BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Braden Holtby made 31 saves and Alex Ovechkin scored to lead the Washington Capitals over the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Monday night for their eight straight win.
Ovechkin scored 19 seconds into the second period and Jay Beagle scored about 12 minutes later to help the Eastern Conference-leading Capitals improve to 27-6-2, the best start in franchise history.
Washington has earned a point in 15 of its last 16 games and trails the Dallas Stars by one point for the NHL lead.
Holtby got his 22nd career shutout and second this season. He leads the NHL with 23 victories and is 15-0-1 in his last 17 games.
Linus Ullmark made 24 saves for the Sabres.
Sabres forward Evander Kane played for the first time since The Buffalo News reported that Buffalo police were investigating a sex crime allegation against him.
CANADIENS 4, LIGHTNING 3, SO
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Max Pacioretty won it in the third round of a shootout and Montreal beat Tampa Bay to end a six-game losing streak.
Brian Flynn also scored in the shootout for Montreal. Valtteri Filppula had a shootout score for Tamp Bay.
The Canadiens got goals from Tomas Plekanec, Alex Galchenyuk and Dale Weise.
Nikita Kucherov, Jason Garrison and Ryan Callahan scored for the Lightning, who are 2-1-1 on a six-game homestand. Tampa Bay centers Tyler Johnson and Brian Boyle both returned after being out with upper-body injuries.
Mike Condon made 36 saves through overtime for Montreal, while Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop stopped 31 shots.
WILD 3, RED WINGS 1
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Mikko Koivu scored twice, Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves in a surprise appearance and Minnesota beat Detroit.
Dubnyk suffered a cut on his arm in practice Sunday and had to have stitches. He was expected to sit, but Darcy Kuemper was announced out with an upper-body injury about an hour before the game.
Charlie Coyle scored for the third time in four games for Minnesota. Koivu scored a power-play goal in the third and added an empty-net tally for Minnesota, which had lost three of four.
Pavel Datsyuk scored his fourth goal of the season for Detroit. Petr Mrazek made 32 saves for the Red Wings.
PREDATORS 5, RANGERS 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – James Neal scored twice, Mike Ribeiro had three assists and Nashville held off New York.
Filip Forsberg, Craig Smith and Ryan Ellis also scored for the Predators. Roman Josi added two assists, Pekka Rinne had 26 saves and Nashville won for the third time in four games.
Jesper Fast, Rick Nash and J.T. Miller had goals but New York lost its fourth in five games.