Home Team in Caps
Buffalo 6, BOSTON 3
TAMPA BAY 5, Columbus 2
WASHINGTON 3, Montreal 1
CAROLINA 3, New Jersey 1
ST. LOUIS 3, Dallas 2 (SO)
Detroit 3, NASHVILLE 2
Pittsburgh 3, MINNESOTA 1
Los Angeles 4, ARIZONA 3 (OT)
VANCOUVER 2, Edmonton 1 (OT)
EICHEL LEADS SABRES TO COMEBACK WIN IN RETURN TO BOSTON...
Facing a 3-1 deficit in the third period, the Buffalo Sabres scored five unanswered goals, two each from Jack Eichel (2-2—4) and Ryan O'Reilly (2-1—3), to rally past the Boston Bruins and improve to 4-1-1 in their past six games.
* Eichel, a native of North Chelmsford, Mass., who won the Hobey Baker Award last season at Boston University, had an NHL career-high four points in his first professional game in Boston.
* The Sabres overcame a multiple-goal deficit in the third period to win in regulation for the first time since beating the Florida Panthers 5-3 on March 25, 2009, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Elias added that the Sabres scored five goals in a single period for the first time since the third period of a 7-4 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 8, 2011.
* O'Reilly had his third three-point game of the season. In 35 game this season he leads the Sabres in goals (14), assists (18) and points (32).
* Chad Johnson (20 saves) stretched his personal point streak to four games (3-0-1) and improved to 6-2-1 in his past nine decisions.
... OTHER ATLANTIC DIVISION CLUBS PICK UP WINS
The Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning won Saturday to keep pace in the crowded Atlantic Division, where the top six teams are separated by four points:
* After the Nashville Predators overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, Luke Glendening scored the game-winning goal at 6:45 of the third period to help the Red Wings to their fourth consecutive win against the Predators dating to Jan. 17 (NSH: 0-3-1). At 18-10-7 and 43 points, the Red Wings leapfrogged the Bruins (19-11-4, 42 points) and moved into a tie with the Montreal Canadiens (20-14-3, 43 points) for first place in the Atlantic Division. Detroit holds two games in hand. Petr Mrazek (24 saves) picked up his fifth win in his past seven games and improved to 11-6-3 with a 2.29 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout.
* Down 2-1, the Lightning scored four unanswered goals, including three straight on the power play, to pick up their fourth win in their past six games and improve to 9-2-0 in 11 all-time home games against the Columbus Blue Jackets (CBJ: 2-7-2). Steven Stamkos (2-1—3) scored back-to-back power-play goals in a span of 32 seconds and has five goals in his past four games, including two multigoal games (5-1—6). Per Elias, Stamkos' two power-play goals in 32 seconds were the fastest consecutive power-play goals scored by one player in Lightning history, eclipsing the previous mark set by Pavel Kubina (0:54) at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 27, 2004. Ben Bishop (30 saves) improved to 15-11-2 with a 2.00 GAA, .927 save percentage and one shutout.
CAPITALS EARN EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE WIN AT VERIZON CENTER
Braden Holtby made 29 saves to backstop the Eastern Conference-leading Washington Capitals to their seventh consecutive victory. The Capitals are 14-1-1 in their past 16 games, including wins in their past eight home games.
* At 26-6-2 (54 points), the Capitals continued their best start to a season in terms of wins and points in the franchise's 41-year history. They also moved within a point of the Dallas Stars (26-7-3, 55 points), who lost to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout, for first place in the NHL standings.
* Holtby picked up his NHL-leading 22nd win of the season; for the season he's 22-4-1 with a 1.92 GAA, .932 save percentage and one shutout, and extended his personal point streak to 15 games (14-0-1).
AROUND THE RINKS
* David Backes (0-1—1) scored the deciding goal in the ninth round of the shootout to lead the Blues past the NHL-leading Stars, their fifth victory in six games and their fourth consecutive win against the Stars Dallas dating to March 15 (DAL: 0-3-1). Jake Allen made 22 saves through 65 minutes and stopped five of nine shooters in the shootout to earn his fourth win in his past five games and improve to 17-8-2 with a 2.05 GAA, .927 save percentage and five shutouts on the season. The Blues are an NHL-leading 16-4-0 (32 points) against Western Conference opponents, including 9-3-0 against Central Division teams.
