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WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 50th goal, reaching that mark for the sixth time and tying a team record with the 472nd of his career, and added an assist to help the Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 Tuesday night.
With his team pushing to make the playoffs, the three-time NHL MVP got No. 50 at 11:12 of the first period, giving Washington a 2-0 lead when he took a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov and sent a shot from just inside the left circle past goalie Cam Ward.
On Tuesday, after Carolina made it 2-2 with goals from Eric Staal and Nathan Gerbe, Washington went back in front on goals 82 seconds apart late in the second period by Brooks Laich and Joel Ward.
Braden Holtby made 23 saves for Washington.
MAPLE LEAFS 3, LIGHTNING 1
TORONTO (AP) — Nazem Kadri had a goal and assist, and the Toronto played the role of spoiler in a win over playoff-bound Tampa Bay.
One day after the Lightning secured a playoff spot, they fell behind 2-0 after a sluggish spell midway through the first period.
Kadri’s goal at 8:53 marked the first time the Maple Leafs (29-42-6) had the lead in a game in 541:08 of action.
David Booth and Morgan Rielly also scored for Toronto, which got a fine 40-save performance from James Reimer in winning its second straight.
Ryan Callahan scored for Tampa Bay, which has lost three of four on its road trip.
The Lightning, with 101 points, are one behind Montreal for first place in the Atlantic Division.
BRUINS 3, PANTHERS 2
BOSTON (AP) — Milan Lucic scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:09 left as Boston rallied to beat Florida.
Tuukka Rask kept the puck out during a final scramble at the buzzer with Florida on a power play and using an extra skater.
David Pastrnak scored the tying goal midway through the third and had an assist on Lucic’s goal.
Loui Eriksson also scored and Rask had 22 saves for the Bruins, who moved six points ahead of the Panthers.
Brandon Pirri and Brad Boyes scored in the second period to give Florida a 2-1 lead. Roberto Luongo made 26 saves.
RANGERS 3, JETS 2
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Chris Kreider scored with 3:46 left in the third period, and Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers rallied to beat Winnipeg.
Lundqvist, playing for the second time since missing 25 games with a neck injury, stopped 32 shots and earned his first win in his return.
The playoff-bound Rangers (48-21-7) also got goals from Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard, snapped a two-game skid, and moved one point ahead of Montreal atop the Eastern Conference.
Jim Slater and Lee Stempniak scored for Winnipeg (39-26-12). Pavelec made 21 saves in the loss.
SENATORS 2, RED WINGS 1, SO
DETROIT (AP) — Mark Stone scored the final goal in the shootout, and Ottawa beat Detroit.
Mika Zibanejad and Kyle Turris also had shootout goals for the Senators. Clarke MacArthur scored in the third period, and Andrew Hammond, who missed the previous two games because of a lower-body injury, returned and made 16 saves.
Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots for Detroit, which got a regulation and shootout goal from Gustav Nyquist. Tomas Tatar also scored in the shootout.
CANUCKS 5, PREDATORS 4, SO
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata scored in the shootout, and Vancouver avoided being swept by Nashville.
The Canucks padded their lead to four points over Calgary to stay in second place in the Pacific Division with their second win in two nights. They did it by killing off a five-minute major penalty that carried into overtime.
Eddie Lack stopped all four Nashville shots in overtime, then turned away attempts by Mike Santorelli and Filip Forsberg in the shootout.
Alexandre Burrows had a goal and an assist for Vancouver. Chris Higgins, Linden Vey and Jannik Hansen scored a goal each, and Bonino had two assists.
Mike Fisher, Cody Franson, Taylor Beck and Viktor Stalberg scored for Nashville, which lost its second straight at home.
BLUE JACKETS 3, DEVILS 2, OT
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jack Johnson’s backhander 56 seconds into overtime helped Columbus top New Jersey and extend its winning streak to seven.
It was the Devils’ sixth straight loss (0-5-1). New Jersey has scored seven goals during the skid.
Brandon Dubinsky scored on a penalty shot, Nick Foligno had a power-play goal, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves. Ryan Johansen had two assists, giving him at least one in seven straight games — one off the franchise mark.
Mike Cammalleri scored a power-play goal in the first period and added a short-handed tally with 2:29 left in regulation for New Jersey. Eric Gelinas added two assists.
AROUND THE RINKS
Highlights from the rest of Tuesday’s action:
* The New Jersey Devils tied the game with 2:29 left in regulation, but Jack Johnson scored 56 seconds into overtime to help the Columbus Blue Jackets win their seventh straight game and complete March with an 11-4-0 record. Via Elias, Columbus’ 11 wins in March are a franchise record for victories in a single month, surpassing the previous mark achieved three times, most recently this past December (10-1-1). Johnson tallied his first game-winning goal since April 27, 2013 vs. Nashville. His other five game-winning goals came in 2011-12, when he also had two overtime tallies with the Kings (Oct. 7, 2011 vs. the Rangers and Oct. 15 at the Philadelphia Flyers). Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky each scored in the opening 4:44 of the second period to help the Blue Jackets wipe out an early 1-0 deficit; Dubinsky’s goal came on his first career penalty shot. Ryan Johansen had two assists to stretch his point streak to eight games (3-8—11).
* James Reimer stopped 40 shots, including all 27 he faced during the final two periods, to help the Toronto Maple Leafs earn their second straight victory and improve to 6-1-0 in their last seven home games against the Tampa Bay Lightning dating to Jan. 3, 2012. Reimer has been in net for each of the club’s last two overall wins, marking the first time since Dec. 10 and Dec. 14 that he has won consecutive decisions. David Booth scored allied his second game-winning goal of the season and the 19th of his career. Nazem Kadri (1-1—2) and Morgan Rielly supplied the other goals; Rielly has 8-20—28 this season, one point more than his rookie total (2-25—27).
Despite their shootout loss, the Predators increased their lead atop the Central Division to four points over the idle St. Louis Blues (46-23-7, 99 points) and five points over the idle Chicago Blackhawks (46-24-6, 98 points). . . . Predators forward Mike Fisher (1-1—2) had two points, including the tying goal late in the third period. . . . Cody Franson, who was selected in the third round (No. 79) by the Predators in the 2005 NHL Draft, scored his first regular-season goal in a Nashville uniform since Feb. 15, 2011 vs. the San Jose Sharks. . . . Slater Koekkoek, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick (No. 10) in the 2012 NHL Draft, played in his first NHL game. . . . Hurricanes captain Eric Staal scored his 22nd goal to reach 50 points for the 10th time in his NHL career. . . . Brandon Pirri of the Panthers scored his career-high 21st goal of the season. He also suited up in his 100th NHL game. . . . Red Wings legend Gordie Howe celebrated his 87th birthday. . . . Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek made 33 saves, including a sprawling pad stop on Mark Stone. . . . Mike Cammalleri scored both goals for New Jersey.