WASHINGTON (AP) — Rookie Wade Allison scored twice, Brian Elliott made 28 saves and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Capitals 4-2 on Friday night to prevent Washington from reclaiming first place in the East Division.
The Capitals trail the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points with two games left on their regular-season schedule. A Penguins victory in their regular-season finale against last-place Buffalo on Saturday and another Washington loss to Philadelphia hours later would clinch the division for Pittsburgh.
Long since eliminated from playoff contention, the Flyers nevertheless outplayed the Capitals, who were again without captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Justin Schultz because of lower-body injuries and top center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who's on the NHL COVID protocol list. Rookie goaltender Vitek Vanecek allowed three goals on 28 shots in his third consecutive start with Ilya Samsonov also out for protocol reasons.
Daniel Sprong scored his 13th goal of the season and sixth in his past six games mostly in Ovechkin's usual spot in the lineup. T.J. Oshie added his fourth in the past two games since the death of his father, but the Capitals' comeback bid from a 3-1 deficit fell short.
Joel Farabee took advantage of a defensive-zone miscue by Washington to open the scoring 1:44 into the game, and Sean Couturier sealed it for Philadelphia with an empty-net goal with 30.1 seconds left.
STARS 5, LIGHTNING 2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Joe Pavelski had two goals and two assists to help and Dallas beat Tampa Bay to keep its postseason hopes alive.
Dallas within two points of Nashville heading into the final weekend of the regular season. The Stars play Chicago on Sunday and Monday, while the Predators host Carolina on Saturday and Monday.
Roope Hintz added a goal and two assists for Dallas. Joel Kiviranta and Jamie Oleksiak also scored, and Anton Khudobin made 26 saves.
Blake Coleman and Alex Barre-Boulet scored for Tampa Bay.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4, BLUES 3, OT
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault scored with 17 seconds left in overtime to lift Vegas past St. Louis.
Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez, and Nic Roy scored in regulation for Vegas. The Golden Knights also inched closer to winning their third division title in four seasons since joining the NHL in 2017. Robin Lehner stopped 22 shots.
Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron, and Jaden Schwartz scored for St. Louis.
The teams will wrap up their season series Saturday.
AVALANCHE 3, KINGS 2
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mikko Rantanen scored his 30th goal of the season, Cale Makar had a goal and an assist and Colorado beat Los Angeles.
Tyson Jost also scored, Philipp Grubauer made 15 saves and the Avalanche remained four points behind first-place Vegas in the West Division.
Brendan Lemieux and Gabriel Vilardi scored for Los Angeles. Cal Petersen made 34 saves as the Kings were eliminated from playoff contention.
WILD 4, DUCKS 3, OT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Kirill Kaprizov scored 17 seconds into overtime to lift Minnesota past Anaheim.
Kaprizov, the rookie sensation with 27 goals this season, snapped a quick shot that was stopped by goalie John Gibson, but drove the net and found the puck on a rebound and easily scored with Gibson unable to recover.
Victor Rask, Nico Sturm and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored for Minnesota, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 22 saves. Max Comtois, Adam Henrique and Derek Grant scored for Anaheim. The teams finish their season series Saturday in Minnesota.
RED WINGS 5, BLUE JACKETS 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Thomas Greiss made 22 saves and Detroit scored three goals in the second period to beat Columbus.
Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist, and Joe Veleno and Danny DeKeyser also scored in the second period for the Red Wings, who are dueling with the Blue Jackets to stay out of the Central Division basement as they play out the final weekend. Detroit leads Columbus by one point in the standings ahead of Saturday's finale.
Gavin Bayreuther and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Blue Jackets. They have lost 12 of their last 14.
COYOTES 5, SHARKS 2
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Phil Kessel scored the go-ahead goal for his 900th career point and Victor Soderstrom scored his first NHL goal to lead Arizona.
Conor Garland added a goal and two assists for the Coyotes, who also benefited from an overturned San Jose goal that would have tied it in the third. Michael Bunting and Jan Jenik also scored for Arizona, and Darcy Kuemper had 26 saves.
Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier scored for San Jose.