ST. LOUIS — Chris Stewart reached career milestones of 100 goals and 100 assists and the St. Louis Blues clinched a playoff berth with two games to spare, beating the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Brian Elliott had to make just 17 saves two nights after getting yanked in a 5-3 loss at Colorado that squandered the Blues' first chance at clinching. St. Louis, which entered the game needing a point to qualify, scored two power play goals for the first time in 32 games since Feb. 15 in the home-and-home rematch.
Patrik Berglund and Andy McDonald beat Semyon Varlamov on consecutive shots in the second period to make it 3-0. Together, that duo had mustered two assists in 14 games. The Blues have made the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2003-04.
They've won four in a row at home to match their season best, taking the first three by 2-1 scores, and were in fifth place in the Western Conference and a point ahead of San Jose, at home against the Stars later Tuesday. Cody McLeod scored his eighth of the season and fifth in five games for the Avalanche, which is an NHL-worst 3-16-4 on the road. Varlamov made 31 saves.
The Blues had plenty of offense without top line forward David Perron, demoted to the fourth line after a giveaway in Colorado.
Hurricanes 4, Islanders 3 (S0)
RALEIGH, N.C. — The New York Islanders clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot despite a shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
With the point they received by reaching overtime, coupled with a loss by the Winnipeg Jets at Washington, the Islanders secured a place in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
John Tavares tied it with 1:01 left in regulation. Josh Bailey and Brad Boyes also scored, and Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves for the Islanders.
Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner scored in the shootout to give the Hurricanes the victory.
Carolina's Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist, Patrick Dwyer and Alexander Semin added goals, and Dan Ellis made 36 saves before stopping Frans Nielsen and Boyes in the shootout.
The Islanders earned a point for the 11th straight game (8-0-3).
Sharks 3, Stars 2
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored goals 30 seconds apart late in the third period to help San Jose clinch its ninth straight playoff berth with a come-from-behind victory over Dallas.
Raffi Torres also scored for the Sharks, who moved into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with Los Angeles with two games remaining in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round. The Sharks visit the Kings in the season finale on Saturday.
Antoine Roussel and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars, whose playoff hopes were dealt a serious blow. Dallas remains two points behind ninth-place Detroit and three behind eighth-place Columbus in the race for the final playoff spot. The Red Wings have a game in hand over both teams. The Stars end the season with home games against Columbus and Detroit.