Best of NHL: Alex Ovechkin's hat trick leads Caps over Blues, 4-3

Best of NHL: Alex Ovechkin's hat trick leads Caps over Blues, 4-3

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin scored his first hat trick of the season and the 16th of his 10-year NHL career to lead the Washington Capitals over the St. Louis Blues 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Ovechkin had a goal in each period to move one hat trick ahead of Florida's Jaromir Jagr for the most among active players. The three-time MVP, who has 12 goals this season, led the Capitals to their third win through four games of a five-game homestand.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist for Washington, which outshot St. Louis 25-21 and held a lead throughout the final two periods.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and Alex Pietrangelo added a late goal for the Blues, who had won four straight (see full recap).

Crosby sparks five-goal second period, Pens top Rangers, 6-1
NEW YORK -- Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist during a five-goal second period and the Pittsburgh Penguins shut down the division-leading New York Rangers in a 6-1 rout on Wednesday night.

The Penguins held New York without a shot on goal over 23:59 spanning the second and third periods. Scott Wilson, Conor Sheary, Phil Kessel and Matt Cullen also scored for Pittsburgh, and Matt Murray had 16 saves.

The Penguins moved two points behind New York for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Rangers won at Pittsburgh 5-2 on Monday behind a breakout second period. The Penguins exacted revenge Wednesday in nearly the exact same fashion.

Pittsburgh trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes, but then the defending Stanley Cup champions took control, chasing Henrik Lundqvist after four goals on 17 shots (see full recap).

Cammalleri has four points in return in Devils' shootout win
NEWARK, N.J. -- Mike Cammalleri had four points in his return to the lineup and Jacob Josefson scored in the shootout as the New Jersey Devils beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Cory Schneider stopped all three Toronto attempts in the tiebreaker, and the Devils overcame an early 3-0 deficit to snap a three-game losing streak, their longest of the season.

Cammalleri had a goal and three assists after missing six games. He spent more than a week with his family after his 5-year-old daughter was hospitalized with pneumonia.

Travis Zajac, Beau Bennett and Yohann Auvitu also scored for New Jersey.

Top draft pick Auston Matthews had two goals and set up another by Nazem Kadri in Toronto's big first period. Matt Martin also scored, and Jhonas Enroth made 26 saves.

Flyers 5, Islanders 1 (preseason): 2016 draft pick raises eyebrows in win

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Flyers 5, Islanders 1 (preseason): 2016 draft pick raises eyebrows in win


NEW YORK — Anyone sick of the New York Islanders yet?

The Flyers, playing their third game in three days in three different buildings against the same team, came up with a big second period to defeat the Islanders, 5-1, Tuesday.

Which 2016 draft pick continues to raise eyebrows, another injury to the Flyers' goaltending crop and more from Brooklyn:

1. Two days after a lethargic and uninspiring effort at Nassau Coliseum, the Flyers came out with a more inspiring start Tuesday with the same top line of Nolan Patrick, Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny, who had two scoring chances off the rush in the opening 20 minutes — one from the right side and another coming down the left wing. 

2. Alex Lyon was originally scheduled to start tonight and even took the ice for pregame warmups. He proceeded to tweak something as he motioned to the trainer. Late in the first period, the Flyers announced Lyon was out with a lower-body injury, leaving Anthony Stolarz to play the full 60 minutes.

3. As for Stolarz, he's had a solid camp and preseason so far, especially when you consider how little he's actually played last season. The knee surgery doesn't appear to bother him at all. After a flawless first period, which included a slapper that knocked him completely back on his numbers, Stolie allowed one soft goal on a delayed penalty.

With the Islanders working the puck around the perimeter, Stolarz was slow in moving from the middle of the crease to hugging the right post, allowing David Quenneville to sneak a slap shot through the near post.

