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Best of NHL: League-best Lightning dispatch of Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Vladislav Namestnikov had two goals, Nikita Kucherov scored his 15th of the season and the Tampa Bay Lightning ended San Jose's four-game winning streak by beating the Sharks 5-1 on Wednesday night.

Jake Dotchin got his first career goal and Slater Koekkoek also scored for the Lightning (12-2-2), who lead the NHL standings with 26 points.

Steven Stamkos had three assists for Tampa Bay. Kucherov added two and Namestnikov had one as all three players finished with three points. Stamkos (28 points) and Kucherov (26) rank 1-2 in the league in scoring.

Joonas Donskoi scored for the Sharks, who allowed five goals for the third time this season. They gave up a total of six during their winning streak.

Donskoi scored 25 seconds into the game as the Sharks peppered Andrei Vasilevskiy with a myriad of shots before Donskoi found a hole.

Vasilevskiy was a wall the rest of the way, stopping 32 shots on the night. Sharks starter Martin Jones allowed four goals on 21 shots and was pulled after two periods (see full recap).

Vesey, Rangers top Bruins for 5th straight win
NEW YORK -- Jimmy Vesey scored two first-period goals 29 seconds apart, Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves and the New York Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.

Pavel Buchnevich and Rick Nash also scored for the resurgent Rangers, who improved to 8-7-2 despite losing seven of their first eight games.

David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron had the goals for Boston.

The Rangers came out strong against their old rivals, outshooting the Bruins 16-7 in the opening period and scoring three times. The Bruins had the better of play in the scoreless second, with a 13-8 shots advantage.

New York led 3-1 heading into the third period before Bergeron cut the margin to one at 6:44 with his third goal of the season. Lundqvist was able to hold off the Bruins before Nash scored into an empty net with 7.7 seconds left (see full recap).

Matthews-less Maple Leafs defeat Wild
TORONTO -- Frederik Andersen made 35 saves to help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Nazem Kadri, Patrick Marleau, Connor Carrick and Connor Brown scored for Toronto. Playing with star center Auston Matthews out day to day with an upper-body injury, Toronto improved to 10-7-0.

Jason Zucker scored twice for Minnesota, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 15 shots. The Wild have lost three in a row to fall to 5-7-2.

Toronto coach Mike Babcock shifted Marleau to the middle with Matthews out. Matthews was scratched for the first time since being drafted in 2016, playing in 98 straight games including all 82 last year in his Calder Trophy winning campaign (see full recap).