* Justin Faulk scored the game-winning goal at 8:17 of the third period and also added an assist to lead the Carolina Hurricanes past the New Jersey Devils. Carolina is 6-3-1 in its past 10 games. Faulk, who scored his first even-strength goal of 2015-16 after scoring his first 12 goals on the power play, ranks second among all defensemen with 13 goals, trailing Brent Burns (14) of the San Jose Sharks. Cam Ward (19 saves) has won four of his past six decisions and improved to 11-10-3 on the season, with a 2.49 GAA, .901 save percentage and one shutout.
* After the Arizona Coyotes erased a 3-1 deficit by scoring two power-play goals in a span of 30 seconds, Anze Kopitar (1-1—2) scored 36 seconds into overtime to give the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings a 5-2-1 record in their past eight games against the Coyotes dating to April 2, 2014 (ARI/PHX: 3-4-1). Jonathan Quick (24 saves) has earned wins in eight of his past 10 games and for the season improved to 18-9-1 with a 2.28 GAA, .916 save percentage and two shutouts.
* Jannik Hansen (2-0—2) tied the game at 1-1 in regulation and scored his first NHL overtime goal at 4:01 of the extra period as the Vancouver Canucks extended their point streak to four games (3-0-1) and improved to 6-0-1 in their past seven games against the Edmonton Oilers dating to the start of the 2014-15 season (EDM: 1-3-3). Jacob Markstrom assisted on Hansen's overtime goal and made 32 saves to improve to 3-3-3 this season, with a 2.33 GAA and .924 save percentage. At 14-14-9 for 37 points, the Canucks leapfrogged the idle Sharks (17-15-2, 36 points) for sole possession of second in the Pacific Division.
* Matthew Murray made 25 saves and Sidney Crosby (1-1—2) posted his second multiple-point game in his last three (1-4—5) for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who improved to 6-1-0 in their past seven games against the Minnesota Wild, dating to Oct. 18, 2011 (MIN: 1-6-0). That stretch includes four consecutive victories.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall skated in his 709th NHL game and passed Reed Larson (708) for sole possession of fourth on the Red Wings' all-time games played list among defensemen.
* Penguins defenseman Kris Letang had two assists to surpass the 300-point milestone; he has 67 goals and 301 points in 517 NHL games. Letang also moved into a tie with Larry Murphy (78-223—301 in 336 GP) for fourth on the Penguins' all-time points list among defensemen.
* Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (1-1—2) had his 216th NHL assist and tied Steve Duchesne for third on the Kings' all-time assists list among defensemen.
* Kings forward Milan Lucic (600) and Canadiens forward Lars Eller (400) each skated in milestone games.
* Hurricanes forward Joakim Nordstrom (1-1—2) and Capitals forward Nate Schmidt (0-2—2) each posted the first multiple-point games of their NHL careers.
* Red Wings forward Tomas Nosek made his NHL debut, playing 7:26 against the Predators.
Lightning forward Mike Blunden (1-1—2) had the second multiple-point game of his 113-game NHL career. The other: April 7, 2010 when he had a goal and assist against the Red Wings as a member of the Blue Jackets. ... Lightning forward Jonathan Marchessault (0-2—2) stretched his career-high point streak to six games (3-4—7) and teammate Nikita Kucherov (0-2—2) extended his streak to five (1-7—8). ... The Capitals improved to 5-0-2 in their past seven games against the Montreal Canadiens dating to Nov. 29, 2013 (MTL: 2-3-2). ... Predators forward Filip Forsberg (2-0—2) has scored three times in his past three games (3-1—4). ... Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko (0-1—1) stretched his point streak to a career-high eight games (6-6—12). Blues rookie Robby Fabbri (1-0—1) has scored in a season-high three consecutive games (3-0—3). ... Stars forwards Tyler Seguin (1-0—1) and Jamie Benn (0-1—1) each have 47 points this season (20-27—47 and 22-25—47, respectively) and are tied for second in NHL scoring, three points behind Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (21-29—50). ... Coyotes forward Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2-0—2) scored two power-play goals for his first multiple-goal game of the season. Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker (0-3—3) posted a career-high three assists. ... The 40th IIHF World Junior Championship began in Helsinki, Finland, and will run through Tuesday, Jan. 5. Click here for the full tournament schedule (NHLN/TSN).