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NHL: Nashville Clinches Playoff Berth


The Nashville Predators have clinched a National Hockey League playoff berth despite a 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.

Nashville is tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the top spot in the NHL standings with 101 points. Nashville clinched a playoff spot Thursday despite losing four of their last five games.

In Thursday's contest, Calgary defenseman Rhett Warrener scored the winning tally 87 seconds into the five-minute extra session to lift the Flames on their home ice. Calgary is in the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference eligible for the playoffs.

New York Islanders' goalie Rick DiPietro stopped 35 shots in a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins that stopped a four-game losing streak.

The struggling defending champion Carolina Hurricanes edged the lowly Washington Capitals 4-3. The Hurricanes outshot the Caps 39-10.

The Canadiens, Lightning, Senators, Blue Jackets, Sharks, Wild and Coyotes also won Thursday.

The Montreal Canadiens scored five unanswered goals in a 6-3 rout of the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis scored twice in the Lightning's' 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, and the Ottawa Senators completed a four-game season sweep of Florida with a 4-2 defeat of the Panthers.

The Columbus Blue Jackets won a tiebreaker to beat the NHL second-place Detroit Red Wings 2-1, the San Jose Sharks trounced the Atlanta Thrashers 5-1, and the Minnesota Wild won a club-record eighth straight game with a 5-1 thumping of the St. Louis Blues. Also, the Phoenix Coyotes edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1.

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