WASHINGTON (AP) — Nico Hischier scored twice, Louis Domingue made 33 saves and the last-place New Jersey Devils routed the NHL-leading Washington Capitals 5-1 Saturday night to snap their losing streak at three.
Hischier’s 11th and 12th goals of the season came on the same night the 2017 top pick missed out on a last-chance All-Star invite. Fans voted in Washington’s T.J. Oshie instead.
Blake Coleman scored a short-handed goal, and Nikita Gusev added one moments after a power play ended for the Devils. Hischier and Coleman were the two best skaters on the ice, and behind them Domingue had a strong performance facing a ton of shots in his sixth start of the season.
Washington lost back-to-back games in regulation for the second time this season and has dropped four of seven. Defensive-zone miscues continue to haunt the Capitals, who largely hung All-Star goalie Braden Holtby out to dry as he allowed four goals on 21 shots.
Despite Jakub Vrana’s goal in his first game since a promotion to the first unit, the Capitals’ power-play struggles continued. They allowed a short-handed goal for the second consecutive game and went 1 for 5 on the power play — including a botched 5-on-3 chance in the third period.
Devils interim coach Alain Nasreddine wanted to see how his team would respond to this skid after winning three in a row. He held a meeting Saturday morning reminding players about defensive responsibility, and the message seemed to get through.
“We’ve had success, now, how are we going to respond to some adversity?” Nasreddine said. “We felt good about our game. It’s a matter of finding (it and) going back to playing the right way.”
New Jersey bounced back from a lousy 6-3 loss at the rival New York Rangers by cleaning up a lot of what went wrong Thursday. The Devils withstood an initial push from the Capitals in the game’s first minutes and appeared to catch the league’s top team sleepwalking through long stretches.
Devils: Return home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.
Capitals: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
Bruins 3, Islanders 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Patrice Bergeron scored a power-play goal 1:33 into overtime to lift the Boston Bruins over the New York Islanders.
Jake DeBrusk and John Moore scored, and Tuukka Rask stopped 35 shots to help the Bruins win their third straight. Boston also improved to 7-1-5 in its last 13 games.
Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist, and Scott Mayfield also scored for the Islanders. Semyon Varlamov had 30 saves.
With the Islanders’ Brock Nelson off for tripping in the extra period and Boston on its second power play of the game, Bergeron got a pass from Torey Krug in the left circle and beat Varlamov on the blocker side. It gave the Bruins a goal with the man advantage for the 13th straight game.
New York, which snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Bruins in a 3-2 shootout win at Boston on Dec. 19, has now lost nine straight meetings at home.
Moore gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead as he fired a slap shot from the left point just inside the blue line that went between Varlamov’s skates and in for his second at 5:48 of the third.
Barzal tied it for the Islanders less than four minutes later. Josh Bailey picked up a loose puck, skated up the left side and found Barzal streaking to the net, and the star center tipped his teammate’s pass past Rask for his 17th at 9:33.
With the Islanders leading 1-0, Beauvillier had a chance to add to the lead off a pass from Barzal, but Rask made a nice right pad save a little more than five minutes into the second period.
DeBrusk tied it off the rebound of a shot by Charlie McAvoy with the puck deflecting off Mayfield’s skate and over Varlamov at 8:33 of the middle period. It was Debrusk’s 14th and came on Boston’s 10th shot of the game.
With the Bruins on a power play, Varlamov made a diving save to his right to deny David Pastrnak’s wraparound try with 5:13 left, drawing chants of “Var-ly! Var-ly!” from the home crowd. Varlamov had another nice save on a try by Brad Marchand 24 seconds later.
The Islanders controlled play for much of the first period, outshooting the Bruins 14-5 over the first 20 minutes.
Mayfield got the Islanders on the scoreboard 4;36 into the game. Barzal brought the puck around the back of the net, and found Mayfield in the right slot with a pass from the left corner, and the defenseman fired a long shot past Rask for his career-high fifth goal.
Rask had to make several nice saves to keep it a one-goal game.
Hurricanes 2, Kings 0
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — James Reimer made 41 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes posted a shutout for the second consecutive game with a win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Nino Niederreiter scored the opening goal 4:52 into the first period and Reimer took care of the rest to help Carolina earn its third consecutive win and finish a seven game homestand with a 5-2-0 record. Teuvo Terravainen added an empty-net goal with four seconds remaining.
Los Angeles goalie Jack Campbell was nearly as brilliant as Reimer as he stopped 28 of the 29 shots. The Kings lost for the fourth time in five games.
One night earlier, Petr Mrazek stopped 32 shots as the Hurricanes won 3-0 over Arizona. Reimer’s performance provided a bit of redemption after he struggled in Tuesday night’s 5-4 overtime win over Philadelphia.
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said after that game Reimer, who has had a solid season as the team’s No. 2 goalie, would have liked to have a couple of the Philadelphia goals back. There were no such concerns after his latest game.
In the first period, Reimer used his left pad to stop an Adrian Kempe backhander on a 2-on-1 rush and used his right arm to stop Austin Wagner 15 seconds before the first intermission. In the second period, Reimer made a pad save on Kempe again directly in front of the net. In the third period, he stopped an Alex Iafallo shot from the slot with his body on a Los Angeles power play.
And with 15 seconds remaining in a 1-all game, Drew Doughty fired a shot past Reimer that caromed off the post to the goalie’s left to preserve Reimer’s third shutout of the season.
Campbell also was outstanding for the Kings for a second straight outing. On Thursday, he made a season-high 44 saves to help Los Angeles win 5-2 at Las Vegas. In the third period at Carolina, he kept the Kings within a goal by stopping Jordan Staal when he broke in alone on net at the conclusion of a Los Angeles power play.
Lightning 1, Flyers 0
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pat Maroon scored the game’s only goal, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning tied a club record with their 10th straight win.
The Lightning haven’t lost since Dec. 21 at Washington, and have outscored opponents 43-17 during their streak. Tampa Bay has tallied 12 unanswered goals, two short of matching a team mark.
They will look to set a club record for consecutive victories on Sunday night at New Jersey.
Vasileskiy earned his second straight shutout and the 20th of his career. He has been in goal for eight of the victories during the streak. The Lightning defense was stout in front of their netminder, and Vasileskiy was rarely tested. His best save came five minutes into the third period, when he stopped Travis Sanheim’s one-timer from close range with a right pad save.
The Flyers saw their five-game home winning streak halted. Philadelphia entered an NHL-best 14-2-4 at home.
Maroon opened the scoring with 12:33 left in the second period with a fluky goal. Anthony Cirelli sent a high backhander into the zone from near center ice. Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen batted it out of the air, but Maroon blocked the puck with two hands. It landed at his feet and he shot past Carter Hart’s glove side for his sixth of the season and first goal in 24 games.
Maroon later left the game after he was hooked by Kevin Hayes and went barreling into the back boards two minutes into the third period. He immediately grabbed his right shoulder and headed to the bench before going to the locker room.
The Flyers played a strong first period, killing off three penalties, including a four-minute double-minor for high sticking against the NHL’s second-best power-play unit. But Philadelphia didn’t generate any high quality chances in either of the first two periods against Tampa Bay.