RALEIGH, N.C. – Michal Neuvirth stopped 29 shots for his first NHL shutout, and the Washington Capitals beat Carolina 3-0 on Wednesday night to spoil the Hurricanes’ first game on home ice.
Nicklas Backstrom scored two goals, including an empty-netter, and Matt Hendricks also scored for the Capitals. They began a three-game road swing by winning their second straight.
The 22-year-old Neuvirth made several highlight-reel stops. He snatched a wrist shot out of the air from Eric Staal, and stuffed a nifty wraparound backhander from 18-year-old rookie Jeff Skinner.
Carolina was the last NHL team to play on home ice after opening with seven straight road games, including trips to Russia for an exhibition, Finland for the opener and down the West Coast. By the team’s count, they travelled more than 24,000 kilometres and across 11 time zones.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Joe Thornton had his fourth career hat trick and added two assists in the Sharks’ victory over slumping New Jersey.
Linemates Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley each had a goal and three assists, giving the trio 13 points in the game. Coming off a 4-0 loss Sunday night in Calgary, the Sharks (4-3-1) won for the third time in four games and for the first time in four homes games
Antero Nittymaki made 37 saves to improve to 3-0-1.
David Clarkson and Andy Greene scored for the Devils. New Jersey has lost three straight and five of its last six to drop to 2-7-1 under first-year coach John MacLean.
CHICAGO (AP)—Marty Turco made 33 saves, Viktor Stalberg scored the deciding goal and Patrick Sharp added his NHL-leading ninth goal of the season to help Chicago snap a two-game losing streak.
Turco, signed to a one-year contract to replace Antti Niemi in the off-season, allowed only Justin Williams’ first-period goal. The Kings outshot the Blackhawks 15-8 in the third period, pressuring Chicago until Sharp scored with 2:05 remaining. Jake Dowell also scored for Stanley Cup champion Chicago.
Stalberg made it 2-1 at 1:18 of the second period, backhanding the puck over goalie Jonathan Bernier’s left shoulder off a rebound in the slot.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Martin St. Louis blew past Pittsburgh defenceman Ben Lovejoy and lifted a shot over goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to put Tampa Bay up 4-3 with 13:20 to play, then made it a two-goal game with Fleury on the bench for an extra skater with 30.8 seconds remaining.
Dana Tyrell, Teddy Purcell and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning.
Pittsburgh got goals from Craig Adams, Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis. The Penguins have lost two in a row, including a 1-0 overtime loss at St. Louis on Saturday night, after a four-game winning streak.
Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, who shared the NHL goal-scoring title (51) last season with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, had three assists. Crosby had an assist.
NEW YORK (AP)—Niclas Bergfors had a goal and an assist and Atlanta scored twice early in the third period and held on end an 0-2-1 skid and snap New York’s winning streak at three games.
Bergfors gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead in the second period and assisted on Dustin Byfuglien’s power-play goal in the third that stretched the Thrashers’ edge to three goals. Bryan Little, Evander Kane, Eric Boulton and Andrew Ladd also scored and Chris Mason made 24 saves.
Ryan Callahan, Sean Avery, Todd White and Brian Boyle had goals for the Rangers, who started backup goalie Martin Biron over Henrik Lundqvist for the second time this season.
MONTREAL (AP)—Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern each had a goal and an assist, and Carey Price made 18 saves to help Montreal extend its winning streak to three.
Mathieu Darche, Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn also scored for the Canadiens. James Wisniewski had a goal two assists for New York, and Doug Weight and John Tavares also scored for New York.