WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin scored his 21st hat trick and first this season to lift the Washington Capitals over the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Ovechkin entered the night as the NHL’s goal leader and stretched his total to 25 through 30 games, halfway to a potential eighth 50-goal season.
Nicklas Backstrom had four assists to help Washington get its third straight victory and 10th in 12 games. T.J. Oshie added a goal in his return from an 11-game layoff due to a concussion, and Travis Boyd and Brett Connolly also scored early.
Braden Holtby made 35 stops for Washington, which had scored 12 straight goals over a stretch of more than six periods before Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist broke through in the third.
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill pulled goaltender Jonathan Bernier midway through the second period after he saved 10 of Washington’s first 15 shots. Jimmy Howard came in to finish off the Red Wings’ first road loss since their previous trip here on Nov. 23, a night after making a season-high 42 stops in a win over Los Angeles.
Bruins 4, Coyotes 3
BOSTON – Brad Marchand scored two goals and assisted on another during a four-goal second-period flurry to lead Boston over Arizona.
Arizona led 2-0 before Boston scored four times in five minutes, starting when Danton Heinen and David Pastrnak delivered 33 seconds apart. Marchand gave the Bruins the lead two minutes later, and then added another two minutes after that to make it 4-2.
Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for Boston, which won its third straight game and beat the Coyotes for the 14th time in a row. Pastrnak also had two assists, and David Krejci had three for the Bruins.
Nick Schmaltz and Nick Cousins scored 40 seconds apart for Arizona in the first period, and Darcy Kuemper made 22 saves for the Coyotes.
Canucks 3, Blue Jackets 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jake Virtanen scored the tiebreaking goal with less than two minutes remaining and Jacob Markstrom stopped 34 shots as Vancouver rallied to beat Columbus.
Elias Pettersson got credit for a goal that went in off his skate to tie it with about 3:04 left, and Virtanen’s goal put the Canucks ahead 78 seconds later.
Josh Leivo also scored in the third period for the Canucks, who have won three straight after losing 12 of 13.
Seth Jones and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored, and Joonas Korpisalo had 22 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four of their last five and dropped their last three at home as they entered a stretch of five home games in nine days.
Wild 7, Canadiens 1
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Matt Dumba scored twice, Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves and Minnesota took out some recent frustrations on Montreal.
The Wild scored four times in the second period to recover from a lousy swing through Western Canada, when Minnesota dropped two of three and lost captain Mikko Koivu to injury.
Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, Eric Staal, Jared Spurgeon and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota (16-12-2), which went 4 for 4 on the power play.
Jeff Petry scored for Montreal (15-11-5), which ended a three-game winning streak.
Jets 6, Blackhawks 3
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Kyle Connor scored twice and Winnipeg gave Chicago its eighth straight loss.
Mark Scheifele and Tyler Myers each had a goal and assist, Mathieu Perreault scored and Brandon Tanev added an empty-net goal for Winnipeg (19-9-2). Dustin Byfuglien had three assists.
Laurent Brossoit played his eighth game (seventh start) for the Jets and made 32 saves.
Dylan Strome, Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat scored for Chicago. Patrick Kane added a pair of assists.
Cam Ward stopped 28 shots for the Blackhawks (9-18-5), who also lost eight straight earlier this season, although two were in overtime. The current slump is all in regulation time.
Blues 4, Panthers 3
ST. LOUIS – Brayden Schenn capped St. Louis’ four-goal third period as the Blues beat Florida.
David Perron had two goals, and Ivan Barbashev also scored for St. Louis, which had lost three of four and eight of their last 11. Jake Allen made stopped 22 shots to improve to 2-4-0 in his career against Florida.
Evgenii Dadonov, MacKenzie Weegar and Mike Hoffman scored for the Panthers, who have lost four of five. Roberto Luongo had 29 saves.
Schenn’s tiebreaking goal came off a rebound as he backhanded it past Luongo with 3:55 remaining.
Predators 3, Senators 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ryan Ellis scored his first game-winning goal of the season, Pekka Rinne made 25 saves and Nashville defeated Ottawa.
Austin Watson and Craig Smith also scored for the Predators, who halted a two-game skid.
Zack Smith scored for the Senators, who have lost four of five.
Nashville improved its record against Eastern Conference opponents to 9-0-0 this season.
Maple Leafs 4, Hurricanes 1
RALEIGH, N.C. – William Nylander had two assists and Morgan Rielly scored the go-ahead goal to lift Toronto over Carolina.
The assists were the first points of the season for Nylander, who missed the first 28 games before signing a six-year deal worth $41.7 million.
Tyler Ennis, Patrick Marleau and John Tavares also scored for the Maple Leafs, who won for the third time in four road games. Frederik Andersen made 29 saves.
The Hurricanes got a goal from captain Justin Williams.
Sabres 4, Kings 3 (OT)
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jeff Skinner scored a power-play goal 1:49 into overtime and Buffalo overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period to beat Los Angeles.
Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist, and the Sabres snapped an 0-3-2 skid that immediately followed their franchise record-tying 10-game winning streak.
Johan Larsson and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for Buffalo, which improved to 6-7-2 when trailing through two periods. Linus Ullmark stopped 26 shots.
Jake Muzzin had a goal and an assist and Adrian Kempe and Matt Luff also scored for the Kings, who dropped to 2-5-1 in their past eight games.
Oilers 6, Avalanche 4
DENVER – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice as part of Edmonton’s four-goal second period, Mikko Koskinen stopped 39 shots and the Oilers extended their winning streak to four games with a victory over Colorado.
Connor McDavid added a goal and an assist as the Oilers improved to 8-2-1 since coach Ken Hitchcock took over the struggling team on Nov. 20.
Kyle Brodziak scored his first goal in more than a month, Leon Draisaitl added another in his 300th NHL game and defenseman Darnell Nurse got into the scoring act with a slap shot early in the third.
Mikko Rantanen, the league’s leading scorer, had a goal and three assists to give him at least a point in 12 straight games. It’s tied for the longest active streak in the NHL with Alex Ovechkin.
Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and Colin Wilson added another for the Avalanche.
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