Home Team in Caps
Dallas 5, BOSTON 3
Ottawa 2, BUFFALO 1
NY ISLANDERS 3, Edmonton 2
NY Rangers 5, TORONTO 4
MONTREAL 2, Philadelphia 1 (OT)
FLORIDA 6, Anaheim 2
ST. LOUIS 2, Arizona 1
NASHVILLE 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)
WINNIPEG 2, Minnesota 1 (OT)
NEAL'S OT HEROICS HELP PREDATORS INCREASE POINTS LEAD
The Nashville Predators surrendered a two-goal lead in the third period but James Neal scored his fifth career overtime goal with 33 seconds left to lift them to a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, their fifth win in their past six games.
* The Predators improved to 36-12-6 (78 points), widening their lead atop the NHL standings over the Anaheim Ducks (34-14-7, 75 points), who lost Tuesday. Nine teams are within 10 points of Nashville for the top spot, including the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues (35-15-4, 74 points) and Chicago Blackhawks (33-18-3, 69 points).
* Nashville improved to 22-3-1 (45 points) at Bridgestone Arena to tie Tampa Bay for the League lead in home wins and home points. The Predators also recorded their NHL-best 24th win in one-goal games.
* Neal is tied with Filip Forsberg for the Predators lead with 18 goals, including five game-winners. He has 6-7—13 in 13 games against the Lightning.
* Pekka Rinne made 30 saves, including 12 in the third period and overtime, to improve to 12-1-1 in his last 14 games. Rinne leads the NHL with 31 wins in 40 GP and ranks second in goals-against average (2.01) and save percentage (.929).
* Seth Jones stretched his career-high point streak to five games (3-2—5) with his sixth goal of the season (54 GP), equaling his 77-game total from his rookie season (6-19—25 in 2013-14). The Predators are 5-0-1 when Jones finds the back of the net this season.
* The Predators have won five of the past six games against the Lightning dating to Dec. 15, 2009, including four straight victories at Bridgestone Arena.
BYFUGLIEN THE HERO IN WESTERN WILD-CARD BATTLE
Dustin Byfuglien scored four minutes into overtime to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild and advance their position in the Western Conference race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. At 28-18-10 (66 points), the Jets increased their lead to five points over the idle Vancouver Canucks (29-20-3, 61 points) for the first wild-card spot. They also pulled within three points of the idle Blackhawks (33-18-3, 69 points) for third place in the Central Division.
* Byfuglien has eight career overtime goals, including seven with the Jets/Thrashers; only Ilya Kovalchuk (nine) has more in franchise history.
* Byfuglien had 1-2—3, including an assist on the game-winning goal in Winnipeg's 5-3 win vs. COL on Sunday. He ranks fourth on the club with 14-23—37 in 56 GP this season.
* The Jets have earned points in each of their past four games, including three straight against Central Division rivals (2-0-1). They are 11-5-3 in intradivision matchups this season.
* Michael Hutchinson made 29 saves, including 13 in the second period, to snap a personal four-game slide (0-3-1) and improve to 15-7-3 in 26 games this season. Only St. Louis' Jake Allen (16) has more wins among rookie goalies.
DESHARNAIS, PRICE RALLY CANADIENS TO OT WIN
David Desharnais scored the winning goal at 3:27 of overtime after Tomas Plekanec tied the game in the third period and Carey Price finished with 23 saves as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 for their third consecutive victory.
* The victory lifted the Canadiens (35-15-3, 73 points) to within one point of the Lightning (34-16-6, 74 points), who lost in overtime, for first place in the Eastern Conference. Montreal holds three games in hand, but Tampa Bay owns the ROW tiebreaker (TBL: 32, MTL: 30).
* Desharnais, who was named the NHL's Third Star of the week ending Feb. 8, scored his third career overtime goal (second this season; also Oct. 21 vs. DET). He stretched his point streak to five games (2-6—8) to bring his season total to 9-23—32 in 53 GP, including a career-high four game-winning goals.
* Price made 23 saves to earn his eighth win in his past nine games and improve to 30-11-2 in 43 GP. His 30 wins share second in the NHL behind Nashville's Pekka Rinne (31); Price paces all goalies with a 2.00 GAA and .933 save percentage.
