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NHL Capsules

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NEW YORK (AP) -Nicklas Backstrom's third-period, power-play goal - his fifth point of the night - gave the Capitals a 6-5 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday that extended the Capitals' winning streak to a team-record 12 games.

Backstrom already had four assists when he got to a loose puck near the left circle and snapped in his 24th goal of the season to make it 6-5 at 5:34 of the third.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist to reach 500 career NHL points. He is the fifth player to reach the milestone in five seasons, doing it in only 373 games. Boyd Gordon, Mike Knuble, and defenseman Tom Poti added goals for the Capitals, who haven't lost since Jan. 12 at Tampa Bay.

New York returned home from a 1-2 Western trip, but couldn't turn its best offensive output in eight games into a win. Vinny Prospal had two goals, and newly acquired forward Olli Jokinen, Brandon Dubinsky, and Ryan Callahan also put pucks past Jose Theodore. The Rangers lost in regulation for the seventh time in eight games.

OTTAWA (AP) - Jason Spezza scored his ninth goal in his last eight games to help Ottawa extend its team-record winning streak to 11 games.

Brian Elliott made 29 saves to break his own team record with his ninth straight win. He lost a shutout bid when Kyle Wellwood scored a power-play goal with 1:39 left.

Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist, and Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson had three assists a night after scoring twice in the final minute to lead the Senators to a 4-2 victory in Buffalo.

BOSTON (AP) - Brian Gionta beat Tuukka Rask for the only goal in a shootout and Montreal sent free-falling Boston to its ninth straight loss.

The Bruins, 1-9-3 in their last 13 games, blew a two-goal lead, then extended the second-longest losing streak in franchise history. They also lost their eighth straight home game, also the second-longest streak in club history.

The Canadiens got 45 saves from Jaroslav Halat in regulation and overtime and three more in the shootout. Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead, but Glen Metropolit and Roman Hamrlik scored 39 seconds apart late in the second period.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Steve Mason had 22 saves, R.J. Umberger scored an empty-netter while sliding on his gut for Columbus in Claude Noel's coaching debut.

Noel was coaching his first NHL game after taking over for Ken Hitchcock, who was fired Wednesday after the Blue Jackets sagged to a 22-27-9 record a season after making their first trip to the playoffs. Anton Stralman also scored for Columbus.

Brad Richards scored in the final minute for Dallas.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Patrick Marleau scored his 38th goal to remain tied for the NHL lead, helping Western Conference-leading San Jose beat St. Louis.

Ryane Clowe, Devin Setoguchi and Scott Nichol also scored, and backup Thomas Greiss had a strong game in goal for the Sharks, who rebounded from their lone regulation loss in the last 11 games after squandering a two-goal lead against Detroit two days earlier. San Jose has 83 points, one behind Washington for first overall in the NHL.

Patrik Berglund had a goal and an assist, and Alex Steen also scored for the Blues, an NHL-worst 9-15-5 at home while getting outscored 90-71.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Martin St. Louis scored in his fifth consecutive game, and Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist for Tampa Bay.

Vincent Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay also scored for the Lightning. Matt Moulson and Jon Sim scored for New York. The Islanders have lost six in a row.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Patric Hornqvist had two power-play goals and an assist, and Jason Arnott had a goal and three assists for Nashville.

Steve Sullivan added a power-play goal and an assist, and Joel Ward also had a goal for Nashville. Cody McLeod, Matt Duchene and Justin Mercier scored for Colorado, which has lost four of five following a season-best six-game winning streak.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Martin Havlat had his first two-goal game for Minnesota, and the Wild beat Edmonton for their 12th straight time at home.

Antti Miettinen and Guillaume Latendresse also scored for Minnesota. Mike Comrie and Marc Pouliot scored for Edmonton.

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