WASHINGTON (AP)Alex Ovechkin scored his 32nd goal of the season, Nicklas Backstrom had the shootout winner and the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Thursday night.

The Capitals snapped a two-game skid and handed the Penguins a fifth loss in eight games. But Pittsburgh extended its pointw streak to six, trails Washington by just a single point in the standings and has three additional games left on its schedule.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Backstrom scored in the shootout long after Ovechkin reached 812 goals in his NHL career and Marcus Johansson put the Capitals ahead early in the third period. Darcy Kuemper ended it by denying Evgeni Malkin in the third round of the shootout.

The Penguins played past regulation for the fifth time in six games thanks to Bryan Rust’s tying goal with 7:08 left in the third period.

Casey DeSmith kept them in it with a sharp performance in place of injured No. 1 goaltender Tristan Jarry. DeSmith stopped 43 of the 45 shots he faced in regulation and overtime, including 20 saves in the first period alone.

Pittsburgh’s Danton Heinen also scored.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Victor Hedman scored the go-ahead goal with 6:31 remaining and Tampa Bay beat Boston to tie a team record with its 11th straight home victory.

Brayden Point’s pass for Steven Stamkos on a 2-on-1 misfired, but the puck came right to Hedman. His shot from the left circle beat Linus Ullmark after the Boston goalie was run over by teammate Brandon Carlo, breaking a 2-all tie.

The Lightning matched the franchise mark for consecutive home wins, set in 2019-20. They ended Boston’s six-game winning streak and the Bruins’ run of seven road victories in a row.

Brandon Hagel and Nikita Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay, amd Andrei Vasilevskiy made 37 saves. Brad Marchand and Pavel Zacha scored for NHL-leading Boston. The Bruins fell to 38-6-4.


WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) – Tage Thompson had a goal and an assist and Buffalo beat Winnipeg for its fifth straight victory.

Thompson scored his 34th goal of the season and stretched his points streak to six games. He has three goals and seven assists during the streak.

Owen Power and Victor Olofsson also scored for the Sabres, Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Dahlin each had a pair of assists, and Eric Comrie stopped 19 shots.

Nate Schmidt and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Winnipeg, and Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves.


DENVER (AP) – Frank Vatrano scored three goals, Adam Henrique and Mason McTavish scored 24 seconds apart in the third period and Anaheim ended Colorado’s six-game winning streak.

John Gibson stopped 40 shots as the Ducks, in last place in the Pacific Division, finished a six-game trip 3-2-1.

Mikko Rantanen scored twice, Samuel Girard added a goal and an assist and Cale Makar had an assist in his return from injury, but the Avs fell to fourth in the Central Division, a point behind Minnesota.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Matt Duchene scored a third-period goal and assisted on another to lead Nashville past New Jersey.

Cody Glass, Cole Smith, Mikael Granlund, Filip Forsberg and Tanner Jeannot also scored for Nashville, which has won three straight and five of six heading into the All-Star break. Juuse Saros stopped 36 shots.

Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who lost in regulation for just the second time in January and fell to 7-1-1 in their last nine games.

Jesper Bratt, Yegor Sharangovich and Dawson Mercer also scored for New Jersey.


CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Rookie goaltender Jaxson Stauber made it two wins in two career starts by stopping 34 shots, sending Chicago past Calgary.

Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Jason Dickinson, Sam Lafferty and Connor Murphy scored for Chicago (15-28-4), which entered last in the NHL standings. Max Domi had an assist, extending his points streak to four games.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Flames.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Mats Zuccarello scored in overtime, Matt Boldy had two goals and Minnesota returned home to beat Philadelphia.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for Minnesota, which had lost three in a row and was 1-3 on a four-game trip.

With goalie Carter Hart pulled in the final minutes, Tony DeAngelo sent the game into overtime for the Flyers with 1:28 remaining in regulation. Noah Cates also scored for Philadelphia.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Nick Schmaltz had his first NHL hat trick, Karel Vejmelka made 33 saves for his third shutout of the season and Arizona beat St. Louis.

Travis Boyd and Barrett Hayton also scored in for the Coyotes in their third victory 15 games. Hayton has five goals in his last 11 games.


MONTREAL (AP) – Robby Fabbri scored at 2:36 of overtime to lift Detroit past Montreal.

Michael Rasmussen set up Fabbri with a pass through the crease.

Rasmussen, Jonatan Berggren and Oskar Sunqvist also scored, Moritz Seider had three assists, and Ville Husso made 20 saves.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored twice and had an assist for Montreal. Michael Pezzetta added a goal and an assist, and Jake Allen made 38 saves.

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