Article

Montreal down Rangers, Ottawa edge Toronto

24 February 2013 07:20

Montreal maintained their lead atop the NHL's Eastern Conference after comfortably defeating the New York Rangers on Saturday.

The Canadiens ran out 3-0 victors thanks to second-period goals from Erik Cole, Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller - who each had an assist as well - while Carey Price registered his second shutout of the season after making 17 saves.

Adding salt to the Rangers' wounds was the possibility that they may have lost key defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi to injury.

The result was New York's third loss in a row and assured Montreal kept Ottawa at arm's length in the East after the Senators downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 for their fourth win in succession.

A Colin Greening wrist shot with 24 seconds remaining in the contest ensured a thrilling win for Ottawa who remain two points behind Montreal.

The New Jersey Devils blew a golden opportunity to overtake Pittsburgh in top spot of the Atlantic division after they were thumped by the lowly Washington Capitals 5-1 at the Verizon Center.

Scores were tied 1-1 at the final change before a four-goal third period from the Capitals guaranteed the stunning upset result and denied the Devils from grabbing second spot in the East.

Alex Ovechkin starred for Washington by scoring his first hat-trick in more than two years and lifted his side off the bottom of the East.

The St Louis Blues moved up to fourth position in the Western Conference after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.

Chris Stewart opened the scoring in the first period to give St Louis a 1-0 advantage at the first break before Columbus left wing Matt Calvert responded in the second to level things up 1-1 heading into the final stanza.

A snap shot from David Perron midway through the third period was enough to give St Louis the win and end a five-match losing streak at home.

In other results, Minnesota Wild defeated Calgary 3-1, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-3, the Edmonton Oilers claimed a 3-2 shootout win over Phoenix and the Los Angeles Kings thumped Colorado 4-1.

Elsewhere, the New York Islanders thrashed the Buffalo Sabres 4-0, Tampa Bay were too good for the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2, Detroit shutout the Nashville Predators 4-0 and Dallas defeated San Jose 3-1.

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