HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE MONTH BEGINS
In support of their longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in hockey, the NHL, its member clubs and the NHL Players' Association will spotlight a variety of community-related initiatives for Hockey Is For Everyone month.
* Every day throughout February, Hockey Is For Everyone activities will focus awareness on such areas as LGBTQ; ethnicity and gender equality; socio-economic status and those with disabilities. The campaign is conducted in partnership with the You Can Play Project, a nonprofit committed to supporting the LGBTQ community and fighting homophobia in sports.
* Teams will host Hockey Is For Everyone awareness nights honoring and recognizing hockey players of all ages from diverse backgrounds. The Washington Capitals and New York Islanders each participated in events on the opening day of the campaign.
* Sportsnet's Hockey Night in Canada game on Feb. 11 (Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. ET) and NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry game on Feb. 22 (Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 8 p.m. ET) will be dedicated as Hockey Is For Everyone national broadcast nights.
Home Team in Caps
WASHINGTON 5, Boston 3
CALGARY 5, Minnesota 1
LOS ANGELES 5, Colorado 0
OVECHKIN CLIMBS ALL-TIME LISTS, CAPITALS EXTEND HOME STREAKS
Alex Ovechkin scored for the third consecutive game, Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists, and the League-leading Capitals (34-11-6, 74 points) extended their home point streak to 10 games (9-0-1), including eight consecutive wins.
* Ovechkin scored the 550th goal of his NHL career (890 GP) to surpass Ron Francis (549 in 1,731 GP) for sole possession of 27th place on the League's all-time list. He's third in the NHL with 25 goals, behind Sidney Crosby (28) and Jeff Carter (26).
* The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Ovechkin scored his 205th power-play goal to pass Wayne Gretzky (204) and tie Joe Sakic for 15th on the NHL's all-time list.
* Backstrom, who had three or more points in a game for the fourth time this season, is second in the NHL with 37 assists and leads the Capitals with 51 points (14-37-51, 51 GP).
Video: Backstrom's three-point night propels Caps past B's
KINGS, FLAMES EARN WINS TO GAIN GROUND IN WILD CARD RACE
The Los Angeles Kings (26-21-4, 56 points) and Calgary Flames (26-24-3, 55 points) won their games to gain ground in the Western Conference wild card race, where seven teams are separated by four points:
* Jeff Carter (2-0-2) had his sixth multiple-goal game of the season and Peter Budaj (22 saves) earned his second shutout in his last three outings as Los Angeles won for the fourth consecutive games and strengthened its grip on the first wild card spot. Carter is second in the NHL with 26 goals and Budaj shares the League lead with a career-high six shutouts.
* Brian Elliott made 28 saves and Calgary snapped Minnesota's franchise-record road point streak at 14 games (12-0-2). The Flames moved ahead of the idle St. Louis Blues (24-21-5, 53 points) to take sole possession of the final wild card berth in the Western Conference.
Video: Monahan, Elliott lead Flames to 5-1 win against Wild
Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (2-1-3) scored multiple goals for the third time in his past four games. Elias notes that Marchand became the first Bruins player to record three multiple-goal outings in a span of four team games since Cam Neely did so from Jan. 8-15, 1992. … Wild forward Mikael Granlund (0-1-1) extended his career-high point streak to a franchise-record 11 games (2-11-13). … Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (0-1-1) extended his point streak to six games (1-6-7). … Barry Trotz (WSH) earned his 692nd career win as an NHL coach, tying Dick Irvin for sixth on the all-time list.Darryl Sutter (LAK) earned his 621st NHL win to move past Bryan Murray (620) into sole possession of 11th place all-time. … Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov , Bruins forward Brad Marchand and Sharks defenseman Brent Burns were named the NHL's Three Stars for the month of January. … Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for January. ... MSG Networks Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement with the NHL for live streaming rights to Rangers, Devils, Islanders and Sabres games. … Mike Yeo was named coach of the Blues.
SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Montreal @ Philadelphia, 7 p.m., CSN-PH, SNE, RDS
NY Rangers @ Buffalo, 7:30 p.m., SNO, TVA Sports, NBCSN, MSG
Ottawa @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., SUN, RDS2, TSN5
Edmonton @ Nashville, 8 p.m., FS-TN, SNW
Winnipeg @ Dallas, 8:30 p.m., FS-SW, TSN3
Chicago @ Arizona, 9 p.m., FS-A, CSN-CH
Toronto @ St. Louis, 9 p.m., FS-MW, TSN4
San Jose @ Vancouver, 10 p.m., SNP, CSN-CA