WASHINGTON (AP) — Nicklas Backstrom scored twice in the third period, and Alex Ovechkin added his first goal since becoming Capitals captain as Washington beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 on Thursday night.
Ovechkin nearly made it three games in a row without a goal, which would have matched his longest drought of the season, but the Capitals are 2-0 with the “C” on the jersey of the two-time NHL MVP.
Ovechkin also assisted on both of Backstrom’s goals.
Boyd Gordon and Mike Knuble had goals for the Capitals in the first period. Chris Phillips scored for the Senators in the second, and Jonathan Cheechoo added one late in the third for Ottawa.
Jose Theodore made 26 saves to get his first win since Dec. 15.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — James van Riemsdyk and Jeff Carter scored two goals each, Matt Carle had a goal and two assists, and Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh for the first time in four games this season.
Chris Pronger added a goal and an assist as the Flyers took leads of 2-0 and 5-2 in winning for the second night in a row and the sixth time in eight games. The seven goals were a Flyers’ season high and gave them 13 in two nights, as they beat Toronto 6-2 on Wednesday.
The Penguins had won the first three games of the season series and 10 of 13 against the Flyers.
Sidney Crosby scored twice for the Penguins, giving him 26 goals, but the Penguins lost their seventh in nine games.
The Flyers chased slumping goalie Marc-Andre Fleury less than two minutes into the second period. He allowed four goals on 15 shots while losing his fifth in a row.
BOSTON (AP) — Duncan Keith scored two goals and assisted on another to help Chicago rally from a two-goal deficit and beat Boston.
The Bruins opened a 2-0 lead in the first 8:02, but Keith and Tomas Kopecky tied it before the end of the first period. Andrew Ladd gave Chicago the lead 102 seconds into the second, and Keith made it 4-2 midway through the period to chase U.S. Olympic goalie Tim Thomas.
Thomas stopped 20 of 24 shots before being replaced by Tuukka Rask, who made 11 saves. The only goal he allowed was Patrick Kane’s shot from the slot that made it 5-2 with just over two minutes left. Kane has 19 goals on the season and points in 10 straight games.
Antti Niemi made 19 saves to help Chicago retake the top spot in the Western Conference.
ATLANTA (AP) — Bryan Little scored in the fifth round of a shootout to spoil New York goalie Chad Johnson’s first NHL start and help the Thrashers snap a nine-game losing streak.
The Thrashers avoided their first 10-game skid since their inaugural season 10 years ago.
Johan Hedberg had 29 saves and gave up only Marian Gaborik’s goal in the extended shootout. Hedberg turned aside Eric Christensen, Ryan Callahan and Ales Kotalik before rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto shot wide to end the shootout.
Johnson, subbing for workhorse starter Henrik Lundqvist, stopped 31 shots. He allowed Jim Slater’s third-period goal that forced overtime. He also gave up a goal to Slava Kozlov in the shootout.
Enver Lisin had given the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Patric Hornqvist scored two goals and had an assist as Nashville beat Carolina.
Steve Sullivan had a goal and an assist, and J.P. Dumont scored a short-handed goal as the Predators won for the fourth time in five games. Nashville has won three straight in this series.
Rod Brind’Amour and Tom Kostopoulos each scored for Carolina, which snapped a two-game winning streak on the road after being the NHL’s last team to win away from home. The Hurricanes dropped to 3-14-4 on the road in their first game without center Eric Staal, who is on leave due to the death of his sister-in-law.
MONTREAL (AP) — Jaroslav Halak made 38 saves for his second shutout, and Montreal beat Florida for its first home win in a month.
Halak recorded his sixth NHL shutout and improved to 6-1 in his last seven starts, including a 5-4 win at Florida in his previous outing one week earlier. He is 4-0 overall against the Panthers.
Benoit Pouliot, who scored the winning goal in Florida, netted his fourth in six games late in the first. Brian Gionta scored into an empty net with 35.9 seconds left, moments after Halak stopped Jordan Leopold’s shot from the slot.
The Canadiens, who scored three times in their last three home games, ended a four-game losing streak at the Bell Centre, avoiding their longest skid in Montreal since the 2000-01 season.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 37 shots for Florida, which has lost five of six.