NHL roundup: Ovechkin, Backstrom fuel Caps' win
Alex Ovechkin scored three goals and Nicklas Backstrom added four assists as the Washington Capitals jumped out to a big lead early and defeated the visiting Detroit Red Wings 6-2 Tuesday night.
Ovechkin has points in 12 straight games, helping fill the absence of T.J. Oshie, out for the previous 11 games with a concussion. However, Oshie returned and scored a goal, and Brett Connolly and Travis Boyd added goals, too, as the Capitals won their third straight.
Ovechkin leads the NHL with 25 goals. His 126th multi-goal game moved him past Dino Ciccarelli into 10th place in NHL history.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby made 35 saves and carried a shutout into the third period before Dylan Larkin scored just over a minute into the period. Gustav Nyquist later scored for the Red Wings.
Wild 7, Canadiens 1
Minnesota rode a dominant special teams performance to a rout of Montreal, going a perfect 4-for-4 on power-play opportunities and also scoring a short-handed goal in Saint Paul, Minn.
Matt Dumba scored twice on the power play, giving him 12 goals on the season to lead all NHL defensemen. Zach Parise had a goal and two assists for the Wild, and Mikael Granlund also had a three-point night with three assists. Charlie Coyle converted the short-handed goal 12:33 into the second period.
Jeff Petry scored the Canadiens' lone goal at 2:41 of the third period. Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk stopped 29 of 30 Montreal shots, while his counterpart, Antti Niemi, allowed all seven Wild goals on just 24 shots before being replaced by Carey Price in the third period.
Predators 3, Senators 1
Ryan Ellis scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and Pekka Rinne made 25 saves as Nashville opened a three-game homestand by beating Ottawa.
Austin Watson and Craig Smith also scored for the Predators, who have won eight of their past 10 against Ottawa and have allowed two goals or fewer in 17 of 31 contests. Nashville improved to 9-0-0 against Eastern Conference foes.
Zack Smith scored the lone goal for the Senators, who have lost four of their past five (1-3-1). Ottawa's Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots.
Blues 4, Panthers 3
Brayden Schenn put host St. Louis ahead late in a four-goal third period against Florida. Schenn scored with 3:55 remaining as St. Louis earned just its fourth win in its past 12 games.
David Perron scored two goals, and Ivan Barbashev added a goal for St. Louis. Evgenii Dadonov, MacKenzie Weegar and Mike Hoffman scored goals for the Panthers, who lost their third straight.
Jake Allen recorded 22 saves for Nashville, and the No. 1 goalie likely will see his workload increase immediately after backup Chad Johnson was claimed off waivers Tuesday by Anaheim. Roberto Luongo stopped 29 shots for Florida.
Oilers 6, Avalanche 4
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored two of four second-period goals for surging Edmonton in a win over Colorado in Denver.
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists as Edmonton won its fourth straight, improving to 8-2-1 since Ken Hitchcock took over as coach. Mikko Koskinen made 39 saves to win his second straight game. He blanked the Calgary Flames 1-0 on Sunday.
Colorado's Mikko Rantanen had a goal and three assists to increase his NHL-leading points total to 52. Gabe Landeskog had two goals and two assists. Goalie Semyon Varlamov was removed after allowing the first three goals on 18 shots. Philipp Grubauer came on and allowed three goals on the first six shots he faced.
Jets 6, Blackhawks 3
Kyle Connor scored two goals and Dustin Byfuglien added three assists as host Winnipeg scored the first four goals and held on to defeat Chicago.
Mark Scheifele, Tyler Myers, Mathieu Perreault and Brandon Tanev each scored once, and Scheifele and Myers each added an assist for the Jets, who have won six of their past seven games. Laurent Brossoit stopped 32 shots for Winnipeg.
Dylan Strome, Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Blackhawks, who have lost eight in a row. Patrick Kane added two assists. Goaltender Cam Ward made 28 stops.
Sabers 4, Kings 3 (OT)
Jeff Skinner scored on a power play less than two minutes into overtime Tuesday as host Buffalo rallied from a two-goal, third-period deficit to trim Los Angeles.
With Buffalo on a four-on-three advantage to open the extra period following a holding penalty to the Kings' Oscar Fantenberg with four seconds remaining in regulation, Skinner scored off a rebound for his 21st goal of the season.
The Kings were down to four defensemen after Drew Doughty and Dion Phaneuf each played less than 12 minutes because of injuries. Los Angeles lost for the fourth time in the past five games (1-3-1).
Bruins 4, Coyotes 3
Brad Marchand had two goals and an assist, and David Pastrnak added a goal and two assists as host Boston rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to beat Arizona for its third consecutive win.
Danton Heinen also scored a goal, and David Krejci celebrated playing in his 800th NHL game with three assists for Boston, which won its 14th straight game over the Coyotes, dating back to Oct. 9, 2010. Tuukka Rask had 30 saves for the Bruins to improve to 11-1-0 in his career against Arizona.
Nick Schmaltz, Nick Cousins and Michael Bunting scored goals for Arizona, which lost its third straight. Darcy Kuemper, making his first start since sustaining a lower-body injury in a Nov. 21 game against Vegas, finished with 22 saves.
Canucks 3, Blue Jackets 2
Jake Virtanen's goal with 1:46 left completed Vancouver's comeback over host Columbus. Virtanen beat Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo with a shot from a sharp angle, capping the Canucks' comeback from a 1-0 deficit after two periods.
Seth Jones and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for the Blue Jackets, who lost for the fourth time in five games. Josh Leivo and rookie sensation Elias Pettersson both had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, winners of three straight.
After giving up an early goal, Vancouver netminder Jacob Markstrom was almost flawless as he made 34 saves on 36 shots. Korpisalo stopped 22 of 25 shots.
Maple Leafs 4, Hurricanes 1
Frederik Andersen rebounded from a rough weekend outing to make 29 saves as Toronto dumped Carolina in Raleigh, N.C. Tyler Ennis, Morgan Rielly, Patrick Marleau and John Tavares scored for Toronto.
William Nylander posted two assists, including a pass to set up Marleau's third-period goal, for his first points of the season in his third game.
Andersen excelled three nights after he was pulled in a shortened outing in a loss at Boston. Toronto was without left winger Zach Hyman, who was serving the first game of a two-game suspension for his Saturday hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
--Field Level Media
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