Cap­i­tals beat Is­lan­ders 5-1, take 3-2 se­ries lead

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Wash­ing­ton rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice to lead the Cap­i­tals to a 5-1 win against the New York Is­lan­ders on Thurs­day to take a 3-2 lead in their NHL first-round play­off se­ries.

Nashville and Van­cou­ver both staved off elim­i­na­tion with must-win vic­to­ries over Chicago and Cal­gary re­spec­tively to cut the deficit in those se­ries to 3-2, while Tampa Bay won in over­time at Detroit to square that se­ries at 2-2.

Wash­ing­ton’s Karl Alzner added a goal and an as­sist for the Cap­i­tals, who con­trolled the ac­tion most of the evening af­ter fall­ing be­hind 1-0.

Dom­i­nat­ing de­spite zero points from stars Alex Ovechkin or Nick­las Back­strom, Wash­ing­ton also got goals from Brooks Laich and Ja­son Chimera in the third pe­riod, which it be­gan ahead only 2-1.

The Cap­i­tals can end the Eastern Con­fer­ence se­ries by win­ning Game 6 at New York on Satur­day.

Nashville rookie Filip Fors­berg had his first ca­reer hat trick to lead the Preda­tors to a must-win 5-2 victory over Chicago.

A triple-over­time loss in Chicago early Wed­nes­day pushed the Preda­tors to the brink of elim­i­na­tion, and the teams ap­peared headed for the third over­time game of this se­ries when the sec­ond pe­riod ended with the score tied 1-1.

James Neal then got the go-ahead goal in the open­ing minute of the third to spark a flurry of three goals in a span of less than 2-1/2 min­utes.

Fors­berg fin­ished his hat trick with an empty net­ter in the fi­nal minute. Colin Wil­son also had a goal, and Neal had an as­sist.

Chicago’s Brad Richards had a goal and an as­sist, and Kris Ver­steeg also scored for the Black­hawks, who host Game 6 on Satur­day.

Van­cou­ver also came through in a must-win sit­u­a­tion, edg­ing Cal­gary 2-1.

Daniel Sedin scored the tiebreak­ing goal early in the third pe­riod and Nick Bonino had the other goal for Van­cou­ver, while goal­tender Ryan Miller had 19 saves in his first start in the se­ries af­ter re­plac­ing Ed­die Lack in Game 4.

Af­ter the Flames were pe­nal­ized for ic­ing in the open­ing min­utes of the third pe­riod, the Canucks put out their top line for the of­fen­sive-zone face­off. Daniel Sedin took ad­van­tage, shov­el­ing Dan Hamhuis’ re­bound through the goalie’s pads for what proved the win­ner.

David Jones scored for the Flames and Jonas Hiller stopped 41 shots.

Game 6 of the se­ries is Satur­day at Cal­gary.

Tampa Bay’s Tyler John­son led a stir­ring rally late in reg­u­la­tion, then scored 2:25 into over­time to lift the Light­ning to a 3-2 se­ries-squar­ing victory at Detroit.

The Red Wings led 2-0 in the third pe­riod be­fore John­son scored with 5:26 re­main­ing. He then as­sisted on On­drej Palat’s ty­ing goal 77 sec­onds later.

Early in the ex­tra ses­sion, de­fense­man Vic­tor Hed­man led an odd-man rush from the right side and slid the puck across the goal mouth. It de­flected ever so slightly off the goalie, but John­son was able to shoot into an open net from a tough an­gle for his fourth goal of the se­ries.

Gus­tav Nyquist and Joakim An­der­s­son scored in the sec­ond pe­riod for the Red Wings. An­der­s­son’s goal came in fluky fash­ion when goalie Ben Bishop knocked it in off the cross­bar.

Game 5 is Satur­day back in Tampa, Florida.

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