Tom Barrasso stopped 32 shots, and Rob Brown scored the game-winning goal late in the second period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New Jersey Devils, 2-1, Thursday night at East Rutherford, N.J., to clinch their first playoff berth in seven years.
The last time Pittsburgh reached the Stanley Cup playoffs was in 1981-82, two years before it drafted superstar Mario Lemieux. The NHL’s leading scorer, Lemieux injured his groin in a pregame skate Thursday morning and did not dress.
The win gave the Penguins 79 points and moved them into second place in the Patrick Division, one point ahead of the New York Rangers and one behind the first-place Washington Capitals.
New Jersey, on the verge of playoff elimination, lost its third straight game.
Quebec 2, Boston 2--Robert Picard’s goal at 5:53 of the third period lifted the Nordiques into a tie at Boston and kept their hopes alive for a playoff spot.
Picard’s goal came only 1:11 after rookie Greg Hawgood’s power-play goal gave Boston a 2-1 lead.
The game marked the return of 25-year-old defenseman Gord Kluzak to the Bruin lineup. He missed 71 games following surgery on his left knee on Sept. 17--his eighth operation. Kluzak sat out two of the last four full seasons with knee trouble.
St. Louis 4, Philadelphia 3--Brett Hull’s second goal of the game, at 1:39 of overtime, gave the Blues the win at Philadelphia.
The Blues are 4-1-1 in their last six games, while Philadelphia dropped to 1-3-4 in their last eight and fell to 32-32-7, the latest in the season they have been at only the .500 mark since 1971-72.
St. Louis beat the Flyers for the third straight time this season and second in a row at the Spectrum. Previously, the Blues had not won in 34 games at Philadelphia. Vincent Riendeau has been in goal for St. Louis in all three victories.
Buffalo 6, Hartford 1--Mike Foligno scored his 300th career goal, goaltender Clint Malarchuk remained unbeaten since being traded to Buffalo March 6, and the Sabres blitzed the Whalers at Hartford.
The victory clinched a playoff spot for Buffalo.
Minnesota 6, Chicago 1--Rookie Don Barber had his first NHL hat trick, Mike Gartner scored his 400th career goal, and Mark Habscheid had four assists to lead the North Stars at Bloomington.
Vancouver 3, Edmonton 0--Petri Skriko scored twice in the second period, and Kirk McLean recorded his fourth shutout of the season at Vancouver as the Oilers’ winless streak reached six (0-4-2).
Vancouver is 9-0-2 in its last 11 outings and beat the Oilers for the fifth time in seven meetings.