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Kopitar rallies Kings to overtime win vs. Rangers

Stars move two points ahead of Blues, plus other news and notes @NHL

Anze Kopitar (2-0-2) tied the game with 4:10 left in regulation and scored the game-winner at 1:34 of overtime to help the Los Angeles Kings defeat the New York Rangers 4-3 and extend their point streak to six games (5-0-1), including three straight wins.

* At 43-22-5 (91 points), the Kings increased their lead to six points over the idle Anaheim Ducks (38-22-9, 85 points) for first place in the Pacific Division. They also remained two points back of the Dallas Stars (42-21-9, 93 points), who also won on Thursday, for the top record in the Western Conference.

* Kopitar had his third multigoal game of the season (also Nov. 22 at CAR: 2-0-2 and Feb. 12 at NYR: 3-0-3) and leads the Kings with 24-40-64 this season.

* Kopitar scored his fourth overtime goal of the season (also Oct. 16 vs. MIN, Dec. 1 vs. VAN and Dec. 26 at ARI). The Elias Sports Bureau notes he set a franchise record for overtime goals in one season (69 GP), eclipsing the previous record of three held by Yanic Perreault in 1995-96 (78 GP) and matched by Jozef Stumpel in 1999-00 (57 GP).

* Jonathan Quick (23 saves) stretched his personal point streak to five games (4-0-1) and improved to 36-17-4 overall (2.16 goals-against average, .920 save percentage, four shutouts). His 36 victories rank second in the NHL, behind only Braden Holtby (42).

Home Team in Caps

NEW JERSEY 7, Minnesota 4
PITTSBURGH 4, Carolina 2
Detroit 3, COLUMBUS 1
Florida 4, TORONTO 1
NASHVILLE 4, NY Islanders 2
DALLAS 4, Tampa Bay 3
ARIZONA 3, San Jose 1
LOS ANGELES 4, NY Rangers 3 (OT)

The Stars and Nashville Predators each picked up victories to keep pace in the Central Division, where the top four teams are separated by eight points.

* The Stars overcame three separate one-goal deficits and Jamie Benn (2-1-3) scored the game-winning goal with 8:10 left in regulation of a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Stars picked up points for the sixth time in their past seven games (4-1-2). Benn had his seventh multigoal and seventh three-point game of the season and ranks second in the NHL with 36-44-80. With 36 goals this season, Benn also eclipsed his single-season career high of 35 from 2014-15 (82 GP). At 42-21-9 (93 points), the Western Conference-leading Stars increased their lead to two points over the idle St. Louis Blues (41-22-9, 91 points) for first place in the Central.

Video: TBL@DAL: Ja. Benn nets wrister after turnover

* James Neal (1-1-2) and Ryan Johansen (1-1-2) each recorded a goal and an assist as the Predators defeated the New York Islanders 4-2 and picked up points for the 16th time in their past 17 games (11-1-5). Pekka Rinne (20 saves) improved to 10-2-3 in his past 15 games and 29-19-10 overall (2.43 GAA, .910 save percentage, four shutouts). At 36-22-13 (85 points), the Predators climbed within three points of the idle Chicago Blackhawks (41-24-6, 88 points) for third place in the Central.

Several Eastern Conference teams posted wins in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

* Roberto Luongo made 32 saves and Jussi Jokinen (2-0-2) scored twice, including the game-winning goal at 9:22 of the second period, as the Florida Panthers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 to earn their fourth victory in their past five games (4-1-0). Per Elias, Luongo (30-17-6) became the seventh goaltender in NHL history to reach 30 wins in eight or more seasons. The others: Martin Brodeur (14), Patrick Roy (13), Henrik Lundqvist (10), Ed Belfour (9), Tony Esposito (8) and Marc-Andre Fleury (8). At 40-22-9 (89 points), the Panthers increased their lead to three points over the idle Boston Bruins (39-24-8, 86 points) for first place in the Atlantic Division.

