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NHL roundup: Panthers earn 8th straight home win

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Frank Vatrano scored in his Florida Panthers debut, leading his new team to a franchise-record, eighth straight home victory, a 4-3 shootout decision over the New York Rangers on Saturday in Sunrise, Fla.

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck scored in the shootout for Florida. The Rangers had just one shootout score, from Mats Zuccarello.

Vatrano had been out due to an ankle injury since being acquired from the Boston Bruins on Feb. 22. However, his goal helped the Panthers improve to 15-3-1 overall since Jan. 30, making them the hottest team in the NHL during that span.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Jamie McGinn had goals for Florida, and goalie Roberto Luongo made 34 saves. Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes scored for the Rangers, and goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves, but New York lost its third game in a row.

Devils 3, Predators 2 (SO)

Brian Boyle scored once in regulation and netted the shootout winner in the fifth round, and Keith Kinkaid made 34 saves through regulation and overtime and just enough in the showdown as visiting New Jersey beat Nashville.

The loss snapped the Western Conference-leading Predators’ 10-game winning streak. The Devils won for just the second time in six games.

Boyle netted his second game-deciding shootout tally by ripping a top-shelf offering over the shoulder of Predators goalie Juuse Saros. The Devils nearly won in regulation but regrouped and had to kill a penalty in overtime.

Maple Leafs 5, Penguins 2

Nazem Kadri lit the lamp twice and Frederik Andersen made 38 saves as host Toronto snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over Pittsburgh.

Patrick Marleau, Mitchell Marner and Kasperi Kapanen also scored for Toronto, which had been outscored 17-10 during its 0-2-2 skid.

Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist scored for the Penguins while Tristan Jarry allowed four goals on 16 shots as Pittsburgh had its three-game winning streak halted. Casey DeSmith replaced Jarry and made nine saves.

Flyers 2, Jets 1

Claude Giroux and Andrew MacDonald each scored a goal to lift Philadelphia to a win over visiting Winnipeg.

Goaltender Petr Mrazek stopped 27 shots for the Flyers, who halted a five-game losing streak (0-4-1).

Patrik Laine scored his 40th goal of the season for the Jets, who had been red hot with four consecutive victories. The 19-year-old has scored at least one goal in 10 of the last 11 games and five games in a row. Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck had 33 saves in the loss.

Bruins 7, Blackhawks 4

David Pastrnak, Brian Gionta, Rick Nash and Sean Kuraly all lit the lamp in the third period to help Boston rally from a goal down to beat Chicago in Boston.

The win was the Bruins’ sixth in a row during a dominant homestand in which they outscored opponents 30-19. Boston became only the seventh team in NHL history to win all six games on a homestand. The Bruins also got two goals from David Krejci.

Pastrnak tied the game 4-4 just 6:23 into the final period before Gionta made it 5-4 at the 8:02 mark and Nash provided some insurance 9:18 into the period. An empty-netter for Kuraly with just over 21 seconds left sealed the result.

Golden Knights 2, Sabres 1 (SO)

Erik Haula scored the decisive goal in the fifth round of the shootout as Vegas edged host Buffalo.

Haula gave Vegas its 44th win when he lifted a wrist shot over Buffalo goaltender Robin Lehner’s glove side. David Perron also scored in the opening round of the shootout for the Golden Knights, who won for the third time beyond overtime.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Sam Reinhart and Jason Pominville in the shootout. Fleury made 31 saves in the first 65 minutes to move within one of becoming the 13th goaltender with 400 career wins.

Lightning 3, Canadiens 2 (SO)

Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov scored shootout goals against Antti Niemi to lift Tampa Bay past visiting Montreal.

Louis Domingue won his third straight start for the Lightning, registering 27 saves and stopping Artturi Lehkonen on Montreal’s last shootout attempt.

Tampa Bay won its fifth straight game and for the ninth time in 10 games, while Montreal lost its fourth straight.

Capitals 2, Sharks 0

Nicklas Backstrom scored late in the second period, and Lars Eller added another goal late in the third while goalie Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves as Washington shut out host San Jose.

The contest ended a three-game Western swing in which Washington simply could not find a lot of offense. The Capitals fell at Anaheim on Tuesday (4-0) and then lost to the Kings (3-1) on Thursday night.

Martin Jones made 24 saves for the Sharks.

Blues 7, Kings 2

Jake Allen made 38 saves and seven different players scored as the St. Louis offense broke out of a month-long slump in routing host Los Angeles.

The Blues led 2-0 after one period and 4-1 after two before adding two more goals in the first minute of the third period to put the finishing touches on a brutal day for Kings goalies Jonathan Quick and Jack Campbell. Then St. Louis added another goal for good measure.

The Blues snapped a two-game losing streak and won for just the second time in a month, using an early advantage to bury the Kings.

Avalanche 5, Coyotes 2

Mikko Rantanen collected a goal and two assists while Tyson Barrie, Blake Comeau and Carl Soderberg each netted one goal and one assist as Colorado cruised past Arizona in Denver.

Avalanche goalie Jonathan Bernier made 22 saves to earn the win, although he left early in the third period and was replaced by Semyon Varlamov the rest of the way as Colorado snapped a streak of three straight overtime losses.

Comeau (1:45), Barrie (2:41) and Soderberg (4:22) all scored for Colorado in the game’s first five minutes, with a goal from the Coyotes’ Christian Dvorak (2:14) sandwiched in the same time span.

–Field Level Media

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