also scored for the Flames, who have won two of three games. Dustin Wolf, the two-time AHL top goaltender, made 19 saves, while Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar and Martin Pospisil all collected two assists.

Frank Vatrano, Olen Zellweger and Sam Colangelo - in his NHL debut - scored for the Ducks. Anaheim goalie John Gibson stopped 21 shots.

Hurricanes 5, Blues 2

Seth Jarvis and Jaccob Slavin each had a goal and an assist as Carolina helped to eliminate St. Louis from the chase for the final wildcard spot in the West.

Jake Guentzel scored a pair of empty-net goals for the Hurricanes, who have won four straight and pulled to within a point of the New York Rangers for the Metropolitan Division lead. Frederik Andersen made 29 saves.

Zack Bolduc and Jordan Kyrou scored, and Jordan Binnington made 37 saves for the Blues, who were eliminated when the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Minnesota Wild later Friday.

Predators 5, Blackhawks 1

Filip Forsberg scored his 10th career hat trick en route to setting the franchise single-season goal-scoring record as visiting Nashville cruised past Chicago.

Forsberg scored his 44th, 45th and 46th goals to move into sole possession of the franchise single-season scoring mark previously set by Matt Duchene (43) in 2021-22. Kiefer Sherwood and Jason Zucker also scored for Nashville, Luke Evangelista added two assists and Kevin Lankinen made 25 saves.

Philipp Kurashev scored for the Blackhawks, who took their third straight loss. Arvid Soderblom finished with 35 saves.

Coyotes 3, Oilers 2 (OT)

Matias Maccelli scored the overtime winner and added an assist as Arizona improved to 9-5-0 over its last 14 games by edging hosts Edmonton.

Maccelli took a Michael Kesselring pass and beat Calvin Pickard glove side for his 15th of the season at 1:35 of the extra period. Josh Doan and Logan Cooley scored the other Arizona goals, and Karel Vejmelka made 38 saves on a day when Coyotes management arrived in Edmonton to address rumours of the team's relocation to Salt Lake City.

Adam Henrique and Darnell Nurse scored for the Oilers, who still secured home ice in the first round of the playoffs with the single point. Evander Kane had two assists, and Pickard stopped 25 shots.

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