Predators 6, Devils 4
Matt Duchene scored a third-period goal and assisted on another to lead the Nashville Predators to a 6-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Cody Glass, Cole Smith, Mikael Granlund, Filip Forsberg and Tanner Jeannot also scored for Nashville, which has won three straight and five of six heading into the All-Star break. Juuse Saros stopped 36 shots and Juuso Parssinen added two assists.
“I felt like we were the better team from start to finish,” Duchene said. “The start of the second, they came out and we weren’t quite at our best. But the last three games, we’ve beaten teams. We haven’t hung on or we didn’t have to rely on our goaltenders to steal us one.”
Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who lost in regulation for just the second time in January and fell to 7-1-1 in their last nine games.
“The first period wasn’t the way we wanted to play, but I thought the second period we were starting to hit our stride until we turned another puck over in our zone,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “And that has been an area of our strength — tonight it was a weakness.”
Jesper Bratt, Yegor Sharangovich and Dawson Mercer also scored for New Jersey. Mackenzie Blackwood made 35 saves and Dougie Hamilton had three assists.
“He gave us a chance to still win that game even though we gave so many chances up,” Devils captain Nico Hischier said of Blackwood. “He plays unbelievable for us.”
Hughes extended his point streak to seven games, picking up an assist on Bratt’s first-period goal and then scoring one of his own early in the second. Hughes has five goals and eight assists during his streak.
Blackwood was active in the first, stopping 20 of the 22 shots he faced — the most the Devils have allowed in a period this season. Likewise for Nashville, the shot total was its season high for a period.
“We played with the emotion and the passion you have to play with to give you a good chance to win,” Predators coach John Hynes said.
Hamilton and Hughes each have multiple points in three straight games. Hughes leads the Devils with 21 multipoint games this season, and Hamilton is second on the team with 14.
Nashville swept the two-game season series and has won six straight against New Jersey. Predators coach John Hynes, who coached the Devils prior to being hired in Nashville, is 5-0-0 against his former team.
Nashville’s power play has struggled all season and especially of late, scoring just twice in 28 opportunities over the past 10 games. The Predators began the day 29th in the NHL with a 16.2% success rate but went 1 for 2 with the man advantage, with Glass scoring at 12:24 of the first period by poking a rebound past Blackwood.
It took Smith 49 games to score his first NHL goal, but the Nashville forward now has goals in two of his last three games. Both came off deflections in front.
Capitals 3, Penguins 2 (SO)
Alex Ovechkin scored his 32nd goal of the season, Nicklas Backstrom had the shootout winner and Washington beat Pittsburgh.
The Capitals snapped a two-game skid and handed the Penguins a fifth loss in eight games. But Pittsburgh extended its points streak to six, trails Washington by just a single point in the standings and has three additional games left on its schedule.
Evgeny Kuznetsov and Backstrom scored in the shootout long after Ovechkin reached 812 goals in his NHL career and Marcus Johansson put the Capitals ahead early in the third period. Darcy Kuemper ended it by denying Evgeni Malkin in the third round of the shootout.
The Penguins played past regulation for the fifth time in six games thanks to Bryan Rust’s tying goal with 7:08 left in the third period.
Casey DeSmith kept them in it with a sharp performance in place of injured No. 1 goaltender Tristan Jarry. DeSmith stopped 43 of the 45 shots he faced in regulation and overtime, including 20 saves in the first period alone.
Pittsburgh’s Danton Heinen also scored.
Red Wings 4, Canadiens 3 (OT)
Robby Fabbri scored at 2:36 of overtime to lift Detroit past Montreal.
Michael Rasmussen set up Fabbri with a pass through the crease.
Rasmussen, Jonatan Berggren and Oskar Sunqvist also scored, Moritz Seider had three assists, and Ville Husso made 20 saves.
Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored twice and had an assist for Montreal. Michael Pezzetta added a goal and an assist, and Jake Allen made 38 saves.
Sabres 3, Jets 2
Tage Thompson had a goal and an assist and Buffalo beat Winnipeg for its fifth straight victory.
Thompson scored his 34th goal of the season and stretched his points streak to six games. He has three goals and seven assists during the streak.
Owen Power and Victor Olofsson also scored for the Sabres, Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Dahlin each had a pair of assists, and Eric Comrie stopped 19 shots.
Nate Schmidt and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Winnipeg, and Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves.
Ducks 5, Avalanche 3
Frank Vatrano scored three goals, Adam Henrique and Mason McTavish scored 24 seconds apart in the third period and Anaheim ended Colorado's six-game winning streak.
John Gibson stopped 40 shots as the Ducks, in last place in the Pacific Division, finished a six-game trip 3-2-1.
Mikko Rantanen scored twice, Samuel Girard added a goal, and an assist and Cale Makar had an assist in his return from injury, but the Avs fell to fourth in the Central Division, a point behind Minnesota.
Blackhawks 5, Flames 1
Rookie goaltender Jaxson Stauber made it two wins in two career starts by stopping 34 shots, sending Chicago past Calgary.
Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Jason Dickinson, Sam Lafferty and Connor Murphy scored for Chicago (15-28-4), which entered last in the NHL standings. Max Domi had an assist, extending his points streak to four games.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Flames.
Wild 3, Flyers 2 (OT)
Mats Zuccarello scored in overtime, Matt Boldy had two goals and Minnesota returned home to beat Philadelphia.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for Minnesota, which had lost three in a row and was 1-3 on a four-game trip.
With goalie Carter Hart pulled in the final minutes, Tony DeAngelo sent the game into overtime for the Flyers with 1:28 remaining in regulation. Noah Cates also scored for Philadelphia.
Coyotes 5, Blues 0
Nick Schmaltz had his first NHL hat trick, Karel Vejmelka made 33 saves for his third shutout of the season and Arizona beat St. Louis.
Travis Boyd and Barrett Hayton also scored in for the Coyotes in their third victory 15 games. Hayton has five goals in his last 11 games.