Blake Wheeler scored a career-high four goals, three in the third period, and the Winnipeg Jets opened their four-game road trip with a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Wheeler, who has five goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak, tipped home a shot from Nathan Beaulieu to snap a 2-2 tie with 12:16 left in regulation. Wheeler then converted a nifty pass from Patrik Laine at 17:47 of the third and ended his brilliant night with an empty-netter in the final minute.
Mark Scheifele had three assists and Connor Hellebuyck made 40 saves for the Central Division-leading Jets, who won their second straight to begin a road stretch against Eastern Conference playoff contenders.
The Blue Jackets, fighting just to make the postseason, lost their second straight to conclude a 2-3-0 homestand despite outshooting Winnipeg 42-26. The Jets were without winger Adam Lowry, who served the first of a two-game suspension for high-sticking Nashville’s Filip Forsberg on Friday.
Capitals 3, Rangers 2 (SO)
Alex Ovechkin was awarded the game-winning goal in the fourth round of the shootout and Washington extended its winning streak to four games with an unusual victory over host New York.
In the shootout, Ovechkin did not put the puck in the net but as he released the shot, New York goaltender Alexandar Georgiev threw his stick in an attempt to stop it. Officials originally declared it was not a goal but after a review in Toronto, the call was overturned as Washington beat the Rangers for the sixth straight time.
T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom scored in the shootout for the Capitals, who also won for the 11th time in 16 games and temporarily moved two points ahead of the New York Islanders into sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division.Defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Anthony DeAngelo scored in the shootout for the Rangers, who lost their fourth straight game (0-1-3).
Golden Knights 3, Canucks 0
Marc-Andre Fleury had 19 saves to pick up his second consecutive shutout and league-leading eighth of the season as host Vegas cruised over Vancouver.
It was the league-leading 32nd victory this season for Fleury, who also garnered his 56th career shutout, just one behind Clint Benedict (57) for 20th place on the NHL all-time career shutouts list. Fleury has 436 career victories, one away from tying Jacques Plante for eighth place in NHL history.
Max Pacioretty, Ryan Carpenter and Reilly Smith all scored goals for Vegas, which outshot the Canucks 48-19, including 38-14 over the first two periods. Jacob Markstrom finished with 45 saves for Vancouver, which lost its third straight game (0-2-1) and sixth in their last seven (1-4-2).
Predators 3, Wild 2 (SO)
Ryan Johansen scored in the fourth round of the shootout as Nashville skated to a win over Minnesota in St. Paul, Minn., in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis scored in the second round before Minnesota’s Zach Parise sent a backhander between the pads of Juuse Saros in the third to extend the shootout. Johansen ended the contest after slowly skating in on Alex Stalock before backhanding the puck inside the left post.
Filip Forsberg scored and Nick Bonino snapped a 15-game goal drought as the Predators salvaged the finale of their three-game road trip to remain one point behind first-place Winnipeg in the Central Division. Jason Zucker and Eric Fehr each scored for the Wild, who saw their five-game winning streak end.
Flyers 4, Islanders 1
Brian Elliott made 29 saves and four different players scored goals in the first 40 minutes as Philadelphia rolled over host New York.
The Flyers won despite playing without third-leading scorer Jakub Voracek and losing center Nolan Patrick in the opening minutes. Voracek sat out for the first time this season due to a lower-body injury, and Patrick exited with an upper-body injury after getting hit in the helmet by the puck on a shot by New York’s Cal Clutterbuck.
Forward Travis Konecny and defenseman Travis Sanheim scored in the opening period for the Flyers, who improved to 17-4-2 since dropping eight straight Dec. 27-Jan. 8. The Islanders lost their second straight and dropped consecutive regulation games for the first time since Dec. 4-6.
Sharks 5, Blackhawks 2
Melker Karlsson scored twice in the third period as San Jose won back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three weeks, defeating visiting Chicago.
Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Marcus Sorensen also scored for the Sharks, who had alternated wins and losses for their previous eight games. San Jose pulled within three points of Pacific Division-leading Calgary. Micheal Haley, Joonas Donskoi and Tim Heed each had two assists.
Dylan Strome and Erik Gustafsson scored for the Blackhawks, and goalie Cam Ward stopped 29 of 33 shots. Chicago went 1-2 on its three-game California trip.
Senators 3, Panthers 2
Rookie Rudolfs Balcers’ power-play goal broke a 2-2 tie with 2:35 left and helped Ottawa snap a seven-game losing streak while also giving interim coach Marc Crawford his first win at the expense of host Florida in Sunrise, Fla.
Florida’s Mike Hoffman, who played seven seasons with the Senators, rang the potential game-tying goal off the post with nine seconds left and Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo off the ice for the extra attacker.
Zack Smith and Brian Gibbons scored goals for Ottawa, which won for the first time since Feb. 16. Aleksander Barkov and Troy Brouwer tallied for the Panthers, who lost their fourth straight (0-3-1).
Ducks 2, Avalanche 1
Jakob Silfverberg and Cam Fowler each scored goals as Anaheim showed it still has some fight left with a victory over visiting Colorado, halting a five-game losing streak.
Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 25 saves in his second game since returning from multiple injuries. The Ducks’ victory also came during the return of captain Ryan Getzlaf, who had missed the previous five games with an upper-body injury.
The Avalanche dropped their second consecutive game, derailing their efforts to get back into playoff contention in the Western Conference. Colorado has lost three of its past four games following a four-game winning streak.
–Field Level Media