WASHINGTON – Mike Knuble scored at 3:51 of overtime to give the Washington Capitals their eighth straight victory, a 4-3 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
The winning streak is the longest for the Capitals since they set a franchise record with 14 straight victories from Jan. 13-Feb. 7, 2010. Washington set a club record with its fourth straight 40-win season.
The Capitals increased their Southeast Division lead over Tampa Bay to five points. Washington also moved one point behind Philadelphia for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Blackhawks have dropped three straight after winning eight in a row.
Rookie goalie Braden Holtby has given up only four goals in 11 periods since replacing injured Michal Neuvirth after the first period at Tampa Bay on March 7. Holtby made 27 saves against the Blackhawks.
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Chris Kunitz scored two goals, Tyler Kennedy added three assists, and Pittsburgh moved to within three points of the Eastern Conference lead by topping Edmonton.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves one day after being pulled during a loss to Montreal, Max Talbot and Jordan Staal each had a goal and an assist, and Zbynek Michalek also scored for Pittsburgh, which reached 40 victories (40-22-8) for the fifth consecutive season.
Ryan Jones scored in the third period for the Oilers (23-38-9), who have lost four straight and have the NHL’s worst record. Edmonton was held to fewer than two goals for the fourth consecutive game.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)—Tyler Ennis scored two goals and Jhonas Enroth made 34 saves to lead Buffalo over Ottawa.
The game was played hours after former Sabres great Rick Martin died in a one-car accident. A moment of silence was observed in honour of Martin, a member of the Sabres’ famed French Connection line.
Thomas Vanek and Paul Gaustad both had a goal and an assist, and Nathan Gerbe and Brad Boyes also scored for Buffalo, which moved into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, tying the idle New York Rangers. Mike Weber had a career-high three assists.
Jason Spezza scored twice and had two assists for Ottawa, which went 3-1 on its four-game road trip but couldn’t match a season-best, four-game winning streak. Colin Greening and Erik Karlsson also scored for the Senators.
DALLAS (AP)—Michal Handzus scored the tiebreaking goal with 20.8 seconds remaining and Los Angeles stretched its winning streak to three by beating Dallas.
Jamie Langenbrunner had tied it at 2 for the Stars with 43 seconds left when he poked a loose puck through the pads of Jonathan Quick.
But with the game seemingly headed for overtime, Handzus set up in front and steered Alexei Ponikarovsky’s centring feed past goalie Kari Lehtonen to give the Kings the win.
Drew Doughty and Dustin Penner added goals, and Quick made 17 saves for the Kings, 7-2-1 in their last 10.
Los Angeles improved to 83 points, one more than Dallas in the tight Western Conference playoff race.
Brad Richards also scored and Lehtonen stopped 22 shots for the Stars, 6-1-2 in their last nine games.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Lauri Korpikoski gave Phoenix the lead for good with his second goal of the game, and Taylor Pyatt and David Schlemko also scored in the a victory over Anaheim.
Shane Doan added an empty-net goal with 42 seconds remaining and had two assists. Ilya Bryzgalov made 36 saves against his former club to help the Coyotes earn a split of the six-game season series and move into a tie with Los Angeles for fourth place in the Western Conference.
Corey Perry scored both Anaheim goals, and Dan Ellis stopped 17 of 21 shots through two periods before he was replaced by Ray Emery. The 10th-place Ducks are two points and two positions behindeight-place Calgary and the post-season cutoff in the West.
Emery, who stopped all 10 shots he faced in his Anaheim debut, got into an NHL game for the first time since Feb. 1, 2010, when he was with Philadelphia.