National Hockey League Game Capsules

The Sports NetworkMarch 24, 2014 

Toronto, ON ( - David Backes notched the second hat trick of his career as the St. Louis Blues held off the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3, on Tuesday. Alexander Steen and T.J. Oshie each posted a goal and two assists for the Blues, who have won two straight after dropping their previous two. Ryan Miller turned away 22 shots in the win. The win gives St. Louis 105 points on the season, one better than idle Boston for first overall in the NHL. Joffrey Lupul, James van Riemsdyk, and Carl Gunnarsson each had a goal for the Maple Leafs, who are one of four Eastern Conference teams with 80 points, but currently find themselves sitting out of the wild card chase. Columbus and Detroit currently hold the two wild card spots, with Washington and Toronto sitting on the outside due to playing more games. Jonathan Bernier made 44 saves in a losing effort.

Final Score: Phoenix 3, Pittsburgh 2

Pittsburgh, PA ( - Mikkel Boedker netted the deciding score late in the second period and Thomas Greiss came up with 23 saves, as Phoenix stole a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh at CONSOL Energy Center. David Moss and Antoine Vermette also tallied and Shane Doan added two assists for the Coyotes, who halted a two-game skid and won for the sixth time in their last nine overall. Jussi Jokinen and Taylor Pyatt scored for the Penguins, the slumping Metropolitan Division leaders who have lost five of their last seven. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots in defeat. Pittsburgh's narrow defeat came hours after the club revealed that star forward Evgeni Malkin will miss 2-to-3 weeks with a foot injury.

Final Score: Los Angeles 5, Washington 4 (SO)

Washington, DC ( - The Los Angeles Kings continued their road success and dominance of the Washington Capitals with a 5-4 shootout win. Evgeny Kuznetsov had the puck roll off his stick to begin the shootout. Anze Kopitar then slipped a backhander through the pads of Capitals goaltender Jaroslav Halak. After Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick made a save on Eric Fehr, Jeff Carter ripped a wrister past Halak's glove to secure the Kings' seventh straight win away from Staples Center. The win was also the seventh in a row against Washington. Dustin Brown and Dwight King each had a goal and one assist for the Kings, who remain eight points ahead of Phoenix for the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles is one game shy of matching the longest road winning streak in club history from Dec. 18, 1974-Jan. 16, 1975. Alex Ovechkin potted his NHL- leading 47th and 48th goals of the season for Washington, which earned at least a point in a sixth consecutive game (4-0-2) despite losing playmaking center Nicklas Backstrom to an upper-body injury in the second period. The Capitals are one of four teams tied with 80 points battling for the two wild- card spots in the Eastern Conference.

Final Score: NY Islanders 5, Carolina 4

Raleigh, NC ( - Colin McDonald and Matt Martin each had two goals and the New York Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Tuesday to post consecutive wins for the first time in more than two months. The Islanders struck quickly with four goals in the first 10:54 of the game -- chasing Hurricanes starting goaltender Cam Ward in the process -- then were outscored 4-1 the rest of the way. But they escaped to win their second straight game for the first time since beating the Flyers and Rangers on Jan. 20 and 21. Cal Clutterbuck also scored, McDonald added an assist and Anders Nilsson had 24 saves for the Islanders, who were coming off Sunday's 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets. Ward was pulled after giving up three goals on nine shots in the first 6:12 of the game. Anton Khudobin made 21 saves on 23 shots after that, including nine in a scoreless third period. Jeff Skinner, Andrei Loktionov, Alexander Semin and Nathan Gerbe had the goals for the Hurricanes, who have lost two of three.

Final Score: Montreal 2, Buffalo 0

Montreal, QC ( - Max Pacioretty broke a scoreless deadlock with 9:07 to play and Carey Price posted a 24-save shutout, as the Montreal Canadiens blanked the Buffalo Sabres, 2-0, on Tuesday at Bell Centre. Danny Briere added an insurance marker with Montreal on the power play at 16:54 of the third, while Price stood tall down the stretch to help kill off a late Canadiens penalty and secure his fifth shutout of the season and 24th of his career. With its third straight victory, Montreal moved into sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division after entering Tuesday's contest tied with the idle Tampa Bay Lightning at 87 points. Matt Hackett, making just his second start of the season, stopped 33 shots for the cellar-dwelling Sabres, who have lost two straight and nine of their last 10 games. Buffalo sits last in the NHL with 48 points.

Final Score: Florida 3, Ottawa 2 (SO)

Sunrise, FL ( - Roberto Luongo made 37 saves in regulation and overtime and had two more stops in a shootout, backstopping the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri beat Ottawa's Robin Lehner in the shootout -- Trocheck with a sharp deke and Pirri on a snap shot through the legs. After Kyle Turris rattled a goal off the post and in, Jason Spezza fired wide on Ottawa's second chance and Luongo ended the game with a glove save on Milan Michalek's backhand as he did a split in the crease. Luongo also made a point-blank save on defenseman Marc Methot in overtime to help the Panthers snap a three-game losing streak and win for only the third time in their last 10 games (3-6-1). Sean Bergenheim and Trocheck scored second-period goals after Mark Stone and Clarke MacArthur had given Ottawa a 2-0 lead. All four goals came in a 6:21 span in the period. Lehner had 39 saves for the Senators, who were coming off a 4-3 shootout win over Tampa Bay on Monday to snap a six-game losing streak. The had won 13 of the previous 16 meetings with the Panthers. Bobby Ryan, who leads Ottawa with 23 goals, missed his second game with a lower-body injury.

Final Score: Columbus 4, Detroit 2

Columbus, OH ( - Cam Atkinson scored the winning goal in the third period to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Ryan Johansen had two goals, while Brandon Dubinsky notched a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, who now sit in the top wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with 80 points. Sergei Bobrovsky started in net for Columbus, but left after one period due to illness. He stopped 9-of-10 shots while his replacement, Curtis McElhinney, made 22 saves. Gustav Nyquist had both goals for the Red Wings, who have dropped their past two. Jimmy Howard made 24 stops on 27 shots. Detroit holds the other wild card spot with 80 points. Washington and Toronto, both of which lost on Tuesday, also have 80 points but have played more games.

Final Score: Chicago 4, Dallas 2

Chicago, IL ( - Duncan Keith netted the deciding goal late in the second period and Marian Hossa added an empty-net insurance marker as Chicago topped Dallas, 4-2, at United Center. Andrew Shaw and Kris Versteeg also lit the lamp for the Blackhawks, who have won three of their last four and took the season series against their Central Division rivals by a 4-1-0 count. Corey Crawford stopped25-of-27 shots for the victorious hosts. Ryan Garbutt registered both goals for the Stars, while Kari Lehtonen came up with 38 saves in the loss.

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