WASHINGTON (AP) — Ilya Kovalchuk scored the tiebreaking goal on a 5-on-3 power play with about 8½ minutes left to complete the New Jersey Devils’ 3-2 comeback victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.
Washington led 2-1 entering the third period on power-play goals by Mathieu Perrault and Mike Ribeiro.
Andrei Loktionov made it 2-all midway through the last period, and Kovalchuk put New Jersey ahead for the first time off Patrik Elias’ assist. Elias had scored a short-handed goal in the second period.
The East-worst Capitals (5-10-1) dropped to 0-7-1 against the conference’s top six teams. They will get another chance Saturday when they host New Jersey again.
PANTHERS 5, FLYERS 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller each had two goals to help Florida snap a five-game losing streak with a victory over Philadelphia.
Tomas Kopecky also scored for Florida, which was 0-2-3 since a 3-2 shootout victory in Philadelphia on Feb. 7. Scott Clemmensen, who backs up Jose Theodore, stopped 32 shots to earn his first win since April 7.
Luke Schenn and Jakub Voracek scored Philadelphia’s goals in the third period.
The Flyers came out flat one night after a wild 6-5 win at Pittsburgh. It didn’t help when they learned before the game that center Matt Read will miss six weeks because he tore rib cage muscles when hit by the Penguins’ Chris Kunitz.
Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was replaced by Brian Boucher after Florida took a 4-0 lead.
Schenn snapped Clemmensen’s shutout bid with 6:08 left.
BRUINS 4, LIGHTNING 2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Nathan Horton scored two goals, and Boston beat Tampa Bay.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand also scored for Boston, which improved to 6-1-1 on the road.
After blowing a two-goal lead, the Bruins took a 3-2 advantage on Marchand’s goal from the slot with 6:02 to go in the second. Horton extended the lead to 4-2 when he redirected Zdeno Chara’s pass at 2:33 of the third.
Tampa Bay got goals from Steven Stamkos and Cory Conacher, but the Lightning’s two-game winning streak, which followed an 0-5-1 stretch, was snapped.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead early in the first on goals by Horton and Bergeron. Horton has 26 goals and 46 points in 45 games against the Lightning.
SENATORS 3, RANGERS 2, SO
OTTAWA (AP) — Kaspars Daugavins scored in the seventh round of the shootout and backup goalie Ben Bishop earned the victory in relief of injured starter Craig Anderson as Ottawa beat the New York Rangers.
The Senators lost Anderson at 1:43 of the third period after Rangers forward Chris Kreider was tripped in front and slid into him. No penalty was called on the play and Anderson had to be helped to the dressing room because of a sprained right ankle.
Daugavins appeared to mishit his winning shootout attempt that beat Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist between the legs. Kreider was then stopped by Bishop to end the game.
Jakob Silfverberg also scored in the shootout for Ottawa, and Ryan Callahan had the lone goal for the Rangers.
Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad scored for the Senators in regulation. Anderson stopped all 21 shots he faced before being replaced by Bishop, who allowed two goals on 13 shots.
Callahan and Ryan McDonagh scored 51 seconds apart in the third period for the Rangers. Lundqvist made 35 saves.
BLUE JACKETS 3, RED WINGS 2
DETROIT (AP) — Vinny Prospal scored with 24.7 seconds left, capping a comeback that lifted Columbus over Detroit.
Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula scored in the first 2-plus minutes of the game to put the Red Wings ahead by two, a cushion they wasted for a third time during their five-game losing streak.
R.J. Umberger’s power-play goal a couple of minutes after Detroit took its two-goal lead pulled Columbus within one. Derek Dorsett tied it in the third period for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
The game took a frightening turn early in the second period when Columbus center Artem Anisimov was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being struck in the head by Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey. Anisimov was alert and able to move when he was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
Detroit scored on its first and third shots against Sergei Bobrovsky, who bounced back to finish with 28 saves.
Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots for the Red Wings.
MAPLE LEAFS 3, SABRES 1
TORONTO (AP) — James van Riemsdyk scored two goals to lead Toronto past Buffalo, spoiling the NHL head coaching debut of the Sabres’ Ron Rolston.
Rolston, who until Wednesday was the head coach of the AHL’s Rochester Americans, was hired as the Sabres interim coach following the club’s decision to fire Lindy Ruff. Ruff had been behind the club’s bench since 1997 and was the NHL’s longest-tenured head coach.
The Sabres, who have dropped three straight and five of six, were booed off the ice following Tuesday’s loss to Winnipeg.
Van Riemsdyk’s power-play goal at 14:28 of the third — his team-leading 11th — gave Toronto breathing room after goalie Ryan Miller stopped him with a glove save earlier in the advantage.
