Alex Ovechkin scored twice and the streaking Washington Capitals scored the final four goals to beat the Penguins, 6-3, last night in Pittsburgh in the first game this season between two of the NHL’s elite teams.
Tomas Fleischmann scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and set up Nicklas Backstrom’s breakaway goal less than a minute later for Washington, which won its fifth in a row and eighth in nine games and improved to 4-0-1 against Pittsburgh during the last two seasons, although the Penguins won when it mattered in the playoffs.
Eric Fehr and Mike Knuble also scored for the Capitals as Washington came back from deficits of 1-0 and 3-2 despite Sidney Crosby’s goal, a revived Evgeni Malkin’s three assists, and rookie Nick Johnson’s goal in his first NHL game.
Kings 4, Sabres 3 - Ryan Smyth scored the tying goal midway through the third and Dustin Brown had the deciding goal in a shootout to lead host Los Angeles.
The Kings have won their last six games that have been decided in a shootout - all of them at Staples Center.
Senators 3, Blues 2 - Peter Regin got his third power-play point of the game with an assist on Chris Phillips’s goal and host Ottawa extended its winning streak to five.
Regin, who opened the scoring in the first, got his second assist as Phillips put a wrist shot past Chris Mason in the third for Ottawa’s third power-play goal.
Sharks 3, Ducks 1 - Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Rob Blake scored rare goals in the second period as host San Jose beat playoff nemesis Anaheim for the fifth straight time this season.
Patrick Marleau assisted on the first two goals and added an empty-netter for his NHL-leading 35th. The Sharks have won four straight and 15 of 18.
Hurricanes 5, Thrashers 2 - Eric Staal scored three goals in his first game since becoming Carolina’s captain as the Hurricanes took a rare road victory.
The Hurricanes were last in the NHL with 35 points and had lost three straight when Staal took over as captain Wednesday for Rod Brind’Amour.
Blackhawks 3, Flames 1 - Ben Eager scored the go-ahead goal at 5:52 of the third period, and Antti Niemi made 19 saves in Chicago’s victory over reeling host Calgary, which has lost six straight.
After failing on a penalty shot in the first period, Patrick Kane opened the scoring for Chicago on a power play at 9:14 of the second. Jamie Lundmark tied it for Calgary with a power-play goal with 1:29 left in the second.
Flyers 2, Rangers 0 - Ray Emery made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season, and James van Riemsdyk and Mike Richards scored for host Philadelphia.
Making his third straight start since returning from abdominal surgery, Emery cooled off a team that had scored 14 goals in consecutive wins.
Coyotes 4, Predators 2 - Scottie Upshall scored three goals in the third period and host Phoenix beat Nashville.
Matthew Lombardi had a goal and an assist, Shane Doan added three assists and Ilya Bryzgalov made 41 saves for the Coyotes.
Red Wings 4, Wild 3 - Drew Miller scored his first career shootout goal in the eighth round and visiting Detroit survived Minnesota’s third-period rally.
Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped six shots in the shootout and denied Eric Belanger in the eighth round to set up Miller’s winner. Miller beat Niklas Backstrom, who entered after the first period for the injured Josh Harding.
Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 2 - Martin St. Louis scored a power-play goal with 9.8 seconds left in overtime to give host Tampa Bay the comeback victory.
After the Maple Leafs received a penalty for too many men on the ice with 43.1 seconds left, St. Louis scored the winner from the top of the left circle.
Islanders 2, Panthers 1 - Matt Moulson scored the decisive goal in a shootout and New York beat Florida for its sixth straight victory at Nassau Coliseum.
Rob Schremp also beat Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun in the shootout, while Dwayne Roloson turned away both Florida attempts.
Canucks 4, Stars 3 - Alex Burrows tied it late in the second period and Christian Ehrhoff scored five minutes into the third period for host Vancouver, which has won three straight.