Goalie Mike Liut, a major reason why the Whalers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs this season, stopped 20 shots as Hartford beat visiting Toronto, 7-1, and clinched fourth in the National Hockey League's Adams Division.
The Whalers last qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1980 -- the team's first season in the NHL. Hartford will play Quebec in the Adams Division first-round series, which begins Wednesday.
Liut, playing for the 15th straight game, has led Hartford to a 11-3-2 record since March 2. During that span, he went 10-3-2 and allowed only 43 goals. Wendell Clark scored his 34th goal on a power play at 14:36 of the second period to spoil Liut's bid for a shutout.
*Bruins 2, Nordiques 2: Keith Crowder scored a power-play goal at 14:51 of the third period to lift Boston to a tie in Quebec, keeping alive the Bruins' hopes of gaining home ice in the playoffs.
With Boston trailing, 2-1, Crowder shot the puck between goalie Richard Sevigny's legs after a feed from Barry Pederson in front of the net. Sevigny replaced Clint Malarchuk in the final period after Malarchuk was hit in the mask by a slap shot.
*Canadiens 4, Sabres 2: In Montreal, Bobby Smith scored two goals for the Canadiens to help eliminate Buffalo from playoff contention for the first time since 1974. The Sabres finished last in the Adams Division with 80 points, marking the first time a Scott Bowman-coached team failed to reach the playoffs.
North Stars 5, Red Wings 3: In Bloomington, Minn., goals by Willi Plett and Craig Hartsburg a minute apart late in the second period lifted Minnesota as it clinched second in the Norris Division. The loss gives Detroit its worst record in modern history.
*Blues 7, Blackhawks 5: In St. Louis, Rick Meagher avoided a check to score from close range with 16 minutes left, then added an empty-net goal with 81 seconds to go, giving the Blues the victory and preventing Chicago from winning the Norris Division title.
But St. Louis had its hope for first place vanish when Minnesota beat Detroit, moving the North Stars one point ahead of Chicago and two ahead of the Blues.
*Islanders 7, Devils 1: Richard Kromm scored two goals and Pat LaFontaine had a goal and two assists as New York continued its home-ice domination of New Jersey. Kromm scored goals in the second and third periods for the Islanders, who improved their record against the Devils at Nassau Coliseum to 28-1-3.
Right wing Bob Nystrom reached a milestone for the Islanders when he played in his 900th game, a token appearance at the start of the game.
*Canucks 5, Kings 3: Petri Skriko scored the game-winning goal with 2:35 left in the second period to end a tie, helping Vancouver beat Los Angeles and earn its first road victory in more than three months.
Vancouver battled from a 2-0 deficit to keep alive its hopes of finishing third in the Smythe Division. The Kings finished with the league's worst home record (9-27-4).