Penguins secure playoff spot as New Jersey loses to Buffalo

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The Penguins secured a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs Sunday night by virtue of New Jersey's 3-2 shootout loss to Buffalo. The Penguins became the second National Hockey League team to secure a playoff spot. Minutes before New Jersey's loss, Chicago nailed down a berth in the West with a win over Nashville.

The Penguins lead the Eastern Conference with 58 points in 39 games. This season was shortened to 48 games because of a lockout that pushed the start back to Jan. 19.

This will be the Penguins' seventh consecutive postseason appearance. They won the Stanley Cup in 2009 but have won just one playoff series since then. They lost in the first round each of the past two years.

With several Eastern teams jockeying for a spot in the playoffs or for a higher seed, the Penguins' first-round opponent might not be determined until close to the end of the season.

The Penguins' last regular-season game is April 27 at home against Carolina. The playoffs begin April 30.

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Shelly Anderson:, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly


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