Stempniak, Crosby, Kunitz Lead Penguins
Washington — Sidney Crosby had a hand in both early goals, former Dartmouth captain Lee Stempniak produced two assists and Pittsburgh converted on two of its first three shots Monday night, riding two Chris Kunitz goals to beat Alex Ovechkin’s struggling Washington Capitals 3-2.
Crosby finished with his 30th goal and two assists to raise his NHL-leading point total to 87, matching his uniform number. The Penguins beat Washington for the seventh consecutive time and overtook idle Boston for the Eastern Conference’s best record.
Stempniak’s points were his first for the Penguins in three games since joining the team following a trade-deadline deal with the Calgary Flames last week.
The Capitals, who began the day outside of the playoff picture in 10th place in the East, have lost four of their past five games.
Monday featured the largely uneventful NHL debut of Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, a 2010 first-round draft pick.
Coyotes 4, Lightning 3 (so)
Tampa, Fla. — Radim Vrbata scored the lone shootout goal to lead Phoenix past Tampa Bay.
Vrbata beat Ben Bishop with a backhand. Mike Smith stopped all three Lightning shootout shots.
Predators 4, Senators 3 (ot)
Ottawa — Seth Jones scored at 3:49 of overtime and Nashville defeated Ottawa.
Ryan Ellis broke in alone on goaltender Robin Lehner and Jones was there to bang home the loose puck.
The win allowed the Predators to snap a four-game losing streak.
Nick Spaling, Craig Smith and Eric Nystrom also scored for Nashville.
Jared Cowen, Marc Methot and Jason Spezza scored for the Senators.
Craig Anderson allowed three goals on 29 shots before leaving the game early in the third. Lehner faced 13 shots in relief.