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NHL Capsules: Brouwer's first-ever hat trick leads Capitals past Lightning 4-3 @NHLdotcom

WASHINGTON - Troy Brouwer got his first career hat trick, and Alex Ovechkin also scored Friday night as the Washington Capitals beat Tampa Bay 4-3, handing the Lightning their sixth straight loss.

Brouwer scored in each period for the Capitals, who have won six straight at home and six of eight overall to move back into playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Tomas Vokoun made 28 saves to follow up his 1-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. Washington is 11-9-1 since Dale Hunter replaced Bruce Boudreau as coach in late November.

Steven Stamkos scored his league-leading 30th goal, and Tom Pyatt and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning, who have yet to win in 2012.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) ? Jason Pominville scored the go-ahead goal with 5:47 left in the second period, and Buffalo held on for the win.

Paul Gaustad had a goal and an assist, Matt Ellis also scored and Patrick Kaleta had two assists for the Sabres. Ryan Miller made 24 saves in helping Buffalo snap a three-game winless skid (0-2-1) and get their third victory in 12 games (3-7-2).

Mikhail Grabovski had a goal and assist and Joey Crabb also scored for the Maple Leafs, who blew a chance to move eight games over .500 since closing the 2006-07 season at 40-31-11, according to STATS LLC. They also snapped a four-game winning streak.


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) ??? Evgeni Malkin scored late in the second period and Pittsburgh snapped a six-game losing streak.

Steve Sullivan Tyler Kennedy, and James Neal also scored as the Penguins got their first multi-goal effort in the past six games. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots.

Michal Repik scored a goal and Scott Clemmensen made 37 saves for Florida.

After a scoreless opening period, the Penguins took a 1-0 lead on Sullivan's goal at 1:49 of the second. Malkin made it 2-0 with an unassisted score with 35 seconds to go in the period. After Kennedy stretched the lead 36 seconds into the third, Repik got the Panthers on the board at 6:55 of the final period.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) ??? Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist, helping Todd Richards a win in his home debut as Columbus interim head coach.

Rick Nash also scored and Tomas Kubalik and Ryan Russell each had their first NHL goals for the Blue Jackets, who fired second-year head coach Scott Arniel on Monday and elevated Richards to replace him.

Curtis Sanford had 32 saves for the Blue Jackets, who had lost two in a row and four of five.

Lauri Korpikoski had a goal and two assists, Radim Vrbata a goal and a helper and Oliver Ekman-Larsson two assists for the Coyotes, who have lost four road games in a row. Adrian Aucoin also scored.

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