Courtesy of the National Hockey League
Home Team in Caps
CALGARY 5, NY Islanders 2
PITTSBURGH 4, Buffalo 3
Columbus 3, NEW JERSEY 0
MINNESOTA 3, San Jose 1
Vancouver 2, ANAHEIM 1
St. Louis 3, COLORADO 0
Carolina 2, ARIZONA 1
BLUE JACKETS, PENGUINS REMAIN EVEN IN THE METROPOLITAN
The Blue Jackets (41-17-6, 88 points) and Penguins (40-16-8, 88 points) each earned victories to remain tied – in terms of points – for second place in the Metropolitan Division, seven points back of the League-leading Capitals (44-13-7, 95 points):
* Sergei Bobrovsky (20 saves) earned his second consecutive shutout to help Columbus improve to 6-2-1 in its last nine games. Bobrovsky (34-13-4, 2.09 GAA, .929 SV%, 5 SO), who matched a career-high with his fifth shutout of the campaign, established a new Blue Jackets franchise record for wins in a season, surpassing the previous mark set by Steve Mason in 2008-09.
* Pittsburgh surrendered a 3-0 lead in the first period, but Jake Guentzel (1-0—1) and Conor Sheary (1-1—2) scored the tying and winning goals 50 seconds apart in the third period as the Penguins improved to 20-2-2 in their last 24 home games. Per Elias, the Penguins came back from a three-goal deficit to win in regulation for the first time since April 5, 2016 (5-3 W at OTT). They became the fourth team to accomplish the feat this season, joining CAR, NSH (2x) and NYR.
GOALIES SHINE FOR WESTERN CONTENDERS
Strong goaltending performances helped the Wild (42-15-6, 90 points), Flames (36-26-4, 76 points) and Blues (32-27-5, 69 points) all make up ground in the Western Conference playoff race:
* Devan Dubnyk (20 saves) recorded his League-leading 35th win of the campaign and Eric Staal posted his fourth multi-goal effort of the season as the Wild overtook the Blackhawks (42-18-5, 89 points) for the top spot in the Central Division and Western Conference. Staal scored his team-leading seventh game-winning goal of the season and sits two behind Jeff Carter for the League lead.
* Brian Elliott (33 saves) earned his sixth straight victory while the Flames erupted for four goals in 4:40 of the first period to extend their season-long winning and point streaks to seven and nine games, respectively (8-0-1). Elliott improved to 10-1-1 in his last 12 decisions while posting a 2.16 GAA and .927 SV% over that span. Calgary, meanwhile, moved into a tie – in terms of points – with Anaheim (33-22-10, 76 points) for third place in the Pacific Division.
* Jake Allen stopped all 27 shots he faced to earn his third shutout of the season and Paul Stastny scored the eventual game-winner just 3:56 into the first period to help the Blues snap a five-game skid. St. Louis leapfrogged the idle Kings (31-28-6, 68 points) to move into the final Wild Card position in the Western Conference.
Richard Bachman made 43 saves to lead the Canucks to victory in his first start since Oct. 30, 2015 . . . Derek Ryan netted the game-winner with 3:57 remaining in the third period to help the Hurricanes end a four-game slide . . . Jack Eichel scored to extend his career-long point streak to 10 games (3-10—13) . . . Bo Horvat reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career . . . Brandon Dubinsky (0-1—1) earned the 400th point of his NHL career . . . Jaden Schwartz tallied an assist in his 300th NHL game.
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Rangers @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., SN, TVAS, SUN, MSG+
Boston @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m., TSN5, RDS, NESN
Dallas @ Washington, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, CSN-DC
San Jose @ Winnipeg, 8 p.m., TSN3, CSN-CA
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CAPITALS LOOK TO EXTEND RECORD HOME STREAKS
The League-leading Capitals (44-13-7, 95 points) will try to extend their franchise-record home win and point streaks when they host the Stars (26-29-10, 62 points) at Verizon Center on NBCSN. Washington, who is 16-0-1 – including 15 consecutive victories – in its last 17 home contests, is led by goaltender Braden Holtby, who has earned a point in each of his last 21 decisions (19-0-2) – one shy of his career-high and two short of the franchise record.