WASHINGTON -- Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson had a goal and two assists each, Alex Ovechkin had three assists and the Washington Capitals beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Saturday night to move atop the Metropolitan Division.
Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots as Washington won its eighth straight home game. Christian Djoos had a goal and an assist, and Tom Wilson and Matt Niskanen also scored for the Capitals.
New Jersey had gone eight games without a regulation loss. John Moore scored ate in the first period and Travis Zajac midway through the third. Corey Schneider stopped 30 shots.
Marcus Johansson played in his first game as a visitor in Washington after seven seasons with the Capitals and assisted on both goals.
Wilson got the game's first goal, his sixth of the season, beating Schneider at 2:26 in the first period. Djoos gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead at 11:09. It was Djoos' third goal this season and his first since Oct. 21.
After Moore's goal, Carlson's fourth at 7:01 of the second made it 3-1. Niskanen added his third goal of the season at 4:25 of the third. Backstrom added his eighth goal, an empty-netter, in the game's final minute.
The win was Washington coach Barry Trotz's 737th. He's now in fifth place on the career list, passing Lindy Ruff (see full recap).
Reimer stops 37 for another shutout, Panthers beat Habs
SUNRISE, Fla. -- James Reimer stopped 37 shots for his second shutout in three games and the Florida Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Saturday night.
It's been a busy month for Reimer since starter Roberto Luongo was injured Dec. 4, and he capped December with another stellar show. He also beat Ottawa 1-0 a week ago with a 38-save effort.
Vincent Trocheck and Connor Brickley scored for the Panthers, who won their fifth straight game with Reimer in goal. Brickley also had an assist.
Carey Price made 32 saves for Montreal, which has lost four straight. The Canadiens have been held to one goal or fewer in four straight games.
The Panthers' winning streak is their longest since they won five straight from Feb. 11-20.
Trocheck put the Panthers ahead 2-0 with 8:11 left in the third period. MacKenzie Weegar passed across the slot to Trocheck, who fired the puck past Price.
Brickley gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 4:02 into the second. Mark Pysyk took a shot that bounced off Brickley in the left circle. Brickley grabbed the loose puck, spun around and shot the puck past Price (see full recap).
Ryan Spooner, Tuukka Rask help Bruins shut out Senators
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Ryan Spooner scored twice and Tuukka Rask made 25 saves in the Boston Bruins' 5-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
Noel Acciari, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, 5-1 winners over the Senators on Wednesday night in Boston. Rask had his second shutout of the season and 40th overall.
Mike Condon stopped 29 shots for the Senators. Ottawa was shut out five times in December, going 4-8-2 in the month. The Senators have been outscored 14-6 in their past three games.
Boston took a 4-0 lead in the second, scoring three goals on 13 shots.
Sean Kuraly provided a screen for Acciari, who beat Condon off his backhand for a 2-0 advantage. Just over two minutes later, Ben Harpur, looking to shoot the puck in at the blue line, had his shot picked off by Spooner, who broke in alone and beat Condon through the legs.
Krejci, returning to the lineup after missing six games with an upper-body injury, then picked up Charlie McAvoy's rebound and tucked it in at the side of the net on the power play. The Bruins took a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes of the third when Bergeron tipped Torey Krug' shot for their third power-play goal of the game.
The Bruins opened the scoring at 8:13 of the first on the man advantage. After a couple of solid saves by Condon, a rebound popped right out to Spooner (see full recap).