PITTSBURGH – Simon Gagne and Scott Hartnell scored power-play goals, and Philadelphia handed Pittsburgh its first loss in a month, 3-1 on Sunday.

Philadelphia won its second in a row to open a two-point lead over Pittsburgh in the race for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Martin Biron made 27 saves, and Darroll Powe added an empty-net goal for the Flyers, who have three games in hand on the Penguins.

Blackhawks 4, Kings 1

CHICAGO – Patrick Sharp and Martin Havlat each scored two goals, Nikolai Khabibulin made 14 saves, and Chicago snapped a five-game winless streak (0-3-2).

Sharp returned after missing 16 games because of a left knee injury to help Chicago improve to 4-7-3 in its past 14. The victory moved the Blackhawks into fourth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Vancouver.

Wild 3, Oilers 0

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Nicklas Backstrom made 31 saves for his seventh shutout of the season, and Owen Nolan scored twice for Minnesota.

The Wild are a point behind eighth-place Nashville in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Edmonton is seventh, two points ahead of Nashville.

Wild star Marian Gaborik returned to play his seventh game of the season.

Senators 2, Rangers 1

NEW YORK – Ryan Shannon snapped a third-period tie, and Alex Auld made 28 saves in a rare start for Ottawa.

The Senators rebounded from an early 1-0 deficit, behind goals by Mike Comrie and Shannon, and started a six-game trip with their ninth win in 10 games.

and fourth straight. Brandon Dubinsky scored for the Rangers.

AP-ES-03-22-09 2156EDT


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