Flyers, Wild sew up playoff spots
Giroux, Koivu collect 2 points for respective clubs
Mikko Koivu scored for Minnesota and Ilya Bryzgalov denied all three Boston shots in the shootout, lifting the Wild to a 4-3 victory over the Bruins on Tuesday night that clinched a wild-card spot in the NHL Western Conference playoffs.
In Florida, Claude Giroux scored two goals and the Philadelphia Flyers secured a Stanley Cup playoff berth by beating the hometown Panthers 5-2.
Koivu, who had two assists, switched to his backhand to flip the puck past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in the second round.
When Bryzgalov stopped Brad Marchand's try with his pad to end it, he pumped his arms as he skated out of the crease to celebrate with his teammates. The Wild will be the seventh seed and face the division winner with the fewest points.
With Bryzgalov pulled for the extra skater late in regulation, the Wild had the Bruins in brief disarray on the defensive end, and Ryan Suter knocked in the tying goal with 65 seconds remaining.
"We wanted to get in the right way," said right-winger Jason Pominville, who had two goals and an assist. "We stuck to it and found a way to score one late, and I think it's a sign of a good team when you get in the right way against the best team in the NHL right now."
The Wild will be the seventh seed and face the division winner with the fewest points.
"The message was, 'Let's not wait for anything. Let's not back our way into anything. Let's not come through the back door. Let's go charging through the front door,"' coach Mike Yeo said. "And what a better way to do it against a team like Boston."
Bring on the playoffs
The Flyers are ready for the playoffs.
Tye McGinn, Sean Couturier and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Flyers and Steve Mason made 38 saves.
The Flyers won their second consecutive game after losing the four previous games and after a 1-7 start to the season, making the playoffs is a big relief.
"From the start we got, from the first [eight] games, we've got to be proud of what we've done," Lecavalier said. "Obviously we have to finish strong and make sure that we're ready and confident for that first round."
Jonathan Huberdeau and Erik Gudbranson scored goals for Florida and Dan Ellis stopped 22 shots. Ellis substituted for Roberto Luongo, a late scratch with an upper-body injury.
After the game, Panthers coach Peter Horachek said Luongo's injury was muscular soreness and not serious.
The Panthers didn't go easily. Trailing 4-0, they scored two goals early in the third period to close to 4-2 and make the Flyers nervous.
"We kind of took our foot off the gas," Giroux said. "We only have three games to kind of work on our game and be ready for the playoffs."