COLUMBUS, Ohio —The St. Louis Blues got things going early and put an end to the Columbus Blue Jackets' 10-game winning streak with a big victory over their own.
Jake Allen made 33 saves, Alexander Steen scored on St. Louis' first shot of the game, and the Blues beat the Blue Jackets 2-1 on Saturday night.
"It was a huge win for us, especially when Colorado wins this afternoon," Allen said. "Points are crucial right now. Let's just take it one step at a time. And we will figure out the standings at the end."
St. Louis has 89 points - one behind Colorado, which beat Vegas 2-1 in a shootout, and Minnesota, which played Saturday night.
"Approaching every game like the season is on the line," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "The challenge for us now is to make sure that doesn't change. I am very pleased and very proud of the group. There is an awful lot of character inside our locker room, and I love that it's on full display right now." (See full recap.)
Capitals tighten grip on 1st in Metro
MONTREAL — Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson each scored twice and Nicklas Backstrom had four assists as the Washington Capitals defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 on Saturday night.
Jay Beagle and T.J. Oshie also scored for Washington (44-24-7), which strengthened its grip on first place in the Metropolitan Division. Backstrom posted his 20th career game with at least four points and second this season.
Charles Hudon scored twice for Montreal (27-37-12), which was coming off a 3-0 win at Buffalo on Friday night. Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal for the Canadiens, who are 2-8-2 in their last 12 games (see full recap).
Kinkaid saves 35 shots as Devils pick up key win over Lightning
NEWARK, N.J. — While Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier have been getting much of the credit for New Jersey's surprising playoff push, goaltender Keith Kinkaid has been the one carrying the Devils back to the postseason the past two weeks.
Kinkaid made 35 saves and the Devils took another major step toward making the playoffs for the first time since 2012 with a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
Hischier and Kyle Palmieri scored for New Jersey, which has elevated its playoff chances with wins in five of seven games - including outstanding efforts in beating the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Eastern Conference-leading Lightning on consecutive nights.
"Keith has been a difference maker," Devils coach John Hynes said of Kinkaid, who had 75 saves the past two nights. "He has really come in and played well. He has made key saves at key times. He obviously won quite a few games and been a real important factor for us in remaining competitive in the playoff race. We would like to see him continue that at that level, as well." (See full recap.)