WASHINGTON - Sidney Crosby had a hand in both early goals as Pittsburgh converted on two of its first three shots Monday night, Chris Kunitz scored twice, and the Penguins beat Alex Ovechkin's struggling Washington Capitals 3-2.
Crosby finished with his 30th goal and two assists to raise his NHL-leading point total to 87, matching his uniform number. The Penguins beat Washington for the seventh consecutive time and overtook idle Boston for the Eastern Conference's best record.
The Capitals, who began the day outside of the playoff picture in 10th place in the East, have lost four of their past five games.
The teams play each other again Tuesday at Pittsburgh.
Monday's game featured the largely uneventful NHL debut of a player Capitals general manager George McPhee likened to the Loch Ness Monster ? "We've heard of you, but we haven't seen you" ? Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound winger was a first-round draft pick in 2010, but has been playing in Russia until now.
PREDATORS 4, SENATORS 3, OT
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) ? Seth Jones scored at 3:49 of overtime and Nashville defeated Ottawa.
Ryan Ellis broke in alone on goaltender Robin Lehner and Jones was there to bang home the loose puck.
The win allowed the Predators to snap a four-game losing streak.
Nick Spaling, Craig Smith and Eric Nystrom also scored for Nashville.
Jared Cowen, Marc Methot and Jason Spezza scored for the Senators.
Craig Anderson allowed three goals on 29 shots before leaving the game early in the third. Lehner faced 13 shots in relief.
COYOTES 4, LIGHTNING 3, SO
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) ??? Radim Vrbata scored the lone shootout goal to lead Phoenix past Tampa Bay.
Vrbata beat Ben Bishop with a backhand. Mike Smith stopped all three Lightning shootout shots.
Ondrej Palat got the Lightning even at 3-all on his second goal of the game, coming from the low slot with the Tampa Bay net empty and 37.2 seconds left in regulation. Palat also had an assist.
Brandon McMillan, Martin Erat and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Coyotes, who trailed eighth-place Dallas by one point in the Western Conference.
Tampa Bay, 1-4-2 since the Olympic break ended, also got a goal from Tyler Johnson.