Predators 3, Jets 1
Facing a tired team, Nashville jumped on Winnipeg early.
Pekka Rinne made 32 saves and the surging Predators scored two short-handed goals in beating the Jets on Tuesday night to tie for the top spot in the NHL standings.
Kevin Fiala, Austin Watson and Viktor Arvidsson had the goals for Nashville, which has won 11 of 12.
The Predators reached 100 points in 69 games, the fastest mark in franchise history. The defending Western Conference champions are even with Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay — and Nashville has played one fewer game.
Kyle Connor scored for the Jets, losers of three straight. Winnipeg fell eight points behind the first-place Predators in the Central Division.
"We had marked it as a game that had to go our way as we sit here and push towards it late in the season," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "Trying to battle for what we need to do in order to better ourselves for the playoffs and obviously the division and the conference. Those are things we talk about, so the two points were very important."
Nashville scored three goals before the game was nine minutes old. Playing the finale of a six-game road trip, their longest of the season — and their second game in two nights — the Jets came out sluggish against the speedy Predators.
Fiala scored the first goal at 2:48 of the opening period.
Roman Josi carried the puck up center ice before sending a pass to Kyle Turris on the right side. Turris returned the pass to Josi as he continued through the slot and he immediately fed a trailing Fiala with a backhand pass. He had an open net, and he buried a snap shot up high for his 22nd goal of the season.
"I think every season you play, you want to climb up in the standings," Josi said. "You want to finish as high as you can. It's definitely one of our goals. It's huge for the playoffs to get that home-ice advantage. It's definitely on our mind and we want to stay there now and get better."
Watson and Arvidsson scored short-handed goals 34 seconds apart on the same penalty kill to make it 3-0. It was the first time in Predators history that they scored short-handed twice on the same power play.
"Right now, the team is playing great," Watson said. "Our penalty kill has done a good job of taking away time and space and forcing turnovers. When you get a chance to jump on it, it's nice. Every time a couple go in for you, it helps."
Jets coach Paul Maurice called a basketball-style timeout following Arvidsson's goal. Following the stoppage, Connor Hellebuyck took over in goal for starter Michael Hutchinson. After the first period, the team announced that Hutchinson would not return due to an upper-body injury. Hutchinson stopped 12 of the 15 shots he faced in 8:45 of action.
Nashville poured 24 shots on the Winnipeg net in the first, its most in a period this season.
After the first, Winnipeg founds its legs and put 27 shots on Rinne in the final two periods.
"In a tough situation, I really liked the way we stayed with it," Maurice said. "There wasn't anything easy there for us tonight. The bench was good. They kept battling and we kind of shut the game down well in the second period, which is hard to do, and had a good push in the third. That's what I'm taking from this one."
Hellebuyck made 30 saves in relief.
Connor got Winnipeg on the scoreboard at 1:08 of the third with a power-play goal when he tapped in the rebound of Blake Wheeler's shot from the right side.
"I saw a team that was down about half their players and playing the back end of a back-to-back," Jets captain Blake Wheeler said of his team. "We went into a tough overtime last night. We knew the first was going to be tough for us. They came out hot."
Patrik Laine picked up an assist on Connor's goal, extending his franchise-record point streak to 13 games.
Watson also did some strong work in his defensive zone to help Rinne. With just more than eight minutes gone in the third, he cleared a puck that was headed into the net after Rinne got a piece of a shot from Laine.
Coyotes 4, Kings 3 (SO)
Alex Goligoski scored the decisive goal in the fifth round of a shootout and Adin Hill earned his first NHL win for Arizona in its victory over Los Angeles.
Arizona squandered a 3-0 lead as Jeff Carter scored two third-period goals for the Kings to send the game to overtime. But the last-place Coyotes rebounded to win for the 10th time in 14 games, improving to 11-3-2 in their last 16. They climbed out of the NHL cellar with 57 points, one more than Buffalo.
The Kings had what was first ruled the game-winning goal 25 seconds into overtime overturned on goaltender interference after a video review.
Carter tied it at 3 with 2:18 to play in the third, deflecting Drew Doughty's shot past Hill, who was pressed into service with Arizona's top two goaltenders unavailable.
The 21-year-old Hill stopped 33 shots and Nick Cousins had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes. Arizona was forced to turn to Hill in net, with No. 1 goalie Antti Raanta missing his fifth straight game due to a lower-body injury and backup Darcy Kuemper unable to start because of an illness.
Hill, an emergency call-up from the minors last Tuesday, had not played since a loss at the New York Rangers on Oct. 26. Arizona was also without coach Rick Tocchet, who missed his first game while away on a leave of absence due to a family illness.
Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak added goals for the Coyotes.
Tanner Pearson scored for Los Angeles, and Jack Campbell made 26 saves in his second start of the season. The Kings are 2-2-1 in their last five games.
Senators 7, Lightning 4
Mike Hoffman scored two goals and six other Ottawa players had multipoint games as the Senators stopped Tampa Bay’s 10-game streak without a regulation loss.
One night earlier, the struggling Senators halted Florida’s eight-game home winning streak.
Tom Pyatt, Erik Karlsson, Ryan Dzingel and Marian Gaborik each had a goal and an assist for the Senators. Magnus Paajarvi also scored, and Mike Condon finished with 42 saves
Tampa Bay, sitting atop the NHL standings with 100 points, hadn’t lost in regulation since Feb. 17. But the Lightning’s lead over Boston in the Atlantic Division was trimmed to four points.
The defeat also spoiled the first career hat trick for J.T. Miller, acquired from the New York Rangers at the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had three assists.
Canadiens 4, Stars 2
Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and Montreal snapped its five-game losing streak with a victory over Dallas.
Brendan Gallagher and Nikita Scherbak also scored for Montreal (26-32-12), which hadn’t won since March 2. Alex Galchenyuk had two assists.
Antti Niemi made 36 saves for his fifth win of the season. Niemi hasn’t lost in regulation since Feb. 14, going 3-0-3 during that stretch.
Radek Faksa and Jamie Benn scored for Dallas (38-26-6), and Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 shots in defeat.
Avalanche 5, Wild 1
Nathan MacKinnon scored his 33rd goal of the season, J.T. Compher had his first career two-goal game and Colorado dominated Minnesota again.
Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves for Colorado. Nikita Zadorov and Tyson Jost also scored for the Avalanche, who have won the past three meetings this season by a combined score of 19-4.
Colorado has points in 10 of its past 11 games (6-1-4) and is three points behind Minnesota for third place in the Central Division. The Avalanche pulled into a tie with Dallas (82 points) for the first wild card in the Western Conference.
Mikko Koivu scored his 13th goal of the season for the Wild, who have lost just three times at home in regulation since Nov. 14.
Devan Dubnyk made 17 saves for Minnesota.
Flames 1, Oilers 0
Mike Smith made 28 saves, Johnny Gaudreau scored in the second period and Calgary edged Edmonton to end a seven-game losing streak against their provincial rival.
It was a superb bounce-back performance for Smith in his second game after missing a month with a lower-body injury. Smith was beaten four times on 26 shots in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders.
Calgary (35-26-10) is two points behind Dallas and Colorado, who occupy the two wild-card spots in the Western Conference. The Flames began the night three points back of Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division.
Cam Talbot made 31 saves as Edmonton (30-35-4) had its three-game winning streak snapped.
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