Gustafsson stars as Ovechkin, Capitals beat Maple Leafs 5-2

December 18, 2022 GMT
CORRECTS TO SECOND PERIOD NOT FIRST - Washington Capitals defenseman Erik Gustafsson, center, celebrates with defenseman John Carlson (74), right wing Anthony Mantha, center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), and left wing Sonny Milano (15) after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)
CORRECTS TO SECOND PERIOD NOT FIRST - Washington Capitals defenseman Erik Gustafsson, center, celebrates with defenseman John Carlson (74), right wing Anthony Mantha, center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), and left wing Sonny Milano (15) after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Erik Gustafsson recorded his first career hat trick to steal the spotlight from Alex Ovechkin’s latest pursuit of hockey history and help the Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 Saturday night.

Ovechkin called for fans to throw hats on to the ice after Gustafsson’s third goal of the game early in the third period. Many chanted “Ovi! Ovi!” after he checked Maple Leafs defenseman Conor Timmins into the bench in the second, but they did not get to see Ovechkin score his 801st goal and tie Gordie Howe for second on the NHL career list.

The Capitals instead celebrated a career night by one of their most unlikely scorers, with Gustafsson beating former Washington goaltender Ilya Samsonov for his first three goals of the season. Gustafsson became the third defenseman in franchise history with a hat trick.

William Nylander and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost two in a row.



RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Martin Necas scored 2:19 into overtime and Carolina stretched its point streak to 10 games.

Stefan Noesen, Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen and Seth Jarvis scored for the Hurricanes, who won their fourth straight game. Brent Burns had two assists, and Antti Raanta made 26 saves in his first outing since Dec. 1.

Joe Pavelski and Jamie Benn scored power-play goals for Dallas, and Tyler Seguin and Jani Hakanpaa added third-period goals. Jason Robertson had three assists, and Scott Wedgewood stopped 33 shots.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jimmy Vesey scored early in the third period, helping the Rangers to their sixth straight win.

Artemi Panarin, Barclay Goodrow and K’Andre Miller each had a goal and an assist for New York. Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren had empty-net goals, and Jaroslav Hala made 29 saves.

The Rangers improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine.

James van Riemsdyk, Scott Laughton and Morgan Frost scored for the struggling Flyers, who have lost 17 of their last 20 (3-12-5). Carter Hart finished with 29 saves.


BOSTON (AP) — David Krejci, David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall each had a goal and an assist, sending the Bruins to the win.

Boston remained unbeaten in regulation at home. Tomas Nosek also scored for the Bruins, and Jeremy Swayman made a season-high 30 saves.


The NHL-best Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron for reaching 1,000 career points last month during an on-ice pregame ceremony.

Boston improved to 16-0-2 at home, with both losses coming in a shootout.

Boone Jenner and Patrik Laine scored for Columbus, which has lost three straight and six of eight. Daniil Tarasov stopped 35 shots.


MONTREAL (AP) — Brandon Hagel had two goals and an assist, and Tampa Bay earned its fifth consecutive win.

Nicholas Paul, Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay. Steven Stamkos picked up two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves.

The Lighting (20-9-1) improved to 13-3-0 in their last 16 games.

Nick Suzuki scored for the Canadiens, who have dropped three straight. Jake Allen made 22 stops.



NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Sam Reinhart scored twice, Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves and the Panthers handed the first-place Devils their fifth straight loss.

Gustav Forsling and Carter Verhaege also scored for Florida, which beat New Jersey for the fifth time in six meetings and improved to 4-1-0 in its last five visits to Prudential Center. Bobrovsky, making his sixth straight start, got his 343rd career victory and improved to 18-5-1 against the Devils.

Erik Haula had a goal and an assist and John Marino also scored for the Devils, who are 0-4-1 on their current skid. Akira Schmid finished with 25 saves.


DETROIT (AP) — Drake Batherson had two goals, Claude Giroux snapped a third-period tie and Ottawa earned its fourth consecutive victory.

Thomas Chabot, Tyler Motte and Austin Watson also scored for the Senators, who improved to 8-2-1 in their last 11 games. Alex DeBrincat had three assists for the second consecutive game.


Brady Tkachuk also had three assists, and Cam Talbot made 29 saves. Ottawa scored three power-play goals and two more short-handed.

Joe Veleno, Adam Erne and Filip Hronek scored for the Red Wings, who are winless in their last five games. Ville Husso recorded 22 saves.


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — John Klingberg scored early in the third period and Lukas Dostal stopped 46 shots, leading Anaheim to the victory.

Ryan Strome had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who won in regulation for the just the third time this season. Sam Carrick and Cam Fowler also scored, and Mason McTavish had two assists.

Darnell Nurse, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid scored for the Oilers, who have lost three of four. Leon Draisaitl had two assists and Stuart Skinner finished with 13 saves.


DENVER (AP) — Mikko Rantanen and Alex Newhook scored in the second period and Colorado beat Nashville.

Cale Makar scored into the empty net in the final minute and Alexandar Georgiev stopped 25 shots for Colorado, which bounced back from a loss to Buffalo in the opener of its five-game homestand on Thursday night.


Matt Duchene scored and Juuse Saros made 27 saves for the slumping Predators, who are 0-4-2 since a three-game winning streak in late November and early December.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Tage Thompson scored the tiebreaking goal on a power play midway through the third period and Jeff Skinner had two goals and an assist in his his return from three-game suspension to lead Buffalo.

Tyson Jost and Kyle Okposo scored empty net goals in the final 90 seconds to seal the Sabres’ third straight win to improve to 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Alex Tuch had three assists, Rasmus Dahlin and Thompson added two each, and Craig Anderson made 28 saves.

Shayne Gostisbehere and Barrett Hayton scored for the Coyotes, who are 4-3-1 in their new home at the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena at Arizona State. Connor Ingram finished with 35 saves.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trevor Moore scored the shootout winner for the second straight game to lead Los Angeles.

Phillip Danault had a power-play goal and Jaret Anderson-Dolan also scored in regulation as the Kings won consecutive games for the first time since the end of their four-game win streak on Nov. 12 Pheonix Copley made 23 saves and had an assist, getting his fourth win in five games since he was called up to Los Angeles.

Timo Meier had a goal and an assist, and Kevin Labanc also scored for the Sharks, who failed to get their first three-game winning streak of the season. James Reimer had 39 saves.

Moore won it in the fourth round of the tiebreaker after Kevin Fiala and Labanc each made their tries in the third.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Semyon Varlamov stopped 35 shots before leaving with an injury in the third period and New York beat Vegas.

Zach Parise and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist, and Anders Lee, Hudson Faschling, Simon Holmstrom also scored for the Islanders, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau had two assists. New York won for just the second time in six games (2-3-1).

Varlamov left with 6:22 remaining and was replaced by Ilya Sorokin, who stopped the only shot he faced the rest of the way.

Reilly Smith had two power-play goals for the Golden Knights, who had won six of their previous nine games. Vegas, which is 14-2-1 on the road, fell to 8-8 at home. The Golden Knights also lost captain Mark Stone as he was helped off the ice with 8:20 left after being hit by a shot from teammate Phil Kessel.


VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Kyle Connor extended his points streak with a goal and an assist to lead Winnipeg.

Sam Gagner had a goal and an assist for the Jets, while Kyle Capobianco, Neal Pionk and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby also scored. Pierre-Luc Dubois had three assists. Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves to improve to 16-7-1 on the season.

Bo Horvat had a power-play goal for Vancouver. Spencer Martin stopped 22 shots.


AP NHL: and