* Price won his 209th game to move past Bill Durnan into sole possession of fourth on the Canadiens' all-time list behind Jacques Plante (314), Patrick Roy (289) and Ken Dryden (258).
JASKIN NETS WINNER (AGAIN) TO HELP BLUES KEEP PACE
Alexander Steen and Dmitrij Jaskin scored to help the St. Louis Blues rally past the Arizona Coyotes 2-1, snapping a two-game skid and improving to 13-2-1 in their past 16 games.
* The Blues (35-15-4, 74 points) kept pace with the Predators (36-12-6, 78 points), who also won Tuesday, in the race for first place in the Central Division and entire NHL.
* St. Louis won for the 10th time in its past 11 games at Scottrade Center. Their 21 home wins and 44 home points rank third in the NHL behind Nashville and Tampa Bay (each with 22 wins and 45 points).
* Jaskin scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season to move within one of the League lead among rookies. He has 7-4-11 in 27 GP and also scored the winning goal in the Blues' previous win on Feb. 5 at BUF.
* T.J. Oshie and David Backes notched assists on Steen's goal; the trio has combined for 62 points in the Blues' past 17 games after totaling 56 points in the first 37 games of the season.
* Jake Allen improved to 16-5-2 in 25 games this season, including a 5-0-0 mark in his past five decisions. He is 4-0-0 with a 1.25 GAA, .952 save percentage and one shutout in four games vs. ARI.
* The Blues have earned points in 12 of their past 14 games against the Coyotes dating to Dec. 23, 2011 (11-1-1), including five consecutive victories.
* Ken Hitchcock earned his 691st career regular-season coaching win (159th w/ STL) to tie Dick Irvin for fourth on the NHL's all-time list. Only Chicago's Joel Quenneville has more wins among active coaches and in Blues franchise history (739, 307 respectively).
HALAK BACKSTOPS ISLANDERS TO ANOTHER VICTORY
Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves, including 15 in the third period, to lead the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers, their eighth consecutive home win against the Oilers dating to Dec. 18, 2001. New York is 20-7-9 in 36 all-time home games against Edmonton.
* The Islanders improved to 35-18-1 (71 points) to match a franchise record for most wins in the first 54 games of a season (35-13-6 in 1981-82). They also widened their lead in the Metropolitan Division, moving three points ahead of the idle Pittsburgh Penguins (30-15-8, 68 points).
* Halak picked up his 29th win of the season to equal his personal best set in 2013-14 (24 w/ STL and 5 w/ WSH). He is four victories shy of setting a new single-season franchise record.
* Casey Cizikas scored his fourth career game-winning goal with 4:17 remaining in regulation. He has multiple game-winning goals in a season for the first time in his career; he also scored the winner with 6:27 remaining in the third period of a 2-1 win at OTT on Dec. 4.
* Colin McDonald (1-1—2) had his first multipoint game since Apr. 1 vs. FLA. Josh Bailey scored his ninth goal of the season to surpass his 77-game total from 2013-14.
RANGERS KEEP PACE IN METROPOLITAN
Mats Zuccarello scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 5:56 left in regulation, and Rick Nash had three assists to help the New York Rangers defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4, snapping a two-game slide and improving them to 4-1-1 in their past six games.
* With the win, the Rangers (31-16-5, 67 points) leapfrogged the idle Washington Capitals (28-16-10, 66 points) into third place in the Metropolitan Division. They also are remain four points back of the Islanders (35-18-1, 71 points) for top spot in the division; the Rangers hold two games in hand and own the ROW tiebreaker (NYR: 29, NYI: 28).
* Zuccarello had his seventh career multigoal game to extend his point streak to six games (3-5—8). The game-winner was the 10th of his career and third this season.
* Nash had his fourth three-point game of the season and first three-assist performance since Oct. 5, 2009 at VAN (w/ CBJ). He shares the League lead with 33 goals while his 52 points are tied for 10th.
* Dominic Moore (1-1—2), Marc Staal (0-2—2) and Derrick Brassard (0-2—2) had multiple points for the Rangers. Brassard ranks second on the Rangers with 13-28—41 in 50 GP and is two assists and six points shy of equaling career highs set in 2010-11 (17-30—47 in 74 GP).
