PITTSBURGH — Nic Dowd scored twice for the first career multigoal game, Braden Holtby stopped 26 shots and the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Saturday.
Nicklas Backstrom, Richard Panik and TJ Oshie also scored for the Capitals, who created a little breathing room over their longtime rivals in the scramble atop the Metropolitan Division. First-place Washington moved five points clear of third-place Pittsburgh with less than a month to go in the regular season.
Sidney Crosby scored for the third straight game for Pittsburgh and Evgeni Malkin added his 22nd. Matt Murray finished with 21 saves. The Penguins have lost seven of their last nine to fall a little off the pace in the NHL’s most competitive division.
FLYERS 3, SABRES 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Claude Giroux scored two goals and Carter Hart made 38 saves to lead Philadelphia to its ninth straight victory.
Joel Farabee also scored and Jakub Voracek and Travis Sanheim each had a pair of assists for Philadelphia, which remained tied for first place with Washington in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals beat Pittsburgh 5-2 earlier Saturday.
Philadelphia improved to 25-5-4 at home, where Hart has been nearly unbeatable. The 21-year-old netminder upped his home mark to 20-2-2.
Dominik Kahun scored for Buffalo, which dropped its sixth straight. Sabres star Jack Eichel extended the longest drought of his five-year career to seven games without a point.
LIGHTNING 5, BRUINS 3
BOSTON (AP) — Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev scored short-handed goals just 1:02 apart in the first period and Tampa Bay beat Boston.
Cedric Paquette and Alex Killorn also scored for the Lightning, who took a 3-0 lead and then held off the Bruins after a wild second period. Nikita Kucherov added an emtpy-net goal with 1:02 remaining as Tampa Bay ended Boston’s four-game winning streak. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves,
The teams combined for 36 penalties and 96 penalty minutes in their second meeting in four days. Boston entered the game leading the Eastern Conference with 98 points. The Lightning were tied for second with Washington with 89 points.
David Pastrnak scored his 48th goal for the Bruins, who had won four straight but couldn’t rally back from their early deficit.. Charlie McAvoy had a goal and an assist and Sean Kuraly also scored for Boston. Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.
HURRICANES 3, ISLANDERS 2, OT
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Vincent Trocheck batted a loose puck out of the air and into the net on a power play 1:36 into overtime and Carolina ended a four-game losing streak.
During a scramble in front of the New York net, Trocheck knocked the puck past goaltender Thomas Greiss and sent the Islanders to their sixth straight loss (0-3-3).
The goal was confirmed after a lengthy review by the officials. The win kept Carolina two points behind the Islanders for the final wild card in the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders’ Josh Bailey tied the score at 2 with just under five minutes to play in the third period. Noah Dobson took a shot that goalie Anton Forsberg kicked away, but the rebound went right to Bailey for the goal.
Forsberg made 24 saves for the Hurricanes as he picked up his first win of the season.
Ryan Pulock also scored for New York and Greiss made 25 saves.
PREDATORS 1, STARS 0
DALLAS (AP) — Juuse Saros shut out Dallas for the second time in three days, and Ryan Ellis gained a measure of revenge with the only goal to lead Nashville.
Saros made 37 saves after stopping 33 in a 2-0 victory in Nashville on Thursday night. He has four shutouts this season and 11 overall, and is 6-0-1 against the Stars.
Ellis scored on a power play midway through the second period. Matt Duchene’s shot from the left point went over the net and bounded to Ellis for a wrist shot between goalie Ben Bishop and the left goal post.
Bishop made 22 saves.
KINGS 7, WILD 3
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dustin Brown had three goals and an assist and Los Angeles won its fifth straight.
Blake Lizotte and Trevor Moore scored 53 seconds apart in the second period, Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists and Gabriel Vilardi added a goal to help the Kings improve to 8-2-1 in their past 11 games. Calvin Petersen made 25 saves for his third straight victory.
Marcus Foligno had a goal and an assist for Minnesota, Jared Spurgeon and Luke Kunin also scored, and Alex Stalock made 28 saves. The Wild had won six in a row on the road. They missed a chance to reclaim the first wild-card in the Western Conference.
DEVILS 6, RANGERS 4
NEW YORK (AP) — Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri each scored twice and New Jersey used a big second period to beat New York.
Fredrik Claesson and John Hayden also scored, and Damon Severson and Dakota Merkis each had two assists to help the Devils improve to 6-1-2 in their last nine games. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 31 shots to improve to 8-1-2 in his last 11.
Mika Zibanejad, Tony DeAngelo, Filip Chytil, and Greg McKegg each scored for the Rangers, who fell three points out of the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference.
Igor Shesterkin allowed five goals on 23 shots over two periods in his first game since sustaining a rib fracture in a car accident on Feb. 23. Henrik Lundvist replaced him to start the third and stopped all five shots he faced.
PANTHERS 4, CANADIENS 1
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Backup goalie Chris Driedger stopped 33 shots, Mike Hoffman had a goal and an assist, and Florida snapped an eight-game home losing streak.
On a night when Roberto Luongo’s number was retired, the former Florida goalie gave his team a pep talk during a pregame ceremony — and the Panthers took it to heart.
Lucas Wallmark, MacKenzie Weegar and Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for Florida. Aaron Ekblad had two assists for the Panthers, who are just 6-10-3 since the All-Star break. The win moved Florida within three points of idle Toronto – which is third in the Atlantic Division – with the Panthers owning a game in hand. They are also three points out of a wild-card spot.
Jake Evans scored, Charlie Lindgren made 28 saves and the Canadiens lost their second straight.
SENATORS 2, SHARKS 1, OT
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Chris Tierney scored 35 seconds into overtime after missing an earlier chance on a penalty shot, and Ottawa won for the fourth time in five games.
Nick Paul also scored for the Senators in the opener of a five-game road trip, their longest of the season. Craig Anderson made 31 saves.
Evander Kane scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who have lost two straight following a three-game winning streak. Aaron Dell stopped 36 shots.
OILERS 4, BLUE JACKETS 1
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Mikko Koskinen made 45 saves and Alex Chiasson had a goal and an assist as Edmonton beat Columbus to move into a tie for first place in the Pacific Division with Vegas.
Caleb Jones, Connor McDavid and Riley Sheahan also scored for the Oilers, who have won four of five.
Gustav Nyquist had a late goal for the Blue Jackets, who fell to 2-6-6 in their last 14 games.