WASHINGTON (AP)Alex Ovechkin scored twice in the final seven minutes to extend his goals streak and rally the Washington Capitals to their seventh victory in a row, 2-1 over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
Ovechkin tied it on a rebound with 6:42 left and put the Capitals ahead on a nearly identical play with 3:33 remaining. He has scored in five consecutive games and has seven goals in the past seven.
Washington’s longtime captain leads the team with 14 goals. After moving into sole possession of sixth place on the NHL career goals list this week, Ovechkin added Nos. 719 and 720 to move closer to Marcel Dionne in fifth.
Ovechkin kept the Capitals winning streak alive after a lackluster first 50 minutes. They had only 12 shots on net before the play that led to his tying goal, and New York was cruising toward a second consecutive shutout victory.
Instead, Vitek Vanecek could celebrate his 13th victory of the season after stopping 32 shots. New York’s only goal came on the power play when Artemi Panarin scored his eighth of the season.
FLAMES 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3
TORONTO (AP) – Mark Giordano broke a tie on a power play midway through the second period, Jacob Markstrom made 24 saves and Calgary beat slumping Toronto.
Matthew Tkachuk, Derek Ryan and Christopher Tanev also scored, and Rasmus Andersson had two assists. The Flames improved to 15-13-3, winning for the fourth time in five games since Darryl Sutter returned as coach after Geoff Ward was fired.
Mitch Marner, Jason Spezza and Alexander Kerfoot scored for Toronto, and Frederik Andersen stopped 14 shots. The Maple Leafs, coming off a four-day break after dropping a pair last weekend, have lost six of seven to drop into a tie for the North Division lead with Edmonton. They had a nine-point division lead March 3.
The teams will complete the two-game set Saturday night.
BLUES 2, SHARKS 1, SO
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Vladimir Tarasenko scored the decisive goal in a shootout and St. Louis beat San Jose to snap a five-game losing streak.
Tyler Bozak scored a short-handed goal on his 35th birthday to tie it in the third period. Jordan Binnington made 30 saves and helped the Blues kill a penalty in overtime.
St. Louis won it in the shootout when Brayden Schenn and Tarasenko scored against Martin Jones. Binnington sealed it with a save against Kevin Labanc.
Ryan Donato scored his first goal in 21 games, and Jones made 33 saves for the Sharks.
The teams will finish the two-game set Saturday night.
CANUCKS 3, CANADIENS 2, OT
MONTREAL (AP) – J.T. Miller scored at 2:01 of overtime to lift Vancouver past Montreal for its fourth straight victory.
Miller scored his ninth of the season moments after Montreal’s Josh Anderson failed to convert a breakaway attempt.
Nick Suzuki forced overtime with a power-play goal with 57 seconds left in overtime with Montreal on a two-man advantage with goalie Jake Allen off for an extra attacker.
Adam Gaudette and Nils Hoglander scored in regulation for Vancouver, and Thatcher Demko stopped 29 shots for his eighth victory in nine starts.
Corey Perry also scored for Montreal. The Canadiens are 0-6 in overtime this season.
The teams will complete the two-game series Saturday night.
KNIGHTS 4, KINGS 2
LOS ANGELES (AP) – William Karlsson had the winning goal, Max Pacioretty scored twice and Vegas beat Los Angeles for its fifth straight victory.
William Carrier also scored, and Robin Lehner made 23 saves.
Alex Iafallo and Trevor Moore scored for the Kings.
The teams will meet again Sunday.