NHL-Highlights of Friday's early NHL games

December 21, 2013

Dec 20 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's early National Hockey League games.

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Islanders 5, Rangers 3

Left winger Thomas Vanek's power-play goal 1:18 into the third period powered the New York Islanders to a 5-3 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Right winger Michael Grabner scored twice and right winger Cal Clutterbuck and defenseman Brian Strait also scored for the Islanders, who improved to 10-19-7. Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves.

The Rangers fell to 16-18-2, despite receiving goals from left winger Benoit Pouliot, right winger Derek Dorsett and center Derek Stepan. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 15 saves.

On a 5-on-3 power play to start the third due to Rangers right winger Chris Kreider and defenseman Dan Girardi in the box for interference, Vanek deftly tipped right winger Kyle Okposo's centering feed from the point under Lundqvist for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

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Capitals 4, Hurricanes 2

The Washington Capitals scored three second-period power-play goals to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 at PNC Arena, Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin scoring his 400th career goal into an empty net with 24.5 seconds left.

Center Marcus Johansson, defenseman John Carlson and right winger Troy Brouwer did the earlier scoring for Washington. Center Nicklas Backstrom recorded four assists.

The Capitals have an NHL-leading 35 power-play goals. They notched three power-play goals for the second time in their last five games.

Ovechkin became the sixth-fastest player in NHL history to score 400 goals, doing so in 634 games.

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Ducks 3, Devils 2 (OT)

Right wing Kyle Palmieri scored with 2:23 remaining in overtime to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Palmieri's fifth of the season was the result of an explosive move down the right wing that led to a wraparound attempt that rode up the stick of Devils defenseman Jon Merrill and into the top of the net.

The Ducks have now won seven in a row, the longest current winning streak in the NHL.

The regulation goals were scored by defenseman Cam Fowler and center Mathieu Perreault of the Ducks and right wing Michael Ryder and defenseman Andy Greene of the Devils.

- - (Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)