WASHINGTON – Tim Stapleton helped the Winnipeg Jets rally to their biggest win of the season.
Stapleton scored 2:37 into overtime, and Winnipeg came back from three goals down to beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 and pull within four points of the final post-season spot in the Eastern Conference.
Spencer Machacek scored his first NHL goal with 3:45 remaining in regulation to tie it, and the Jets went on to break a two-game losing streak.
Ben Maxwell and Bryan Little also scored for Winnipeg.
Alex Ovechkin scored twice, and Jason Chimera added a goal for the Capitals.
SABRES 4, RANGERS 1
NEW YORK (AP)—Travis Turnbull scored his first NHL goal, with some help from the Rangers, and the Buffalo Sabres earned another big win in their playoff quest.
Drew Stafford had goals in the second and third periods, Tyler Ennis added one in the third, and Ryan Miller made 26 saves for Buffalo, 12-2-4 in its last 18 games. The Sabres pulled even in points with eighth-place Washington with 82 in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Rangers missed a chance to tie St. Louis atop the overall NHL standings, and now are in a precarious position in the East. They still lead Pittsburgh by one point, but the Rangers have only eight games remaining, compared to nine for the surging Penguins.
CANADIENS 5, SENATORS 1
MONTREAL (AP)—Erik Cole scored three goals in the first 5:41 in Montreal’s victory over Ottawa.
Cole has 30 goals this season. Patteri Nokelainen also scored in the first period, and Lars Eller added one in the third for Montreal, 4-0-2 against Ottawa.
Jason Spezza, playing his 600th NHL game, scored for Ottawa to reach 30 goals for the fourth time in his career and the first time since 2008-09.
Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, returning after missing 12 games because of a finger cut, was pulled at the 4:56 mark of the first in favour of Ben Bishop, but was back in to start the second period.
The Senators, 1-3-2 in their last six games, are seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Washington and Buffalo.
BLUE JACKETS 5, HURRICANES 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—R.J. Umberger had three goals for the third time in his career and Steve Mason stopped 39 shots to help Columbus hand Carolina a critical blow to its diminishing playoff hopes.
The Hurricanes, who had won their last four games, dropped seven points behind Washington and Buffalo in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Vinny Prospal added a goal and an assist, Derick Brassard assisted on each of Umberger’s goals, and Nikita Nikitin and Jack Johnson each had two assists. Drayson Bowman scored for the Hurricanes.
MAPLE LEAFS 4, DEVILS 3, SO
NEWARK, N.J. (AP)—James Reimer made 43 saves and all three Toronto players scored in the shootout to beat New Jersey after the Maple Leafs blew a two-goal lead in the third period.
Tyler Bozak Tim Connolly and Nazam Kadri scored against Martin Brodeur in the shootout to give Toronto its fifth victory in 22 games (5-15-2).
Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored against Reimer on the Devils’ first two shootout shots, but Reimer made a pad save on Patrik Elias, and Kadri got the winner with a spectacular side to side move against Brodeur.
Bozak, Kadri and former Devil David Steckel scored for Toronto in regulation. Jacob Josefson, Parise and Adam Henrique countered for New Jersey.
OILERS 2, PANTHERS 1, SO
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the deciding goal in the fourth round of a shootout to left Edmonton past Florida.
Nugent-Hopkins’ goal was the only score in the shootout.
Ryan Jones scored in regulation for the Oilers, and Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves.
Jason Garrison scored for the Panthers, and Jose Theodore stopped 20 shots.
The Southeast Division-leading Panthers remained four points ahead of Washington.