Blues lose but make play-offs

The St Louis Blues became the first team to reach the NHL Western Conference play-offs despite a 4-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jaden Schwartz's opener counted for nothing as goals from Scott Hartnell and Brayden Schenn in the second period and Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds in the third earned the Flyers victory.

However, the Boston Bruins' 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes ensured the latter cannot overhaul conference leaders St Louis, who will now contest the post-season.

The in-form Jarome Iginla scored twice for Boston, who lead the Eastern Conference and had already secured their play-off berth.

The San Jose Sharks will have to wait to make sure of their place after a shoot-out defeat to the Washington Capitals. After a 2-2 tie following overtime, Nicklas Backstrom scored the clinching penalty to earn Washington their first win in San Jose since 1993.

The Pittsburgh Penguins trail the Bruins by just six points in the Eastern Conference standings after a 4-3 overtime win over the third-ranked Tampa Bay Lightning.

James Neal scored the clincher with assists from Evgeni Malkin, who netted twice in regulation, and Sidney Crosby who opened the scoring.

The Montreal Canadiens closed to within a point of Tampa in the Atlantic Division with a 4-3 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tomas Plekanec with the winner.

The New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 with goals from Rick Nash and Derek Stepan.

The Edmonton Oilers were humbled 8-1 by the Calgary Flames as Curtis Glencross scored a hat-trick and Matt Stajan had a goal and three assists.

There were 3-2 wins for the Detroit Red Wings and the Carolina Hurricanes against the Minnesota Wild and the Winnipeg Jets respectively.

The Los Angeles Kings overcame the Florida Panthers 4-0, while the Dallas Stars won 3-1 against the Ottawa Senators.