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Sabres top Flyers in OT

The Associated Press
| Saturday, April 9, 2011 12:00 a.m

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Thomas Vanek scored 1:16 into overtime to cap a two-goal comeback and clinch a playoff berth for the Buffalo Sabres with a 4-3 victory over the slumping Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.

Vanek finished with a goal and two assists, and Nathan Gerbe scored twice, including a spin-around goal that tied it midway through the third period. The Sabres already had secured a postseason spot by earning a point when the game entered overtime. With the win, they’ve clinched at least seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell had a goal and assist, and Kris Versteeg also scored for Philadelphia, which is winless in its past five games (0-3-2). The Flyers and Penguins are tied atop the Atlantic Division with 104 points.

— Lightning 4, Panthers 2 — In Tampa, Fla., Vincent Lecavalier had two goals, including one on a penalty shot, for Tampa Bay.

Lecavalier put the Lightning up, 3-1, when he deked goalie Scott Clemmensen to the ice and lifted home a wrist shot on his penalty shot at 1:27 of the second. The Tampa Bay captain also had a first-period power-play goal.

— Hurricanes 6, Thrashers 1 — In Atlanta, Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu each had a goal and two assists, as Carolina moved closer to an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Carolina needs a home win today over Tampa Bay or a regulation loss by the New York Rangers to make the playoffs for the first time since advancing to the Eastern Conference finals in 2009. Erik Cole, Joni Pitkanen, Brandon Sutter and Jussi Jokinen also scored for Carolina.

— Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 2 — In Detroit, Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa each had a goal and an assist to lift Chicago.

Ben Smith and Brian Campbell also scored for Chicago, which is fighting for a playoff spot a year after winning the Stanley Cup. Patrick Kane had two assists, and Corey Crawford made 26 saves.

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