WASHINGTON (AP) Justin Williams and Matt Niskanen each scored two goals and Philipp Grubauer stopped all 24 shots he faced and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to nine in authoritative fashion by crushing the Philadelphia Flyers 5-0 on Sunday.
The Capitals lead the NHL with 63 points.
Despite a sluggish start, the Capitals came alive with four goals on seven shots in the first seven minutes of the third period to turn the game into a laugher.
Washington has outscored its opponents 40-11 during the streak and passed the Columbus Blue Jackets for first place in the Metropolitan Division, Eastern Conference and the league.
Andre Burakovsky also scored a power-play goal for the Capitals, who haven’t allowed an even-strength goal in six games.
WILD 3, BLACKHAWKS 2
CHICAGO (AP) – Jason Pominville scored in the third period, Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves and Minnesota won its fourth straight to grab sole possession of the top spot in the Western Conference.
Nino Niederreiter and Chris Stewart also scored as the Wild improved to 17-1-1 since Dec. 4 and beat the Blackhawks for the eighth straight time.
Minnesota jumped in front for good when Marco Scandella shot the puck behind the net and it caromed right to Pominville standing all alone on the right side of the crease. He knocked it into the open net for his sixth of the season at 5:08.
Wild defenseman Ryan Suter was sent off for tripping with 22.4 seconds left, but Chicago was unable to get a good look with a 6-on-4 advantage.
Patrick Kane scored twice for the Blackhawks and Corey Crawford made 29 stops.
DEVILS 2, CANUCKS 1, OT
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – Taylor Hall scored 1:28 into overtime to lift New Jersey past Vancouver.
Skating on a 2-on-1 with Damon Severson, Hall chose to hold the puck and beat Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom through the legs.
Kyle Quincey scored the tying goal with 3:03 left in the second period and Cory Schneider stopped 21 shots to help the Devils win their second straight after losing four in a row.
Loui Eriksson scored for the Canucks and Markstrom finished with 20 saves for the Canucks, losers of four straight after winning six in a row coming out of the holiday break.
BLUES 2, DUCKS 1, OT
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Patrik Berglund’s second goal of the game, 51 seconds into overtime, lifted St. Louis past Anaheim.
Carter Hutton stopped 22 shots for his second win in two nights for the Blues. Hutton made back-to-back starts for the first time this season and has played in the last five.
Rickard Rakell scored for Anaheim and John Gibson made 24 saves as the Ducks fell to 1-8 in overtime.