Caps Win Eighth Straight
Washington — Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 28th goal, and the Washington Capitals enjoyed a rare feeling of dominance outside their division last night, winning their eighth straight with a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jack Hillen, Martin Erat, Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson also scored, and Braden Holtby made 29 saves for the Southeast Division-leading Capitals.
The Capitals have moved into playoff position by feasting on the weak Southeast, going 14-3 within the division, but they entered Tuesday’s game just 9-14-2 against the rest of the Eastern Conference. All but two of those nine wins were by one goal.
So it was a major morale boost that they were able to manhandle Toronto, which is closing in on the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2004.
Islanders 5, Panthers 2
Uniondale, n.y. — Michael Grabner scored twice and Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves as New York moved closer to a playoff berth.
Playing before a boisterous crowd at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders earned their ninth time in 12 games while playing their final regular-season home game. The Islanders, 10-11-3 at home after starting 2-8-1, will begin a season-ending, five-game trip tomorrow in Toronto.
With a 14-5-3 mark since March 1, the Islanders hold seventh place in the Eastern Conference. New York, seeing its first postseason appearance since 2007, has allowed two goals or fewer in nine straight games.
Flyers 4, Rangers 2
Philadelphia — Brayden Schenn, Erik Gustafsson and Kimmo Timonen scored to give Philadelphia’s faint playoff hopes a boost.
Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan scored for the Rangers, who have a tenuous hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have 46 points, five more than the Flyers. With five games left, the Flyers have three teams to pass to get above the postseason cutoff.
Jakub Voracek added an empty-net goal in the final seconds to seal the victory for Philadelphia.
New York’s Henrik Lundqvist was solid in net but two goals off the post doomed the Rangers.
Senators 3, Hurricanes 2
Ottawa — Craig Anderson made 32 saves to help the Senators beat Carolina for their third straight win.
Mika Zibanejad, Cory Conacher and Chris Neil all scored as Ottawa remained in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the New York Islanders.
Justin Faulk and Eric Staal scored for the Hurricanes, who got 31 saves from Justin Peters.
Blues 2, Canucks 1 (so)
St. Louis — Jay Bouwmeester tied the score midway through the third period, and Andy McDonald and Alex Steen scored in the shootout to lead the Blues over Vancouver.
Brian Elliott made 21 saves in regulation and stopped Derek Roy and Alexandre Burrows in the shootout, solidifying the Blues’ chances in a tight Western Conference race. Bowmeester’s goal was his first since joining the Blues in a trade-deadline deal.
Alexander Edler scored on a power play late in the second period for Vancouver. Cory Schneider made 35 saves in regulation but surrendered two goals on three shootout chances.
The Canucks played for the third time in four nights, all on the road.
Bruins Game Rescheduled
Toronto — The NHL has rescheduled the Boston Bruins’ game against Ottawa that was postponed Monday night because of the Boston Marathon bombings to Sunday, April 28.
The game at TD Garden will be played a day after the regular season was scheduled to end.