BUFFALO, N.Y. — Alex Ovechkin can stop fretting about what the Washington Capitals captain described as the worst game of his career.
He and the Capitals were much better in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, two days after a 7-1 meltdown at Chicago.
After being held without a shot against Chicago, Ovechkin responded by scoring his NHL-leading 35th goal, and Washington reclaimed the top spot in the Metropolitan Division
"Yeah, I think the last game I didn't play my game. I think it was the worst play of my career by myself. I take the blame on it," Ovechkin said. "I think we understand the game in Chicago was just forget about it, you know. We moved forward. We got two points."
Capitals coach Barry Trotz noticed how much more involved Ovechkin was against Buffalo, particularly after a few early exchanges with Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (see full recap.)
Marchand's OT goal gives Bruins win over Flames
CALGARY, Alberta — Brad Marchand scored his 22nd goal 3:36 into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday.
After a turnover deep in the Flames end, Riley Nash sprung the Bruins' leading scorer on a breakaway and Marchand made no mistake, slipping the puck through the pads of David Rittich.
David Pastrnak also scored for Boston (36-13-8), which moved within one point of Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Boston has two games in hand.
Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Flames (30-21-9), who fell to 1-3-4 in their last eight home games.
With the teams meeting for the second time in six days, Calgary was territorially outplayed by a wide margin in the first period but Rittich kept the Flames in it (see full recap.)
Cullen, Ennis star in Wild win against Islanders
NEW YORK — Minnesota knows it needs to play better on the road to strengthen its push for a playoff spot. The Wild also want to do a better job of holding third-period leads than they have lately.
They accomplished both Monday against the New York Islanders.
Matt Cullen and Tyler Ennis scored in Minnesota's three-goal second period, and the Wild beat the Islanders 5-3. Jason Zucker added two goals, Joel Eriksson Ek also scored, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 32 shots as Minnesota improved to 4-1-2 in its past seven games.
The Wild just lost three of five on their homestand, including twice when they gave up the tying goal in the third period before falling after regulation.
"Having the lead in the second and keeping it is really good for us," Zucker said (see full recap.)
Arvidsson scores twice in Predators' win vs. Senators
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Viktor Arvidsson scored twice to reach 20 goals this season, and the Nashville Predators beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 on Monday night.
Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Craig Smith also scored for Nashville, which ended a two-game skid and tied Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division.
The Predators recorded two power-play goals and scored on the man advantage in their second straight game after going six games without converting on the power play.
Pekka Rinne made 36 saves to earn his 30th win of the season.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Max McCormick scored for the Senators, who played catch-up most of the game. Craig Anderson stopped 36 shots (see full recap.)