NEW YORK (AP) – The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched a playoff berth Saturday behind Matt Murray’s 23 saves for his first NHL shutout, 5-0 over the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Surging Pittsburgh improved to 45-25-8 with its fifth straight win and has outscored opponents 25-10 in that stretch.
The Penguins made the postseason for the 10th straight year and solidified their grip on second place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh led the New York Rangers by three points, with the Rangers hosting Buffalo on Saturday night.
Oskar Sundqvist, Patric Hornqvist, Matt Cullen, Phil Kessel and Tom Kuhnhackl scored for Pittsburgh, and Sidney Crosby got his 600th NHL assist. Crosby, the NHL’s first star for March, played in his 704th game as a Penguin, passing Brooks Orpik for fifth place on the franchise’s all-time list.
The Islanders’ playoff outlook dimmed a bit with the loss as they chase a wild-card spot.
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