Ovie leads Caps over Lightning; Pens down Sabres
Washington 5, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa - Alex Ovechkin notched a goal and three assists to lead Washington over Tampa Bay, 5-2, in a Southeast Division clash at St. Pete Times Forum. Nicklas Backstrom added two goals and two helpers for the Capitals, who pulled within three points of first-place Tampa by snapping a three-game losing streak. Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves for the victory. Teddy Purcell and Brett Clark scored for the Lightning, who had surged to the top of the division with a six-game winning streak that just ended. Dwayne Roloson, who registered shutouts in each of his last two starts against the Caps, surrendered four goals on 35 shots.
Pittsburgh 3, Buffalo 2
Pittsburgh - Matt Cooke notched the game-winner in the second period as Pittsburgh erased a two-goal deficit en route to a 3-2 decision over Buffalo at CONSOL Energy Center. Dustin Jeffrey and Tyler Kennedy also lit the lamp for the Penguins, who have won five straight games and eight of nine overall. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27-of-29 shots for the win. Paul Gaustad and Mike Grier tallied for the Sabres, who lost for the second time in their last six. Ryan Miller allowed three goals on 39 shots in defeat.
Florida 4, New Jersey 3 (OT)
Newark - Rostislav Olesz scored two minutes into overtime as the Florida Panthers took a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. In the extra session, Olesz took a pass from Radek Dvorak in the New Jersey end and from the right circle snapped a simple wrister that fooled Johan Hedberg for the win. Dennis Wideman, Mike Santorelli and Chris Higgins all lit the lamp for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game skid. Tomas Vokoun made 28 stops in the win. Travis Zajac had a goal and an assist while Jason Arnott and Mark Fayne also scored for the Devils, who came into the game having won six of their last seven. Hedberg stopped 24 shots in defeat.
Final Score: Columbus 3, Detroit 0
Detroit - Steve Mason posted 34 saves for his second shutout of the year as the Columbus Blue Jackets took a 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Andrew Murray and Antoine Vermette each had a goal and an assist while Jared Boll scored the other for the Blue Jackets, who had dropped four of six coming in. Jimmy Howard was touched for two goals on 23 shots for the Red Wings, who had won their previous two.