Dec 27 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's early National Hockey League games.
Bruins 5, Senators 0
Goaltender Tuukka Rask kept his team alive in the first period before the Boston Bruins woke up and went on to their eighth straight home victory.
Rask made 15 stops in the first period, finishing with 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and right winger Reilly Smith scored twice to power Boston to victory over the Ottawa Senators.
The win, fueled by four third-period goals, came in the front end of a home-and-home that ends in Ottawa on Saturday night.
Blue Jackets 2, Devils 1 (SO)
Right winger Cam Atkinson scored the only goal in a shootout to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.
Devils left winger Adam Henrique had the tying goal in the third period. Left winger Artem Anisimov scored for the Blue Jackets.
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur made 29 saves and Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis McElhinney stopped 16 shots.
Capitals 3, Rangers 2
In a tense battle between rookie goaltenders, Washington left winger Eric Fehr provided the difference, scoring with 5:09 remaining in the third period to give the Capitals a win over the New York Rangers at the Verizon Center.
Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped 38 of 40 shots to improve his record to 5-1-1. His first NHL victory came against the Rangers on Dec. 8 in New York and he has been nearly flawless in six starts since then.
The Capitals (20-14-4) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win and opened a six-point lead on the Rangers (18-19-2), who had their two-game win streak snapped.
Fehr, who was playing in his 300th game for the Capitals, broke free while the teams were skating at 4-on-4 and snapped a shot past the blocker of Rangers goalie Cam Talbot, who was starting his third straight game in place of Henrik Lundqvist.
Penguins 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)
Left winger James Neal scored 1:03 into overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Neal took the puck on a give-and-go from left winger Jussi Jokinen for the winning goal.
It came after a frantic third period when Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland, in his first game back after sitting out five games as part of a suspension, scored with 6:45 remaining to put the Penguins ahead.
Engelland's blast trickled into the net past Carolina goalie Justin Peters. It was Engelland's third goal in 28 games this season.
Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 3 (SO)
Left winger Joffrey Lupul scored the only goal in the shootout as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Buffalo Sabres who had tied the game 3-3 with 24.1 seconds left in the third period on the fifth goal of the season by center Steve Ott.
The goal that forced overtime came after a scramble around the net on a power play and with Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller removed for an extra attacker. Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf had been sent off for hooking at 19:09.
Right winger Phil Kessel, defenseman Jake Gardiner and center Peter Holland scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs (19-16-5), who lost their two previous games in shootouts.
- - (Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)