ST. PAUL, Minn. — Tom Wilson returned early from his player-safety suspension and scored a first-period goal, helping the Washington Capitals cool off Minnesota with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday night for the Wild’s first regulation loss at home.
Dmitry Orlov had his first two goals of the season and an assist, Andre Burakovsky and T.J. Oshie also scored and Pheonix Copley made 26 saves for the Capitals, whose four-game trip was jump-started in the morning by an arbitrator’s reduction of Wilson’s 20-game ban by six games to make him immediately eligible.
Mikko Koivu and Matt Dumba had goals for the Wild, who played at home for the first time in 17 days after a 5-2 finish on their franchise-record seven-game road swing. They fell to 5-1-2 at Xcel Energy Center, becoming the last team in the NHL to lose at home in regulation this season.
Wilson played right wing on the first line with captain Alex Ovechkin and centre Evgeny Kuznetsov. He just finished serving his fourth suspension in a little more than a year, this for a blind-side hit to the head of an opponent during a preseason game.
SABRES 2, LIGHTNING 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Carter Hutton stopped 30 shots and the Buffalo Sabres won their third straight game by beating Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay.
Jeff Skinner scored his team-leading 13th goal and Kyle Okposo also scored for Buffalo. Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu had two assists, and the Sabres improved to 10-6-2 for their best start since opening 11-7 in 2011-12.
Anthony Cirelli scored for the Lightning, who lost consecutive games for the first time since an 0-3 skid from March 24-29 last season.
RED WINGS 6, COYOTES 1
DETROIT (AP) — Defenceman Mike Green had a goal and two assists, and Detroit extended its winning streak to four games.
Andreas Athanasiou added a goal and an assist for the third straight game, and Anthony Mantha, defenceman Dennis Cholowski, Michael Rasmussen and Luke Glendening also scored for Detroit, which has won seven of its last eight to get back to .500 (8-8-2) after a 1-7-2 start. Jimmy Howard made 24 saves.
Lawson Crouse scored for Arizona. Darcy Kuemper stopped 12 shots and rookie Hunter Miska made eight saves in his NHL debut.
PANTHERS 2, FLYERS 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaron Ekblad and Evgenii Dadonov scored goals, Roberto Luongo made 29 saves and Florida beat Philadelphia for its fifth straight win.
Jakub Voracek had the lone goal for the Flyers, who had won three straight and five of six.
Both teams have rebounded nicely after struggling early in the season. The Panthers are 7-5-3, while the Flyers are 9-8-1.
Just eight seconds after Voracek tied the game, Luongo stoned him on a breakaway after Nolan Patrick won the face-off. Oskar Lindblom hit a post on a shot a few minutes later for Philadelphia.
ISLANDERS 5, CANUCKS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Kuhnhackl scored two goals to lead New York past Vancouver.
Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist and Josh Bailey also scored to help the Islanders end a three-game skid. Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each had two assists and Thomas Greiss stopped 22 shots as New York improved to 5-0-2 in the last seven meetings against Vancouver.
Brendan Leipsic had a goal and an assist, and Jake Virtanen also scored for the Canucks, who have lost two straight after a 4-0-2 stretch. Jacob Markstrom, starting for the ninth straight game with Anders Nilsson injured, finished with 29 saves.
DEVILS 4, PENGUINS 2
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Taylor Hall scored the game-winning goal on a breakaway at 8:07 of the third period and added an empty-net tally to lead New Jersey past struggling Pittsburgh.
Hall also had two assists, and Travis Zajac and Damon Severson each had a goal and an assist as the Devils snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Penguins for the second time in just over a week. Keith Kinkaid had 29 saves for New Jersey, which was returning home after a 1-6 trip.
Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel scored for the Penguins, who have one win in seven games (1-5-1). Casey DeSmith had 31 saves in his third straight start.
The Associated Press