Dion Phaneuf also scored for Toronto, which won its third straight home game. Ben Scrivens stopped 31 shots for his third win in five starts since James Reimer’s knee injury Feb. 11.
Tyler Ennis scored for Buffalo.
ISLANDERS 4, CANADIENS 3, OT
MONTREAL (AP) — Rookie defenseman Thomas Hickey scored in overtime for his first NHL goal, and the New York Islanders rallied to snap Montreal’s six-game winning streak.
Matt Moulson scored twice and Frans Nielsen added a goal in the third period for the Islanders (7-9-1), who trailed 2-0 and 3-1 but came back to end a two-game slide and win for the third time in 10 games.
Max Pacioretty had two goals, and Travis Moen added one for the Canadiens (11-5-2). After going his first 10 games without a goal, Pacioretty has four in three games.
JETS 4, HURRICANES 3
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Blake Wheeler scored his second goal of the game with 4:54 remaining to lift Winnipeg over Carolina.
Wheeler’s goal concluded a stretch in which the teams scored three goals in a span of 1:03.
Jiri Tlutsy scored twice for Carolina, and Jordan Staal also scored for the Hurricanes. Cam Ward made 19 saves.
Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane also scored for Winnipeg, and Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves. Ladd also had two assists.
The Jets have won the first two games of a five-game trip after losing three in a row at home.
Carolina has lost two in a row after a 5-0-1 run.
Earlier Thursday, Jets rookie defenseman Zach Redmond had surgery to repair a laceration to an artery in his right leg after a teammate accidentally stepped on him during the morning skate.
MARANA, Ariz. — Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods knocked out in the first round of the Match Play Championship? Not many would have given that a snowball’s chance in the desert.
Almost as surprising as the freakish snowstorm on Dove Mountain was the sight of golf’s two biggest stars heading to the airport, only the second time in the 15-year history of this wild tournament that No. 1 and No. 2 didn’t last more than a day.
Shane Lowry of Ireland chipped in twice and drilled a fairway metal to 3 feet to seize control, and then knocked out McIlroy with a bunker shot to 4 feet to save par on the final hole. Just as the shock was wearing off, Charles Howell III came up with the kind of shots he’s used to seeing Woods make in the clutch — a wedge that stopped inches from the cup on the 15th hole, and a 25-foot birdie on the 16th that carried him to a 2-and-1 victory.
“It’s definitely a day I’m going to remember," said Lowry, the third player in the past four years to eliminate the No. 1 seed in the opening round.
“I had nothing to lose," Howell said.
The biggest loser Thursday might have been NBC Sports, which lost the two biggest draws.
Not even Phil Mickelson can save the day. He’s not playing this year.
Howell had not faced Woods in match play since he was 17 and lost to him in the third round of the 1996 U.S. Amateur. He said he had never beaten him even in the dozens of casual games they played over the years at Isleworth before Woods moved away to south Florida.
What a time to change that losing streak.
Howell, who qualified for this World Golf Championship for the first time in five years, played a fabulous round in cold conditions. They matched scores 10 times in 14 holes before Howell came through with back-to-back birdies.
“In this format, match play is crazy," Howell said. “He’s Tiger Woods. I was lucky to hang in there."
The final matches were played in near darkness, and they could have stopped after 15 holes. Woods wanted to play on, even though Howell had the momentum. Woods was 2 under for the day, and neither of them made a bogey.
“We both played well," Woods said. “He made a couple of more birdies than I did. He played well, and he’s advancing."
McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the world, built a 2-up lead early in the match until Lowry rallied and grabbed the momentum by chipping in for birdie on the par-5 11th to avoid falling behind, chipping in from behind the 12th green for birdie and then ripping a fairway metal to within a few feet for a conceded eagle on the 13th to go 2 up.
Lowry missed a short par putt on the 14th, only for McIlroy to give away the next hole with a tee shot into the desert and a bunker shot that flew over the 15th green and into a cactus. But the two-time major champion hung tough, coming up with a clutch birdie on the 16th to stay in the game.
McIlroy nearly holed his bunker on the 18th, and Lowry followed with a steady shot out to 4 feet and calmly sank the putt.
In another event on Thursday:
Lewis leads LPGA Thailand at 9 under
CHONBURI, Thailand — Stacy Lewis shot a 9-under 63 in the first round to take a three-stroke lead at the LPGA Thailand. The American had an eagle on the par-4 third hole, then added four more birdies on the front nine at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course. She had two more birdies before a bogey at No. 16. The 2012 LPGA Tour player of the year then birdied the last two holes to finish three strokes ahead of Karine Icher (66).