Brock McGinn scored twice to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.
Jeff Skinner also scored, Elias Lindholm had two assists and Cam Ward stopped 29 shots to help the Hurricanes remain one point ahead of Columbus for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
Tyson Barrie scored for Colorado and Semyon Varlamov finished with 32 saves.
McGinn tied the score with just over three minutes left in the first period and gave the Hurricanes the lead 35 seconds into the third. Skinner capped the scoring with 6:43 left as the Hurricanes won their second straight win after a three-game skid.
The Avalanche, playing without leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon for a fifth straight game due to a shoulder injury, fell four points behind Minnesota for the second wild card in the West.
McGinn's second goal looked a lot like his first with Lindholm, who was behind the net, setting him up in the slot.
Colorado struck first with a goal by Barrie with 3:09 left in the first. Mikko Rantanen set it up with a takeway behind the Hurricanes' net and then found Barrie in the slot, and the defenseman beat Ward high.
The Hurricanes evened it up 18 seconds later when McGinn beat Varlamov with a quick wrist shot.
Both teams had problems on the power play in the second period. Carolina right wing Teuvo Teravainen took two different penalties, about 4 minutes apart. Teravainen's second penalty, high-sticking, drew blood on Colorado center J.T. Compher and gave the Avalanche a 4-minute power play.
The Avalanche, who entered the game with the NHL's worst power-play unit on the road, couldn't convert with the extended opportunity as Ward made six stops to help kill off both penalties.
Avalanche: At Buffalo on Sunday for their third game in four days.
Hurricanes: Host Los Angeles on Tuesday to close out an eight-game homestand.