* Coach Alain Vigneault recorded his 498th win to surpass Rangers general manager Glen Sather for sole possession of 22nd on the NHL's all-time list. Terry Murray occupies No. 21 with 499 career victories.
AROUND THE RINKS
Highlights from the rest of action Tuesday:
* Kari Lehtonen made 41 saves, two shy of his season high (Oct. 21 in 6-3 win vs. VAN), to lead the Dallas Stars to a 5-3 win against the Boston Bruins, their second straight victory to help keep pace in the crowded Western Conference wild-card race. Lehtonen earned his 23rd victory of the season and improved to 4-1-1 with a 2.64 GAA and .920 save percentage in his past six games. Jamie Benn (2-0—2) had his third multigoal and 13th multipoint game of the season; he ranks second on the Stars in goals (18), assists (31) and points (49) in 54 GP. Vernon Fiddler and Trevor Daley each scored shorthanded goals for the Stars. Fiddler scored his ninth career shorthanded goal and first since Jan. 11, 2011 at CBJ (w/ ARI). Daley scored his second career shorthanded goal (also Jan. 29 at OTT 1-2—3). The Stars are tied with the Islanders for the League lead with eight shorthanded goals. The Bruins became the last team in the NHL to allow a goal while on the man advantage this season.
* Jonathan Huberdeau (0-3—3) matched a career high for assists and points in a game to help the Florida Panthers defeat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 and improve to 3-1-0 in their past four games against the Ducks. Huberdeau set and equaled personal bests for assists (22) and points (31) in a season, respectively. Six different players found the back of the net to help the Panthers score six goals against the Ducks for the second time this season (also 6-2 win on Nov. 16). Florida scored six goals against Anaheim only once before this season (6-0 win on Nov. 21, 2001). Aaron Ekblad scored his ninth goal of the season (third game-winner) to move within one goal of matching the franchise record for goals by a rookie defenseman (Ed Jovanovski, 10 in 1995-96).
* Robin Lehner made 35 saves, including 21 in the second period, and Milan Michalek broke a tie with 7:45 remaining in regulation to help the Ottawa Senators snap a three-game skid with a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres, improving them to 11-1-3 against the Sabres dating to Dec. 13, 2011. Lehner has made at least 35 saves in five of his eight wins this season. Michalek scored his 33rd career game-winning goal and first since Feb. 6, 2014 vs. BUF. Erik Karlsson scored to move within one point of the Senators lead with 13-23—36 in 52 GP.
The Wild stretched their point streak to seven games (6-0-1) and earned a point for the 10th time in their past 11 games (8-1-2) since acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk . . . The Flyers recorded a point for the seventh consecutive game (5-0-2) . . . Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (2-0—2) had his first career multigoal game . . . Teammate Stephane Robidas scored his first goal in a Maple Leafs uniform, ending a 48-game drought . . . Bruins forward Gregory Campbell (700), Ducks forward Rene Bourque (600) and Predators defenseman Victor Bartley (100) each played in milestone games . . . Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann recorded his 300th NHL point . . . Stars forward Jason Spezza had his team-leading 32nd assist while John Klingberg added an assist to extend his point streak to four games (1-4—5) . . . Oilers forward Ryan Hamilton (15 GP) scored his first NHL goal. Iiro Pakarinen (9 GP) had his first NHL assist on the play . . . Jimmy Hayes (1-1—2), Dave Bolland (1-1—2), Erik Gudbranson (0-2—2) and Brian Campbell (0-2—2) also had multiple points for the Panthers . . . The Lightning earned a point for the sixth time in their past seven games (4-1-2) to maintain their spot atop the Eastern Conference . . . Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov scored to force overtime and extend his point streak to four games (4-1—5) . . . Teammate Brett Connolly scored to become the 10th member of the Lightning to reach double digits in goals . . . Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves, including a cross-crease toe stop, in his seventh career appearance (4-1-1, 2.09 GAA, .929 save percentage) . . . NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Las Vegas on Tuesday, when a season-ticket drive for a possible NHL team was launched . . . ICYMI: Click here for a recap of the second episode of Road to the NHL Stadium Series, which debuted Tuesday . . . Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made 31 saves to earn his 20th win of the season, despite allowing a goal to Tim Jackman on an unlucky bounce from the red line. Luongo joked about the play on Twitter after the game.