WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 49th goal of the season to snap a four-game drought and help Washington beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Tuesday night, increasing the Capitals’ division lead.
Ovechkin snapped a shot past Petr Mrazek for the go-ahead goal 4:31 into the third period for his third goal in 10 games. With his 656th career goal, Ovechkin tied Brendan Shanahan for 13th on the all-time list.
T.J. Oshie and John Carlson also scored. Braden Holtby made 27 saves and Nicklas Backstrom added an empty-netter off a pass from Ovechkin as the Capitals won their second straight. Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists on his bobblehead night.
Washington increased its lead to three points over former coach Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders atop the Metropolitan Division.
Dougie Hamilton scored and Mrazek finished with 24 saves for Columbus.
BLUE JACKETS 4, ISLANDERS 0
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Sergei Bobrovsky recorded his second consecutive shutout and Columbus stayed in the playoff hunt by beating New York.
Ryan Dzingel, Artemi Panarin, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson scored, and Bobrovsky finished with 26 saves and his eighth shutout of the season for the Blue Jackets, who are fighting to get above the wild-card line in the Eastern Division with six games to play.
Thomas Greiss, who had shut out Columbus twice this season, finished with 29 saves.
SENATORS 4, SABRES 0
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Craig Anderson stopped 35 shots for his second shutout of the season and Ottawa beat Buffalo.
Brian Gibbons had a goal and an assist, and Anthony Duclair, Rudolfs Balcers and Magnus Paajarvi also scored.
The Senators won the first of a four-game homestand after going 1-2-0 on a three-game trip through Western Canada.
Ottawa has won its last three home games and outscored those opponents 12-2.
Carter Hutton made 27 saves for Buffalo, which lost its fourth straight.
CANADIENS 6, PANTHERS 1
MONTREAL (AP) — Tomas Tatar had two goals and an assist to lead Montreal over Florida and remain in playoff position.
Brett Kulak, Artturi Lehkonen, Phillip Danault and Max Domi also scored for the Canadiens (41-28-8), who have won four of five.
Carey Price stopped 33 shots in his ninth consecutive start. Price has allowed 13 goals in his past eight games.
Frank Vatrano scored for the Panthers (33-32-12), who were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
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