Penguins clinch East Division title
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jeff Carter scored and Maxime Lagace stopped 29 shots for his first career shutout as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 on Saturday.
Lagace, making his first start in more than two years, got his seventh career win, and helped Pittsburgh clinch first place in the East Division when Washington needed overtime to beat Philadelphia. The Penguins were without Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith, their top two goaltenders, for the regular season finale.
“Probably, what I’ll remember most is when the buzzer sounded,” Lagace said. “It was such a relief. Within the last four minutes, I’d say I started to think about the shutout. It was creeping into my head a little bit and I wanted it so bad.”
Carter scored his 17th goal as the Penguins finished the regular season with 13 wins and points in 14 of their last 16 games. Pittsburgh also finished 22-4-2 at home, one of the best marks in the league.
Michael Houser, who grew up in northern Pittsburgh suburbs, made 22 saves for Buffalo. Houser made his fourth straight start for the Sabres, who used a NHL-high six goalies this season.