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Capital gain as Washington goes 1 point up on Penguins in Metro

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Capital gain as Washington goes 1 point up on Penguins in Metro

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves for his fifth career shutout and Nicklas Backstrom scored late in the second period to help the Washington Capitals salvage the final game of their California swing with a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Washington was outscored 7-1 in losses to Anaheim and Los Angeles to open the trip before a narrow win in San Jose moved the Capitals one point ahead of Pittsburgh for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Alex Ovechkin, two goals short of 600 for Washington, was held scoreless for the third straight game. Marc-Edouard Vlasic thwarted one chance for Ovechkin to get goal No. 599 with a strong back check and goalie Martin Jones robbed Ovechkin on a partial breakaway midway through the third period to keep San Jose's deficit at 1-0 (see full recap).

Leafs beat Penguins to snap skid
TORONTO -- Nazem Kadri scored twice and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Kasperi Kapanen, Mitch Marner and Patrick Marleau also scored to help the Maple Leafs get their franchise-record 10th straight home win. Frederik Andersen, appearing in his 57th game this season, stopped 38 shots.

Sidney Crosby and Patrick Hornqvist scored for the Penguins, who had won three straight and nine of their last 12.

Andersen had a shutout going until Crosby got his 23rd of the season with 3:36 remaining with a backhander that went in off Toronto defenseman Ron Hainsey's stick to make it 4-1. It was Crosby's 26th career goal and 57th point against the Maple Leafs (see full recap).

Boyle's shootout winner leads Devils past Predators
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Brian Boyle scored in the fifth round of the shootout to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Boyle beat Nashville goalie Juuse Saros with a quick wrist shot from the slot on the blocker side.

New Jersey's Taylor Hall and Nashville's Kyle Turris each scored in the fourth round of the tiebreaker after none of the first six shooters could solve the opposing goalie.

Sami Vatanen and Boyle had the goals in regulation for New Jersey, winners of two of three. The Devils moved past idle Columbus into the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Keith Kinkaid made 34 saves through overtime and denied four of Nashville's five attempts in the shootout (see full recap).

Capitals go outside to take 1st place in Metro

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Capitals go outside to take 1st place in Metro

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Alex Ovechkin moved closer to 600 career goals and the Washington Capitals put on an offensive showcase in beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 outdoors Saturday night at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season and 598th of his career. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and Jakub Vrana also scored for Washington, which hardly looked like a team that had recently lost four of six to shrink its large lead atop the Metropolitan Division.

The Capitals got 27 saves from Braden Holtby in their second consecutive victory. They improved to 3-0-0 in outdoor games.

The Capitals were lights out well before the lights went out at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, a power surge that caused a roughly 15-minute delay midway through the third period. The lopsided effort sent many fans to the exits at the second intermission, though some of those remaining used their cellphones to light the stadium during the extended stoppage (see full recap).

Crosby scores in OT, Penguins slip by Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby finished off a 2-on-1 by burying a shot past Chris Gibson 3:48 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Derick Brassard's first goal with Pittsburgh tied it with less than nine minutes to go in regulation. The Penguins killed off a penalty early in the extra period before Crosby's 22nd goal of the season helped Pittsburgh snap a three-game losing streak.

Patric Hornqvist added his 18th goal of the season for the Penguins. Phil Kessel picked up two assists to become the sixth American-born player to reach 400 career assists. Tristan Jarry overcame an ugly start to finish with 25 saves (see full recap).

Marchand scores in OT, Bruins rally past Canadiens
BOSTON -- Brad Marchand scored 2:06 into overtime to lift the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 comeback win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

It was the Bruins' third straight victory and completed their four-game sweep of the season series with their archrivals for the first time since 1994-95.

Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy suffered what the club called "a lower-body injury" on the game's opening shift. It only took a few minutes for the team to announce that he was "not likely" to return, and it gave no further information.

Marchand had the puck along the left boards, circled the net and snapped in a wrist shot for the Bruins' 50th shot on goal (see full recap).

A pair of sensational efforts for surging Maple Leafs

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A pair of sensational efforts for surging Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- Nazem Kadri had three goals and two assists, Frederik Andersen made a career-high 54 saves and the surging Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Patrick Marleau added a goal and two assists and Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist as Toronto closed out a perfect five-game hometand. It was Kadri's fourth career hat trick, and the five points set a career high.

The Blue Jackets recorded 50 or more shots for the third straight game, making them the first team to accomplish the feat in the post-expansion era (since 1967-68). Nick Foligno had a goal and two assists, and Joonas Korpisalo made 22 saves.

Toronto played much of the game without defenseman Jake Gardiner, who departed with a lower-body injury after one period. It was unclear when the injury occurred, but he took a hard slash to the legs from Matt Calvert.

The Maple Leafs had a 4-2 lead before Jack Johnson beat Andersen with a slap shot from the left circle that went off the post and into the net at 14:35 of the second. It was Johnson's third goal of the season.

Toronto then put it away with two in the third. Kadri got his 21st of the season at 11:21, and Marleau added an empty-netter with 1:47 left (see full recap).

Varlamov stops 43 shots to secure shutout
DENVER -- Semyon Varlamov made 43 saves for his first victory in more than a month and the Colorado Avalanche matched the franchise record of 10 straight home wins, beating he Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Wednesday night.

Carl Soderberg and Alexander Kerfoot scored to help Colorado match the longest home winning streak in franchise history, set in 1994-95 when the team was the Quebec Nordiques.

Antti Niemi stopped 23 shots for Montreal. The Canadiens are 8-17-1 on the road.

Varlamov's last win came against Toronto on Dec. 29, and he left his next start against Winnipeg with a groin injury. He missed 10 games before returning against the Jets on Feb. 3.

Wednesday was his fourth since coming back and one of his best of the season. He denied the Canadiens on several chances in the third for his second shutout of the season.

With Montreal pressing for the equalizer late in the third, Kerfoot scored at 16:58 to give the Avalanche a two-goal cushion.

Colorado had more than two consecutive minutes of play in Montreal's end early in the second period but didn't score until Soderberg beat Niemi with a wraparound to make it 1-0 at 15:55 (see full recap).