April 9, 2020

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Predators overcome blunders, rally to beat Capitals 5-4

Nashville Predators right wing Rocco Grimaldi (23) scores a goal against Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in Washington. The Predators won 5-4. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nashville Predators right wing Rocco Grimaldi (23) scores a goal against Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in Washington. The Predators won 5-4. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON - The Nashville Predators showed some promise amid a disappointing season by beating the Washington Capitals 5-4 Wednesday night in a weird game that featured a bad goaltender turnover and a worse own-goal.

Ryan Johansen tied it after a giveaway by Washington goalie Braden Holtby, and Yannick Weber scored the go-ahead goal with 4:37 left in the third period. Nashville moved within four points of the final playoff position in the Western Conference and improved to 4-4 under new coach John Hynes, who replaced Peter Laviolette earlier this month.

Predators goalie Juuse Saros made 29 saves to make up for handing the puck to Alex Ovechkin for his 693rd goal and compensating for teammate Nick Bonino shooting the puck off him and into their own net.

Little-used defenceman Jarred Tinordi also scored his first NHL goal in his dad's old home arena. Former Capitals prospect Filip Forsberg had two assists to give him 15 points in 11 games against the team that drafted and traded him away.

Mikael Granlund and Rocco Grimaldi also scored for Nashville.

The Capitals had their winning streak snapped at four despite Ovechkin's 35th of the season and a two-goal game from Richard Panik, who was credited with one when Bonino shot the puck off Saros. Holtby allowed five goals on 24 shots and still has not won back-to-back starts since early December.

Ovechkin continued to climb the NHL's career goals list after honouring Kobe Bryant by wearing a No. 24 jersey during pregame warmups. Ovechkin went back to his usual No. 8 — Bryant's other number with the Los Angeles Lakers — and passed Steve Yzerman for sole possession of ninth place in league history.

The Predators have won eight in a row against the Capitals.

MAPLE LEAFS 5, STARS 3

DALLAS (AP) — Mitchell Marner set up Toronto's first two goals and the Maple Leafs kept up their high-scoring ways on the road to beat Dallas.

Marner’s fancy passes to Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman started Toronto on the way to its seventh win in the past eight road games. The Maple Leafs never trailed and set a franchise record with four or more goals in eight straight games away from home.

Tyson Barrie and William Nylander also scored for Toronto. Andreas Johnsson added an empty-net goal with three seconds left, and Frederik Andersen made 31 saves.

The Maple Leafs moved closer to playoff position. They pulled even in points (61) with third-place Florida in the Atlantic Division and Carolina for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference but have played more games than either team.

Alexander Radulov scored two goals and Denis Gurianov had one for the Stars. Ben Bishop stopped 29 shots.

Dallas has lost four of six.

Matthews, Barrie and Johnsson each had a goal and an assist for Toronto.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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