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The best of NHL. Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick leads Capitals to victory

TORONTO — Alex Ovechkin had a hat trick to help the Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Saturday night.

Ovechkin scored two of his three goals in the opening period for the Capitals. Jakub Vrana also scored, and Braden Holtby made 27 saves for his 13th victory of the season.

Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev replied in the third period for Toronto. Curtis McElhinney stopped 17 shots.

Ovechkin opened the scoring when he skated with the puck through the neutral zone before taking a wrist shot from just outside the left face-off circle and beating McElhinney at 12:03. It was Ovechkin's 574th goal, which moved him past Mike Bossy for 21st on the career list.

Gibbons scores in OT to lift Devils over Red Wings

DETROIT — Brian Gibbons scored with 2:28 remaining in overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.

The Devils squandered a 3-1 lead in the third period, but Gibbons was able to get his stick on a pass by Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen and took control of the puck in front of the Detroit net. He beat Jimmy Howard for the game-winner, his 11th goal of the season.

David Booth scored twice for the Red Wings and Anthony Mantha started Detroit's third-period rally with his 11th goal of the season. Brian Boyle and Taylor Hall scored in the first period for New Jersey, and Nico Hischier added a goal in the third.

New Jersey moved past Columbus into first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Devils have points in four straight games and eight of nine.

Price returns to make 36 saves, Canadiens top Sabres

MONTREAL — Carey Price made 36 saves in his return from a lower-body injury and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Saturday night to snap a five-game losing streak.

Jeff Petry, Alex Galchenyuk and Paul Bryon scored. Montreal's last previous victory was against the Sabres two weeks ago.

Price missed 10 games with the injury. The shutout was his 40th in the NHL and first since Feb. 28, 2017.

Robin Lehner made 23 saves for the Sabres. They have lost eight of their last nine games.

Price had a shaky start to the season prior to getting hurt, but the 30-year-old looked like his old self Saturday. The goalie, whose specific injury was never disclosed, made key saves to keep his side in the game.

Crosby, Kessel carry Penguins past Lightning

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel each scored twice and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 on Saturday night to end a season-high three-game losing streak.

Tristan Jarry, making his first home start, stopped 33 shots for his first NHL win. He also assisted on the first goal of the game.

Pittsburgh hasn't lost four straight in regulation overall since Dec. 14-19, 2015, the first four games of coach Mike Sullivan's tenure. The Penguins, playing without injured star forward Evgeni Malkin, also ended a two-game home regulation losing streak.

Kessel also had two assists, and Crosby had one, fueling a Penguins offense that scored three power-play goals and added another short-handed. Kessel, with seven goals in his last nine games, scored his team-best 11th. Crosby, who has points in five of his last six, added his ninth.


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