The Associated Press
Feb. 18, 2015
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 37th goal and assisted on Joel Ward's winner with just more than four minutes remaining to lift the Washington Capitals to a testy 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.
Ovechkin beat Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway in the first period. The three-time MVP then helped set up Ward's first career goal against the Penguins as Washington improved to 3-0 against Pittsburgh. John Carlson added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 11 seconds remaining.
Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the Capitals, who pulled within a point of the third-place Penguins in the crowded Metropolitan Division.
Steve Downie scored his 10th goal of the season for Pittsburgh. Fleury stopped 29 shots but allowed a pair of power-play goals, including Ward's during a 5-on-3 with 4:13 to play.
BLUE JACKETS 5, FLYERS 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Calvert scored two goals, including the winner midway through the third period, to lift Columbus over Philadelphia.
Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Johansen and James Wisniewski also scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped Philadelphia's nine-game points streak.
Wayne Simmonds and Michael Del Zotto had goals for the Flyers, who remained six points behind idle Boston for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.
Calvert scored the go-ahead goal with 10:06 left in the final period when he was the beneficiary of a deft pass from Cam Atkinson for an easy goal that put Columbus up 3-2. The play started when Philadelphia's Vincent Lecavalier turned the puck over in his zone.
ISLANDERS 4, HURRICANES 1
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Backup goalie Chad Johnson made 37 saves and four players scored to lead the Islanders.
Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Michael Grabner and John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who took a 3-0 lead in the season series between the first- and last-place teams in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders improved to 19-3 against the Metro Division behind Lee's 19th goal of the season, Nelson's 16th and Grabner's sixth for a 3-0 lead.
Carolina, coming off a 6-3 win at Ottawa, outshot New York 18-8 in the second period and 38-30 overall, but couldn't dent Johnson until Jiri Tlusty's goal with 8:46 remaining.
Tavares scored his 28th of the season on an empty net with 4:19 remaining.
The Islanders rebounded from blowing three two-goal leads the previous night in a 6-5 loss to the Rangers.
PREDATORS 5, SHARKS 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pekka Rinne made a season-high 42 saves and Nashville extended its winning streak to a season-best six straight games by beating San Jose.
The Predators scored five unanswered goals for the win. Craig Smith scored twice, and Shea Weber scored and had an assist. Paul Gaustad and James Neal each had a goal, Mike Ribeiro had two assists as the Predators padded their lead atop the NHL standings to 84 points, six ahead of Montreal.
Matt Irwin scored for San Jose. The Sharks, losers of two straight, are 1-4-1 with the Kings looming Saturday at Levi's Stadium.
STARS 4, BLUES 1
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jamie Benn had his first career hat trick and Kari Lehtonen was stingy in net again for Dallas in a rout of St. Louis.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock yanked goalie Brian Elliott in favor of Jake Allen after the Stars took a 3-0 lead before the midway mark of the first period, the last two goals coming in a 20-second span.
Jason Spezza had three assists for the Stars, who have won four of five and triumphed on coach Lindy Ruff's 55th birthday.
Patrik Berglund spoiled Lehtonen's bid for a second straight shutout with 7:30 remaining. Lehtonen's scoreless streak was 1:45:48.
DEVILS 2, SABRES 1, SO
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Scott Gomez and Jacob Josefson scored in the shootout, and Cory Schneider denied both Buffalo attempts as New Jersey snapped a four-game losing streak.
Patrik Elias scored for the Devils in the first period and Schneider finished with 24 saves as New Jersey.
Tyler Ennis had a goal in the third period for the Sabres, who have lost four straight and 19 of 21. Michal Neuvirth made 34 saves, including 17 in the third period and overtime in his 11th straight decision.
Adam Henrique wasted a chance to give the Devils the lead with 3:27 left in regulation when he failed to hit the net on a penalty shot after being taken down by defenseman Zach Bogosian on a breakaway.
PANTHERS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 2
TORONTO (AP) — Nick Bjugstad scored the go-ahead goal on a power play early in the second period and Florida defeated struggling Toronto.
Jussi Jokinen and 2008 Maple Leafs draft pick Jimmy Hayes also scored for the Panthers, who moved within two points of idle Boston for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Roberto Luongo made 27 saves.
Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel scored for the Maple Leafs (23-30-5), who are 26th overall in the NHL standings. Kessel's goal, which cut it to 3-2, came on a power play with 50 seconds left and Jonathan Bernier (14 saves) out of his net.