WASHINGTON (AP) Alex Ovechkin scored the winning goal in his return from a one-game suspension for skipping the All-Star Game, and the Washington Capitals avoided a third straight loss by beating the New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday night.
Ovechkin scored off a pass from Nicklas Backstrom with 2:40 left to help Washington end a rare two-game skid. The Capitals haven't lost three games in a row all season.
T.J. Oshie and Andre Burakovsky also scored for the Capitals. Braden Holtby stopped 24 shots for the victory.
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Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves for the Islanders. Mikhail Grabovski and Josh Bailey had New York's goals in a rematch of a first-round playoff series from last spring.
PANTHERS 6, RED WINGS 3
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Vincent Trocheck scored twice and added an assist, and Jaromir Jagr had a goal and two assists in Florida's victory over Detroit.
Roberto Luongo stopped 36 shots for his ninth consecutive win on home ice for Florida, which has won five straight. Brandon Pirri had a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who have scored at least five goals in a franchise-record four consecutive games.
Aleksander Barkov and Derek MacKenzie also scored for the Panthers.
Rookie center Dylan Larkin had his first two-goal game for Detroit, both coming within a span of 67 seconds bridging the first and second periods. Mike Green added a power-play tally with 7:24 left.
Jagr's first assist of the night was his 1,100th in regular-season play, a milestone reached by only five other players – Wayne Gretzky, Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey.
BLACKHAWKS 5, COYOTES 4, OT
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Jonathan Toews scored his second goal of the night in overtime in his return from a one-game suspension, lifting Chicago over Arizona.
The teams traded scoring chances in the 3-on-3 overtime, leaving players on both sides exhausted. Toews skated in with a burst of energy, beating Louis Domingue with a wrister with 29 seconds left in the extra period.
Toews, suspended for missing the All-Star Game, also scored in the second period. Patrick Kane scored his NHL-leading 31st goal in the second and Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist. Michal Rozsival scored his first of the season for the Blackhawks.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and two assists for the Coyotes. Mikkel Boedker and Jordan Martinook scored two quick goals in the second period, and Shane Doan scored in the third.
SHARKS 3, BLUES 1
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Joonas Donskoi and Joe Thornton scored in the second period, Martin Jones made 26 saves and San Jose beat St. Louis.
Matt Nieto added an unassisted goal late in the third to give San Jose insurance. The Sharks, who are 8-1-2 in their last 11 games, improved to 17-7-2 away from home and tied Washington for the most road wins in the NHL.
Jay Bouwmeester scored late in the second period for St. Louis.
Donskoi's goal snapped a shutout streak of 96 minutes, 59 seconds, for Blues goalie Brian Elliott.
BRUINS 3, SABRES 2, SO
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Ryan Spooner scored in regulation and the shootout to lead Boston over Buffalo.
Brad Marchand helped the Bruins erase a two-goal deficit, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves in the win.
Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart scored for the Sabres.
Spooner had the lone goal in the shootout. Rask denied Brian Gionta, Kane and Ryan O'Reilly.
RANGERS 4, WILD 2
NEW YORK (AP) – Derick Brassard set up the tying goal and scored the game-winner early in the third period as New York rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat struggling Minnesota.
Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh and streaking J.T. Miller each had a goal and an assist as New York stretched its winning streak at Madison Square Garden to four games. Henrik Lundqvist made 16 saves, including two third-period stops on Marco Scandella after the Rangers took the lead. Chris Kreider added an empty-net goal with 1:48 to play
Ryan Carter and Matt Dumba scored for the Wild, who lost their second straight after the All-Star break and fell to 1-8-1 in their last 10. All-Star goalie Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves.
STARS 4, AVALANCHE 3, OT
DENVER (AP) – John Klingberg scored 35 seconds into overtime, Antti Niemi stopped a pivotal penalty shot in the third period and Dallas snapped an eight-game skid against Colorado.
Klingberg beat Calvin Pickard with a slap shot on a breakaway just moments into overtime.
The winner came after Jason Demers scored a power-play goal to tie it with 8:40 remaining in regulation. Before that, Niemi turned aside Nathan MacKinnon's penalty shot.
Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky each had a goal for the Stars, who won in Denver for the first time since Feb. 4, 2013.
Nick Holden, Blake Comeau and Carl Soderberg scored for the Avalanche.
MAPLE LEAFS 3, DEVILS 2, SO
TORONTO (AP) – P.A. Parenteau's shootout goal lifted Toronto over New Jersey, giving coach Mike Babcock a reason to celebrate his 1,000th NHL game.
James Reimer stopped Reid Boucher, Jacob Josefson and Lee Stempniak in the shootout. Peter Holland and Tyler Bozak missed for the Maple Leafs.
David Schlemko scored in the third period to give the Devils a 2-1 lead. Bozak beat Keith Kinkaid with a snap shot from the slot with 2:06 remaining to tie it.
OILERS 7, SENATORS 2
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – Jordan Eberle scored twice and added an assist to help Edmonton open its four-game road trip with a victory over Ottawa.
Mark Fayne, Zack Kassian, Andrej Sekera, Leon Draisaitl and Brandon Davidson also scored for the Oilers. Rookie sensation Connor McDavid, playing his second game since returning from a broken clavicle, had two assists.
Cam Talbot made 26 saves for the win.
Ottawa has lost three straight and seven of 10. Craig Anderson allowed three goals on 10 shots before Andrew Hammond came in and gave up four goals on 18 shots.
Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone were the only Senators to beat Talbot.
FLYERS 6, PREDATORS 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Wayne Simmonds had two goals and an assist, and Claude Giroux also scored twice to lead Philadelphia past Nashville.
Matt Read and Brayden Schenn also scored for Philadelphia, which has won three straight. Scott Laughton and Jakub Voracek each had a pair of assists for the Flyers.
Ryan Johansen, Calle Jarnkrok and Shea Weber had the goals for Nashville, which has lost consecutive games.