* Sidney Crosby (2-0-2) scored twice and Carl Hagelin (0-3-3) collected a career-high three assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to their fourth consecutive victory, 4-2 against the Carolina Hurricanes. Crosby had his seventh multigoal game of the season, including his career-high seventh game-winning goal of the season, and extended his point streak to 10 games (6-10-16). He ranks fifth in the NHL with 31-41-72 this season. Crosby reached the 30-goal plateau for the seventh time in his 11 NHL seasons (all w/ PIT). Per Elias, he became the third player in franchise history to record seven or more 30-goal seasons, joining Mario Lemieux (11) and Jaromir Jagr (10). At 38-24-8 (84 points), the Penguins climbed within a point of the Islanders (38-22-9, 85 points), who lost in regulation on Thursday, for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Video: CAR@PIT: Crosby puts home a pair of pretty goals

* Jimmy Howard made 27 saves and Henrik Zetterberg notched the game-winning goal at 7:16 of the third period to guide the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. At 35-25-11 (81 points), the Red Wings passed the idle Philadelphia Flyers (34-23-12, 80 points) for the final wild card spot into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

* Devante Smith-Pelly (2-1-3), Adam Henrique (2-0-2) and Mike Sislo (2-0-2) each scored twice to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 7-4 win against the Minnesota Wild, their third victory in their past four games (3-1-0). Per Elias, three different members of the Devils scored multiple goals in a game for the first time since Feb. 25, 2004 vs. BUF (8-2 W), when Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta and Jay Pandolfo each scored twice. Smith-Pelly registered his second multigoal game of the season (also Nov. 25 at NYR: 2-0-2 w/ MTL) and added an assist to record a career-high three points. Smith-Pelly has scored six times in seven games since being acquired by the Devils (6-3-9). Sislo scored the first two goals of his NHL career (32 GP). At 34-30-7 (75 points), the Devils remained six points back of the Red Wings for the final wild card in the East.

* Lindy Ruff of the Stars coached his 1,401st career game, passing Pat Quinn (1,400) and tying Ron Wilson for fifth place in NHL history.

* Sharks forward Joe Thornton (0-1-1) had his 1,327th career point (374-953-1,327) to pass Gilbert Perreault (512-814-1,326) and tie Pierre Turgeon (515-812-1,327) for 32nd place in NHL history. Thornton has at least one point in 36 of his past 41 games dating to Dec. 15 (12-30-52).

* Maple Leafs forward Connor Brown, a sixth-round selection (No. 156) in the 2012 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut (15:40 TOI). Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand, a third-round selection (No. 89) in 2013, also made his NHL debut (16:02 TOI). Per Elias, Bjorkstrand (Herning, Denmark) became the 12th Danish-born player in NHL history to appear in a regular-season game.

* Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock and Stars defenseman Stephen Johns each scored their first career goals.

Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan scored the go-ahead goal with 1:31 left in regulation to lead them to their third straight win, 3-1 against the San Jose Sharks. … The Kings lead the NHL with 11 overtime goals this season (11-3). … Kings forward Milan Lucic (0-1-1) extended his point streak to eight games (3-7-10), matching his career high from Dec. 8-23, 2008 (4-4-8 in 8 GP w/ BOS). … Ryan Suter of the Wild had his 38th assist of the season and set a franchise record for assists in one season by a defenseman, eclipsing the previous record of 37 held by Marek Zidlicky in 2009-10. … Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr (1-0-1) has 33-43-76 in 57 regular-season games vs. TOR. … Stars forward Jason Spezza (1-0-1) has scored eight times in his past eight games (8-1-9). … Stars forward Tyler Seguin (0-1-1) is tied for third in the NHL with 33-40-73 this season. … Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (2-0-2) had his seventh multigoal game of the season and leads the team with 33 goals. … Stars forward Cody Eakin (0-3-3), Devils forward Tyler Kennedy (0-3-3) and Kings forward Jeff Carter (0-3-3) all had three assists. … Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette (4-2-6), Kings forward Dustin Brown (3-1-4) and Wild forward Nino Niederreiter (3-1-4) have all scored in three straight games. … Flyers forward Chris VandeVelde will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Friday for an incident with Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews during a game Wednesday at United Center. … The Devils donned their red and green jerseys, continuing the St. Patrick's Day tradition at Prudential Center. … The Penguins celebrated the City of Pittsburgh's 200th anniversary in a pregame ceremony at CONSOL Energy Center. They also sported a custom City of Pittsburgh Bicentennial patch on their jerseys. … The Stars honored former captain Brenden Morrow in a pregame ceremony at American Airlines Center.

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