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Brayden McNabb #81, Brad Boyes #22 and Luke Adam #72 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate McNabb's first NHL goal in the first period against the Washington Capitals at First Niagara Center on December 26, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) (Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Brayden McNabb #81, Brad Boyes #22 and Luke Adam #72 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate McNabb's first NHL goal in the first period against the Washington Capitals at First Niagara Center on December 26, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) (Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

NHL Roundup: Sabres power past Caps Add to ...

SABRES 4, CAPITALS 2

Buffalo, N.Y. — Brayden McNabb capped Buffalo's four-goal first period with his first NHL goal and the Sabres cruised to a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Monday night.

Jason Pominville, Matt Ellis and Christian Ehrhoff also scored in the first period for the Sabres, who snapped a three-game skid to improve to 4-6-2 in their last 12 games.

Ryan Miller, making his sixth straight start, finished with 20 saves.

Matt Hendricks and Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington, which fell to 1-2-1 in its last four.

Michal Neuvirth started for the fifth straight time, but was pulled midway through the first period after allowing three goals on six shots. He was replaced by Tomas Vokoun, who allowed one goal on 17 shots.

RANGERS 3, ISLANDERS 0

New York — Carl Hagelin scored twice for his second multi-goal game in the NHL, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 28 shots he faced as the New York Rangers beat the New York Islanders 3-0 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Hagelin, in just his 16th NHL game, scored in the second and third periods for the surging Rangers (22-8-4) — the Atlantic Division leaders, who leapfrogged defending Stanley Cup champion Boston into first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers finished a 3-0 homestand that included a pair of victories over the Islanders in a five-day span. New York's past four victories have been against division rivals. The Rangers begin a three-game trip at Washington on Wednesday that will conclude with the outdoor Winter Classic in Philadelphia next Monday.



HURRICANES 4, DEVILS 2



Raleigh, N.C. — Brandon Sutter scored a short-handed goal and was credited with a bizarre empty-netter, leading the Carolina Hurricanes past the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Monday night.



Tuomo Ruutu and Anthony Stewart scored in the second period, and Tim Gleason and Tim Brent each had two assists for the Hurricanes.



Sutter's empty-net goal came at the end of a strange sequence. Ilya Kovalchuk's errant pass for Adam Henrique from the end line wound up going the length of the ice and into an empty net with 29.4 seconds left.



Cam Ward finished with 23 saves for Carolina, which is in last place in the Southeast Division but has earned points in six of eight games.





AVALANCHE 4, WILD 2

St. Paul, Minn. — Jan Hejda scored the go-ahead goal at 10:20 of the third period and the Colorado Avalanche snapped a nine-game road losing skid, beating the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Monday night.

Colorado won on the road for the first time since Oct. 22 and extended Minnesota's winless streak to seven games.

Ryan O'Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog and TJ Galiardi also scored for Colorado (19-17-1).

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Wild (20-12-5). Team captain and leading scorer Mikko Koivu returned after missing the last four games with a leg injury and had an assist.

BLACKHAWKS 4, BLUE JACKETS 1

Chicago — Viktor Stalberg scored two goals, Corey Crawford made 37 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Monday night.



Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Sharp also connected for the Blackhawks, who are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games and lead the NHL with 50 points.



Crawford lost a bid for his first shutout this season when Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski scored at 3:09 of the third period. Crawford was sharp, especially early on, in his second straight start following a string of six consecutive starts by backup Ray Emery.



Steve Mason blocked 18 shots for Columbus, which lost its fifth straight and has yet to win in regulation on the road this season. The Blue Jackets have a league-worst 22 points.

KINGS 4, COYOTES 3



Los Angeles — Willie Mitchell scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Los Angeles Kings broke their offensive slump to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 Monday night for their second victory under new coach Darryl Sutter.



Rob Scuderi, Brad Richardson and captain Dustin Brown also scored for the Kings, who scored at least three goals for the first time in 15 games since Nov. 22, ending the longest stretch of such low-scoring hockey in franchise history.



Mitchell and Brown both scored in the third period on stoppable shots against Phoenix's Jason LaBarbera, who made 25 saves before getting pulled from his third straight start in place of injured Mike Smith.



Raffi Torres scored two goals on exceptional plays by the Coyotes, and Daymond Langkow added a third-period goal in Phoenix's sixth loss in nine games.







RED WINGS 4, PREDATORS 1



Nashville, Tenn. — Valtteri Filppula scored a pair of goals to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Monday night.



Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary also scored for Detroit, which stopped a two-game skid. Jimmy Howard made 31 saves.



Jonathon Blum scored for the Predators, who have lost three of four.



The Predators held an 8-7 advantage in shots during the first period, but the Red Wings scored the only goal. Filppula fired a shot from high in the slot that beat goalie Pekka Rinne low to his right side at 10:57.



In the second period, the Red Wings scored two goals in 13 seconds.



Datsyuk scored on a wraparound as he squeezed the puck between the left post and Rinne at 12:52. The play was reviewed and the goal counted.





BLUES 5, STARS 3



St. Louis — Adam Cracknell scored the tiebreaking goal after being recalled from the minors earlier Monday and the Blues' slumping power play carried St. Louis to a 5-3 win over the Dallas Stars.



St. Louis, which won its sixth successive home game, improved to 7-1-1 in its last nine. The Blues are 15-3-4 under coach Ken Hitchcock, who took over for the fired Davis Payne on Nov. 6.



Dallas lost for the third time in eight games. The Stars had won the previous five games against St. Louis.



Chris Stewart scored twice for St. Louis including an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left.



Evgeny Grachev and Jason Arnott also tallied for the Blues, who improved to 14-3-1 at home.

CANUCKS 5, OILERS 3



Vancouver — Light-scoring forward Andrew Ebbett had a pair of goals to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-3 triumph over the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.



Ebbett, who came into the night with just one goal in seven games on the season, struck twice in the first period as the Canucks opened up a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. Vancouver cruised from there en route to its fourth victory in the last five games.



Daniel Sedin also scored in the opening period, Alex Burrows added a second-period shorthanded goal and Ryan Kesler struck in the third to pace the Canucks, who passed Minnesota to seize top spot in the Northwest Division.



Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth had second-period power-play goals for the Oilers, who fell short in the opener of a grueling seven-game road trip.



Corey Potter added a third-period goal in defeat.



Vancouver forward Dale Weise was given a charging major and a game misconduct after drilling Edmonton’s Alex Plante into the boards from behind near the midway point of the second period. Plante was helped off the ice and did not return.



With a report Reuters

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