WASHINGTON (AP) — Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots, Jason Chimera had a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals beat the struggling Montreal Canadiens 3-1 Saturday night for their seventh straight victory.
Off to the best start in franchise history, Washington leads the Eastern Conference with a 26-6-2 record and has won eight in a row at home. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jay Beagle also scored for the Capitals.
Holtby allowed only a second-period goal to Daniel Carr in earning his NHL-leading 22nd victory. He’s 8-0-2 lifetime against Montreal with a goals-against average well under 2.00.
Montreal has been outscored 22-6 while losing its last six games and has dropped 10 of 11 since Dec. 1. The Canadiens are barely clinging to the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
SABRES 6, BRUINS 3
BOSTON (AP) — Jack Eichel scored twice in his return to Boston, Jamie McGinn had the go-ahead goal with 5:36 left and Buffalo rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period.
Ryan O’Reilly also scored twice for the Sabres, who broke loose for five goals in the third to win for the fourth time in six games. Chad Johnson stopped 30 shots, and Evander Kane had the other Buffalo goal.
Matt Beleskey, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci scored for Boston, which lost its second straight in regulation after going 11-1-3 in its previous 15 games. Backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson made 23 saves.
Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the NHL draft last summer, also had two assists. He grew up about 35 miles north of Boston and starred for one season at Boston University. Eichel last played in TD Garden when BU lost the NCAA championship game to Providence last season.
LIGHTNING 5, BLUE JACKETS 2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos had two power-play goals and an assist during the second period and Tampa Bay beat Columbus.
Mike Blunden, Nikita Nesterov and Jason Garrison also scored for the Lightning, and Jonathan Marchessault extended his point streak to six games with two assists. Tampa Bay is 2-1 halfway through a six-game homestand.
Tampa Bay was 3 for 8 on the power play after going 1 for 10 in a 2-1 loss Tuesday night to Vancouver.
Columbus got goals from Rene Bourque and Scott Hartnell.
Ben Bishop made 30 saves for Tampa Bay. Stamkos had a pair of 5-on-3 goals to help the Lightning take a 3-2 lead.
HURRICANES 3, DEVILS 1
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Justin Faulk scored the go-ahead goal 8:17 into the third period to lift Carolina over New Jersey.
Faulk also had an assist, Joakim Nordstrom had a goal and an assist, Brett Pesce scored and Cam Ward made 19 saves for the Hurricanes.
Kyle Palmieri scored his team-leading 15th goal early in the third period and Cory Schneider stopped 22 shots, but the Devils haven’t won consecutive games since mid-November.