4. There's still no fix for slow and playing in his first preseason game, Jori Lehtera still plods around the ice in second gear. Ron Hextall said before the game that Morgan Frost needed to work on creating time and space with the puck. He won't gain any pointers watching Lehtera, who had a difficult time manufacturing anything offensively until he scored a garbage-time goal late in the third period. Still, if I was Hextall, I'd place Lehtera on waivers for the purpose of sending him to Lehigh Valley before the season starts.

5. Carsen Twarynski was one of the more impressive prospects during the rookie game last week, playing alongside Oskar Lindblom and Mikhail Vorobyev. He scored a goal off a quick turnover and he gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead in this game when he snapped a shot from the top of the right circle that had perfect placement and appeared to catch Robin Lehner by surprise. If you’ve noticed anything about Twarynski, it's that he possesses a better than average NHL snap shot and it’s easy to see how he scored 45 goals last season with Kelowna.

6. Twarynski had a shot for a second goal on an early third-period breakaway and he once again looking to go high blocker on Lehner, but this time he was denied. The 2016 third-round selection won’t make the squad, but he has shown much improvement from a year ago.

7. Danick Martel will never forget his first NHL game, which came right here at the Barclays Center on Nov. 22, 2017. However, this game may stand out for Martel a little more as he launched a shot from the left circle that beat Lehner for his first unofficial NHL goal, giving the Flyers a 4-1 lead at the time. I don’t see Martel making this team, but if he can have another fantastic start with the Phantoms, a mid-season call-up isn’t out of the question.

8. Nothing is guaranteed for Taylor Leier, who needs to earn a roster spot on this year’s team coming out of camp much as he did a year ago. He had a so-so start in his first game Sunday, but he brought that fourth-line intensity tonight as he steamrolled Quenneville and supplied an aggressive forecheck. Leier also managed some offensive opportunities as the battle for the last three forward positions are too close to call right now.

More on the Flyers

Flyers-Islanders preseason game No. 3: Roster, highlights, live stream and more

Flyers-Islanders preseason game No. 3: Roster, highlights, live stream and more

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers and Islanders might be best friends at this point.

The two teams meet Tuesday night for the third time in three days for another preseason game, after their prospects also competed in a rookie game prior to this stretch.

A few notables ahead of puck drop:

• Roster hopefuls Philippe Myers, Mikhail Vorobyev and Nicolas Aube-Kubel will not play after appearing in the team's first two exhibition games. Myers and Vorobyev played in the rookie game, as well. All three have impressed but head coach Dave Hakstol wasn't going to run them out for three games in three days.

• Prospects Morgan Frost and Isaac Ratcliffe were officially returned to their junior clubs shortly after the start of noon practice in which they did not participate. Both 19-year-olds, Frost had an outside shot at winning the third-line center job (see story), while Ratcliffe, a promising winger, was always set for his fourth season with the Guelph Storm.

• The Flyers' first line will be a reason to tune in tonight. Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny will play together and the trio is easily the most intriguing part of a lineup with not-so-many regulars.

• Defenseman Christian Folin is a player quietly worth watching given he could be fighting for playing time with Myers — who everyone is watching — come the opening week of the regular season. That, of course, is if Myers cracks the roster with Andrew MacDonald sidelined. Folin's impression will have a big say in things.

Here's what Hakstol had to say about Folin after the morning skate:

What we expected out of him and what we're seeing is he's a real solid, two-way defenseman. He defends well, his feet and his mobility are good, his stick is very good and he's got a good understanding of reading plays that are coming at him.

Really efficient with his first pass and that's a key part of the game in getting us out of the zone.

Here are the essentials for tonight:

When: 7 p.m.
Where: Barclays Center
Live stream: The Flyers' official website

Projected lineup

Oskar Lindblom-Nolan Patrick-Travis Konecny
Danick Martel-Phil Varone-Greg Carey
Michael Raffl-Jori Lehtera-Taylor Leier
Carsen Twarynski-German Rubtsov-Colin McDonald

Zach Palmquist-Christian Folin
T.J. Brennan-Mark Friedman
James de Haas-Reece Willcox

Alex Lyon (starter)
Anthony Stolarz

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