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Buffalo Sabres use 3rd-period surge to beat the Washington Capitals 6-2

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) is stopped by Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — JJ Peterka scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, and Buffalo beat the Capitals 6-2 on Tuesday night to slow Washington’s late-season playoff push.

Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch and Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and two assists each in an outing the Sabres blew open by scoring three times in a 2:30 span in the opening minutes of the third period. Zemgus Girgensons also scored and Buffalo inched to within five points of the Capitals, who began the day holding the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen bounced back after getting beaten by Martin Fehervary’s 40-footer on the first shot he faced, to finish with 23 saves. Sabres forward Jeff Skinner, playing in his 1,000th career NHL game, was held off the scoresheet, and drew a big sigh from the crowd when he had a shot bank off the crossbar with 8:45 left.

Dylan Strome also scored for the Capitals, who dropped to 0-2-1 in their past three in a skid that immediately followed a 6-1 run.


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby each scored twice in Pittsburgh’s five-goal third period and the Penguins kept their playoff hopes alive, rallying for a win over New Jersey.

The Devils led 3-1 after two periods on goals by Timo Meier, Curtis Lazar and Jesper Bratt. Crosby and Malkin scored 67 seconds apart early in the third to tie the score.

Rickard Rakell then put Pittsburgh ahead with 3:44 to play with his 13th goal before Malkin scored again 21 seconds later. Crosby made it 6-3 with his team-leading 39th goal at 17:07, an unassisted empty netter.

Erik Karlsson opened the scoring for Pittsburgh at 7:54 of the first before Meier knotted the contest on the power play with 16.6 seconds left in the first, rifling his 25th goal past Alex Nedeljkovic, who had 23 saves.


NEW YORK (AP) — Bo Horvat and Simon Holmstrom scored in the third period to help the New York Islanders top the Chicago.

Ilya Sorokin made 18 saves for New York, which pulled within one point of Washington for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Jason Dickinson scored for last-place Chicago, which had won three of four. Connor Bedard had an assist, and Petr Mrazek made 27 stops.

The Blackhawks jumped in front when Bedard found Dickinson darting toward the back post 7:49 into the first period. Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson turned the puck over in the offensive zone and Casey Cizikas failed to stick with Dickinson, which created an odd-man rush opportunity.


MONTREAL (AP) — Nick Suzuki scored the tying and go-ahead goals in the second period and Sam Montembeault made 37 saves in leading Montreal to a victory over Florida.

Cole Caufield, Jake Evans and Joel Armia also scored while Alex Newhook had two assists for Montreal, which won its fourth in five games.

Aleksander Barkov, Sam Bennett and Anton Lundell tallied for Florida, which lost to Montreal for the first time in four meetings (3-1-0) this season. Anthony Stolarz made 34 saves.

The feisty game featured 66 minutes in penalties, including 52 in the third period.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Vinni Lettieri scored the winning goal with just under seven minutes to play and Minnesota beat Ottawa to earn a crucial two points and keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

Mason Shaw scored for the first time in more than a year, Matt Boldy also had a goal, r the Wild and Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for the Wild, who are eight points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second Western Conference wild-card spot with eight games to play.

Drake Batherson and Jakob Chychrun each had a goal and an assist and Joonas Korpisalo made 17 saves, but the Senators five-game winning streak came to an end.

A scrum along the boards resulted in the puck popping out to Lettieri in front of the Ottawa net. His quick backhand swat beat Korpisalo for his first goal since Dec. 18.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Linus Ullmark made 32 saves and had an assist on Charlie Coyle’s short-handed, game-winning goal in the third period that lead Boston to a victory over Nashville.

David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha each recorded a goal and and assist in the big final period as the Bruins won for the third time in four game and extended their lead in the Atlantic Division to four points over Florida, which lost at Montreal.

Juuse Saros made 30 saves for Nashville, which as lost three straight. The skid follows a franchise-record 18-game point streak (16-0-2).

The shutout was the second of the season and eighth of Ullmark’s career.


CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Alex Killorn scored twice, Troy Terry had a goal and two assists and Anaheim snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over Calgary.

Mason McTavish and Cam Fowler rounded out the scoring for Anaheim while rookie defenseman Olen Zellweger had three assists for his first career multi-point game.

Lukas Dostal made 21 stops as the Ducks won for just the second time in their last 14 games (2-11-1).

Andrei Kuzmenko had two goals and Yegor Sharangovich also scored for the Flames, who have lost six of their last seven games. Jacob Markstrom had 24 saves.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and two assists and Vegas beat Vancouver.

The defending Stanley Cup champions have won three straight and six of seven since a 6-10-1 slide that dropped them into the second slot in the wild-card race.

The victory inched Vegas (92 points) closer to second-place Edmonton (95) in the Pacific Division. The Canucks sit atop the division.

Anthony Mantha, Jack Eichel, Noah Hanifin, William Karlsson and Brett Howden also scored for Vegas, while Logan Thompson stopped 27 shots to win his sixth straight start in his 99th career game.

The Associated Press

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