Crosby lifts Penguins over Caps

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PITTSBURGH – Sidney Crosby extended his points streak to six games with a goal and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins pounded the lifeless Washington Capitals, 5-2, on Thursday night.

Evgeni Malkin also added a goal and two assists while Pascal Dupuis, James Neal and Matt Cooke scored for the Penguins, who have won five straight. Pittsburgh’s revamped power play produced three goals, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots for the Penguins, who moved atop the Eastern Conference standings by beating Washington at home in regulation for the first time in more than five years.

Alex Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro scored for Washington but couldn’t stop the NHL’s worst team from losing for the fifth time in its last six games. Michal Neuvirth made nine saves for the Capitals before getting pulled for Braden Holtby, who promptly let in three goals in his first seven minutes on the ice.

Rangers 4, Islanders 1: At New York, teenage rookie J.T. Miller scored his first two NHL goals in his second career game to lift the Rangers to their second win in three games.

Miller, who won’t turn 20 until March, gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead just 1:29 in and then pushed their advantage to 3-1 in the second period with a rare power-play goal for the club. Marian Gaborik also scored, defenseman Marc Staal had two assists and Ryan McDonagh added an empty-net goal for the Rangers.

Devils 4, Lightning 2: At Newark, N.J., Ilya Kovalchuk broke a tie with a short-handed goal late in the second period, and New Jersey won its third straight game by beating slumping Tampa Bay.

Flames 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT): At Columbus, Ohio, Alex Tanguay scored on a one-timer 1:07 into overtime to lead Calgary to victory in a battle of Western Conference cellar-dwellers.

Panthers 3, Flyers 2 (SO): At Philadelphia, Jonathon Huberdeau and Peter Mueller both scored goals in a shootout to lead Florida to the win.

Sabres 5, Canadiens 4 (SO): At Buffalo, N.Y., Thomas Vanek scored twice in regulation, including the tying tally with 2 seconds left, and added a shootout goal to rally Buffalo past Montreal.

Hurricanes 3, Senators 2 (OT): At Ottawa, Cam Ward made 45 saves and Jay Harrison scored 2:19 into overtime to rally Carolina to victory.

Predators 3, Kings 0: At Nashville, Tenn., Pekka Rinne made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season and Colin Wilson scored two goals to lead Nashville to its fourth straight win.

Canucks 4, Wild 1: At St. Paul, Minn., Cory Schneider made 22 saves and Mason Raymond had a power-play goal and an assist in the second period to lead Vancouver past sputtering Minnesota for its fourth straight win.

Niklas Backstrom gave up two scores in each of the first two periods for the Wild, and Josh Harding was in the net for the final frame. Daniel Sedin, Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen also had goals for the Canucks, whose shutout was spoiled by Tom Gilbert’s power-play slap shot with 12:35 left.

Maple Leafs 3, Jets 2: At Winnipeg, Manitoba, Phil Kessel scored his first goal of the season late in the third period to lift Toronto to victory.

Red Wings 5, Blues 1: At St. Louis, Petr Mrazek made 26 saves in his NHL debut and Detroit halted a two-game skid with the victory, beating St. Louis for the second time in three games this season.

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