Ryan Nugent-Hopkins posted a first-period hat trick, and Leon Draisaitl collected three goals in a four-point night as the host Edmonton Oilers scored five times in the opening frame en route to an 8-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
Mikko Koskinen made 34 saves for Edmonton, which is five points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with six games remaining. The Arizona Coyotes have the same point total as the Avalanche but have played one more game than Colorado.
It’s the first time two Oilers collected hat tricks in a game since Dec. 20, 1985, when Jari Kurri and Paul Coffey accomplished that feat.
Edmonton’s Connor McDavid finished with four points, which has him at a new personal standard of 112.
Coyotes 1, Blackhawks 0
Nick Cousins scored the game’s lone goal 5:40 into the third period, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 31 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as Arizona blanked visiting Chicago.
The Coyotes snapped a five-game winless streak (0-3-2).
Corey Crawford stopped 28 of 29 shots for the Blackhawks, who trail Colorado and Arizona by five points. Chicago, which had gained points in seven of its previous nine outings (6-2-1), has six games remaining.
Capitals 4, Hurricanes 1
Alex Ovechkin scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and Washington went on to defeat visiting Carolina in the first end of a home-and-home.
First-place Washington expanded its lead in the Metropolitan Division to three points. The New York Islanders remain on 95 points after losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 on Tuesday, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were idle, also have 95 points.
Ovechkin (one goal, one assist) now has an NHL-best 49 goals. His goal started a three-goal third period that gave the Capitals control. Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists.
Blue Jackets 4, Islanders 0
Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves in his second consecutive shutout for host Columbus, which made its lone victory this season over New York a timely one.
Ryan Dzingel scored in the first period for the Blue Jackets, who received third-period goals from Artemi Panarin, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson to blow open a close game. Columbus will have a chance to move into the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot Thursday when it plays host to the Montreal Canadiens.
The shutout was the third in four games and the career-high eighth of the season for Bobrovsky. New York was blanked for the third time in five games.
Canadiens 6, Panthers 1
Tomas Tatar had a three-point night as Montreal routed visiting Florida.
The win moves the Canadiens one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the top wild-card slot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal retains its two-point lead over the Blue Jackets.
The loss officially eliminated the Panthers from playoff contention. Florida has allowed 20 goals in its past three games, all defeats.
Ducks 5, Canucks 4
Rookie Sam Steel scored three goals, including one on a penalty shot, as visiting Anaheim held off Vancouver.
Steel, 21, now has four goals in 18 career NHL games. Another Ducks rookie, Kiefer Sherwood, also had a good night, posting the winning goal and adding an assist.
Despite getting the win, Anaheim was eliminated from playoff contention when Arizona beat Chicago.
Senators 4, Sabres 0
Craig Anderson made 35 saves for his second shutout of the season as Ottawa handed reeling Buffalo a 13th straight road loss.
Brian Gibbons had a goal with an assist, and Thomas Chabot recorded two assists for the Senators, who have won four of six and matched a season high with their third consecutive home victory.
Buffalo, meanwhile, continues to limp toward the finish line, a loser in four straight overall and amid a 3-15-2 stretch. The Sabres, blanked four times in the past nine games, are 0-11-2 on the road since winning at Columbus on Jan. 29.
—Field Level Media