NEWARK, N.J. – Brett Connolly sparked a three-goal second period and the Washington Capitals moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson also scored in the second as the defending Stanley Cup champions won for the 10th time in 13 games. Andre Burakovsky got the other goal and backup goalie Pheonix Copley made 20 saves in winning his sixth straight since the All-Star break.
Washington started the day tied with the Islanders for first place in the division, but it took over with the win and New York’s 5-0 loss to Boston. The Capitals and Islanders each have nine games left in the regular season.
Kenny Agostino scored for the third time in five games for New Jersey. MacKenzie Blackwood made 18 saves as the Devils lost to the Capitals for the third time in four meetings this season
Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2, SO
RALEIGH, N.C. – Dougie Hamilton scored in the shootout, Petr Mrazek stopped Pittsburgh cold and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Penguins.
Justin Williams scored the tying goal with 1:56 left in regulation, and Brock McGinn also scored for the Hurricanes.
They won their fourth in five games and earned an important two points in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race – and perhaps just as important, prevented the Penguins from picking up a second point.
Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist, Kris Letang scored a late goal, Bryan Rust had two assists and Matt Murray made 37 saves for the Penguins, who have lost three straight – the past two in either overtime or the shootout – but have earned points in nine of their past 10 games against Metropolitan Division opponents.
Canadiens 3, Flyers 1
PHILADELPHIA – Brendan Gallagher, Shea Weber and Max Domi scored goals, Carey Price stopped 32 shots and Montreal earned a win over Philadelphia.
The Canadiens and Flyers are both chasing a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal entered three points behind Columbus for eighth place in the East and the Flyers were six points out with 78.
With less than 10 games left for each team, time has about run out for the Flyers to complete their desperate playoff push. The Canadiens, well, they have a playoff pulse after losing two straight and four of five overall.
Predators 3, Maple Leafs 0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Pekka Rinne shut out Toronto for the second time this season and Brian Boyle, Wayne Simmonds and Filip Forsberg scored goals to give Nashville a win over the Maple Leafs.
Nashville won its third straight and Toronto lost for the fourth time in five games.
Rinne made 22 saves and Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen made 17 stops.
Nashville pulled within one point of first-place Winnipeg in the Central Division. But the Predators have played two more games.
Toronto fell six points behind second-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.
Nashville also beat Toronto 4-0 on Jan. 7 when Rinne made 18 saves.
Bruins 5, Islanders 0
UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Sean Kuraly scored twice and Tuukka Rask earned his 45th career shutout and Boston beat the Islanders.
Noel Acciari, Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk also had goals to help the Bruins win their second straight since a three-game skid that followed their 19-game point streak (15-0-4). Boston has won seven consecutive meetings between the teams – eight in a row in New York.
Rask had to make only 13 saves for his fourth shutout this season, and first ever against the Islanders.
Robin Lehner, making first start since he was injured March 5 late in New York’s 5-4 shootout win at home against Ottawa, finished with 34 saves. The Islanders’ 13 shots were their fewest of the season.
David Pastrnak returned to the Bruins’ lineup for first time since Feb. 10. He missed 16 games with a thumb injury sustained when he fell after a team dinner.
Flames 4, Blue Jackets 2
CALGARY, Alberta – Johnny Gaudreau scored his team-leading 35th goal and Michael Frolik added a goal and an assist and Calgary earned a win over Columbus.
David Rittich made 31 saves to win his fourth start in a row. Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk also scored for the Flames and Austin Czarnik had two assists.
Oliver Bjorkstrand and defenseman Zach Werenski scored for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 shots in the loss.
The Flames were the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot Sunday.
With nine games remaining in the regular season, their objective is staying atop the Pacific Division and ahead of the San Jose Sharks.
San Jose was idle Tuesday but clinched a playoff spot when the Minnesota Wild lost to the Colorado Avalanche.
Columbus leads the Eastern Conference’s final wild-card spot by one point after Montreal’s 3-1 win in Philadelphia.
Stars 4, Panthers 2
DALLAS – Alexander Radulov had two goals in the third period to lift Dallas over Florida.
Coach Jim Montgomery reunited the Stars’ three top scorers on the first line during the first period. In addition to Radulov’s two goals and an assist, Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists and Tyler Seguin assisted on all four goals.
The Stars remained in position for the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot and stayed within two points of third-place St. Louis in the Central Division.
Midway through the third period, Seguin reached up to keep the puck inside the blue line. He then passed to Benn for a 2-on-1 break. Benn passed across to Radulov, who beat Panthers rookie goalie Sam Montembeault with a snap shot to make it 3-2.
Radulov was awarded the empty-net goal, his 24th of the season because a Florida player threw his stick at the puck.
John Klingberg scored on the power play in the second period to give Dallas a 2-1 lead.
Avalanche 3, Wild 1
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves to lift Colorado over the Wild in a game that had playoff implications in Minnesota and elsewhere.
Tyson Barrie, Tyson Jost and Ian Cole scored for Colorado, which won its second straight game.
Minnesota remained one point behind the idle Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, while the Avalanche got within one point of the Wild and two of Arizona. Colorado also has a game in hand on Minnesota.
The result also clinched a playoff berth for the San Jose Sharks.
Zach Parise scored and Devan Dubnyk stopped 35 shots for Minnesota.
Blues 7, Oilers 2
ST. LOUIS – Jaden Schwartz had three goals and an assist, David Perron added two goals and two assists, and St. Louis routed the Edmonton.
Schwartz scored once in each period for his fourth career hat trick and first since Oct. 18, 2017, against Chicago.
Alex Pietrangelo and Pat Maroon also scored for the Blues, who outshot Edmonton 44-17 and improved to 6-1-2 in their past nine home games against the Oilers.
Red Wings 3, Rangers 2
NEW YORK – Andreas Athanasiou scored twice and Detroit beat New York.
Frans Nielsen also scored and Taro Hirose recorded an assist during his NHL debut for Detroit, which won its second straight but has already been eliminated from playoff contention.
Jimmy Howard stopped 41 shots.
Ryan Strome and Brendan Smith scored, but the Rangers dropped their fifth consecutive game and inched closer to being knocked out of the playoff race for the second straight season. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves.
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