- Associated Press - Thursday, April 22, 2021

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the deciding goal in a shootout, giving the Washington Capitals a 1-0 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night to reclaim sole possession of first place in the East Division.

Ilya Samsonov stopped 26 shots through overtime for his second shutout of the season and third of his career. Washington won for the seventh time in 11 games.

Semyon Varlamov, who had a 29-save shutout in the teams’ last meeting on April 6, finished with 28 saves through overtime in this one. However, he gave up two goals on three attempts in the shootout.

The Islanders fell one point behind the Capitals, tied for second place with Pittsburgh - which beat New Jersey 5-1. Boston is another three points back in fourth.

After Anthony Beauvilier beat Samsonov with a backhand in the second round of the tiebreaker, Nicklas Backstrom scored off the crossbar and in to tie it. Brock Nelson misfired on the Islanders’ attempt in the third round before Kuznetsov beat Varlamov on the stickside to give the Capitals the win.


DETROIT (AP) - Jakub Vrana scored four goals in a game for the first time to help Detroit rout Dallas and match its victory total from last season.

Detroit picked up its 17th victory in its 49th game, a year after winning 17 of 71 games in the previous pandemic-shortened season.

The teams will play a fourth straight game Saturday night.

Sam Gagner, Luke Glendening and Richard Panik also scored, and Thomas Greiss made 43 saves. Radek Faksa, Joe Pavelski and Denis Gurianov scored for Dallas.


PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust each scored their 19th goals of the season and Pittsburgh beat Devils.

Kasperi Kapanen returned to Pittsburgh’s lineup after missing 13 games with a left foot injury and had a goal and an assist. Teddy Blueger scored a short-handed goal, and Cody Ceci also scored for the Penguins.

The teams also met Tuesday, when Pittsburgh became the first team in NHL history to win despite allowing six goals in the third period during a 7-6 victory.

Tristan Jarry, who allowed those six goals on 11 third-period shots Tuesday, made 30 saves for the Penguins. Matt Tennyson scored for New Jersey.

The teams will complete the three-game set Saturday in Pittsburgh.


WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - Mitch Marner had two goals and an assist, Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 34th goal and Toronto beat Winnipeg.

Wayne Simmonds and Jason Spezza also scored and Jack Campbell made 34 saves to help the North Division-leading Maple Leafs move six points ahead of Winnipeg.

Mark Scheifele, Andrew Copp and Kyle Connor scored for the Jets.

The teams will complete the two-game series Saturday night in Winnipeg.


ST. LOUIS (AP) - Andre Burakovsky scored twice, Brandon Saad and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Colorado beat St. Louis to clinch a playoff spot.

Colorado improved to 18-1-2 in its last 21 games. The Avalanche are 8-1-0 in April after finishing a league-best 12-2-3 in March, setting franchise records for wins and points in a month. The Avalanche are 5-1-0 against the Blues this season.

The Avalanche returned to the ice for the first time since April 14, when they beat the Blues 4-3. They had three games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

Colorado goalie Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves.

Jaden Schwartz scored twice for St. Louis.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Ondrej Palat scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and Curtis McElhinney stopped 24 shots, leading Tampa Bay past Columbus.

Blake Coleman had two goals, including an empty-netter with 25 seconds left.

Seth Jones scored for the Blue Jackets.

The teams will play again Sunday in Tampa.


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Sebastian Aho scored two short-handed goals and to help Carolina beat Florida.

Nino Niederreiter and Jordan Martinook also scored, Alex Nedeljkovic made 30 saves, and Martin Necas had three assists. The Hurricanes have won six consecutive games against the Panthers this season.

Aleksander Barkov scored twice for Florida, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots. The Panthers lost for the first time at home in eight games.

The teams will finish the two-game set Saturday.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists and Boston beat Buffalo for its season-best sixth straight victory.

Matt Grzelcyk scored the go-ahead goal 12:50 into the second period, and rookie Jeremy Swayman stopped 29 shots.

Brad Marchand, with his team-leading 25th, Nick Ritchie and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins. Pastrnak has two goals and eight assists over a five-game point streak.

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored for Buffalo.

The teams will conclude the three-game series in Buffalo on Friday night.


NEW YORK (AP) - James van Riemsdyk scored two power-play goals and Philadelphia beat New York to snap a two-game slide.

Jakub Voracek scored the deciding goal for Philadelphia, and Brian Elliott made 33 saves. Ivan Provorov had two assists.

Brendan Smith and Artemi Panarin scored New York, and Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves. The Rangers fell for the second straight game after four consecutive victories against the New Jersey Devils.

The teams will finish the eight-game season series Friday night in New York.


VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Matt Murray stopped 31 shots for his second shutout in six days and Ottawa beat Vancouver for its third straight victory.

Drake Batherson had a goal and an assist, and rookie Tim Stutzle and Connor Brown also scored as the Senators won the first of four straight games between the teams. It was Ottawa’s first win in the teams’ five meetings this season

Thatcher Demko had 22 saves in his first game back from Vancouver’s’ COVID-19 outbreak. He last played March 24.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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