WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin scored his 718th goal to pass Phil Esposito for sole possession of sixth on the NHL’s career list and became the second active player with 1,300 points, helping the Washington Capitals beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Washington snapped New York’s winning streak at nine and point streak at 12. The Capitals have won six in a row and 10 of their past 11 to move ahead of the Islanders into first place in the East Division.
Ovechkin is a big reason for that. The longtime captain has goals in four consecutive games and five of six. He is tied with longtime teammate Nicklas Backstrom, who also scored, for the team lead with 12 goals this season.
Goal No. 718 was classic Ovechkin: a one-timer on the power play from his favourite spot just inside the left faceoff circle. It came against former Capitals teammate and countryman Semyon Varlamov. Ovechkin is 13 goals shy of tying Marcel Dionne for fifth and needs 177 more to break Wayne Gretzky’s record.
T.J. Oshie also scored for Washington, and Ilya Samsonov stopped 21 shots. Oliver Wahlstrom scored on the power play for New York.
BRUINS 2, PENGUINS 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Trent Frederic scored the lone goal of the third period and Boston beat Pittsburgh.
Frederic beat goaltender Casey DeSmith with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle through traffic 7:07 into the third. David Pastrnak scored his 13th on the power play for the Bruins, who had lost nine of their previous 13 games. It was the Bruins’ second win in their last seven road games following a 5-0-1 stretch away from home.
Dan Vladar made 34 saves for his first win in his first NHL start. Vladar made his debut in last summer’s Stanley Cup playoffs when he relieved Jaroslav Halak during Game 3 of the second round against Tampa Bay. Bruins’ No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask skated on Tuesday but missed his fifth straight game with an undisclosed injury.
Brandon Tanev scored his seventh goal for Pittsburgh, which ended a six-game winning streak. Sidney Crosby’s seven-game point streak ended, and DeSmith stopped 31 shots.
WILD 3, COYOTES 0
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Kaapo Kahkonen made 31 saves in his second shutout of the season as Minnesota blanked Arizona.
Ryan Hartman, Mats Zuccarello and Jared Spurgeon scored for the Wild. Kahkonen won his ninth straight start during a standout rookie season.
Minnesota swept three consecutive home games against Arizona and extended its home winning streak to eight, the longest in the NHL this year.
Adin Hill made 23 saves for the Coyotes.
RED WINGS 4, HURRICANES 2
DETROIT (AP) — Adam Erne scored twice, Jonathan Bernier made 35 saves and Detroit snapped Carolina’s eight-game win streak.
Robby Fabbri broke a tie midway through the second period, sending the rebuilding Red Wings to just their ninth win in 30 games. The Hurricanes entered one point shy of the NHL leaders.
Erne’s two goals in the first lifted Detroit to a 2-1 lead. Fabbri’s go-ahead goal was set up by Dylan Larkin’s drop pass with 7:32 left in the second. Filip Hronek had an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Nino Niederreiter gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead 2:21 into the first, and Sebastian Aho tied it at 2 early in the second. James Reimer made 24 saves.
DEVILS 3, SABRES 2
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Miles Wood scored the tiebreaking goal on a power play early in the third period and New Jersey beat Buffalo in a matchup of skidding teams.
Yegor Sharangovich and Sami Vatanen also had goals as the Devils ended an 11-game losing streak (0-10-1) on home ice. Mackenzie Blackwood made 33 saves.
Tobias Rieder and Jeff Skinner scored for Buffalo but the Sabres lost their 12th straight (0-10-2), the third-longest slide in franchise history. Jonas Johansson stopped 23 shots.
Wood redirected Jesper Bratt’s shot from the point at 4:52 of the third for his team-leading ninth goal.
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The Associated Press