Matthews scores 15th, 16th to pad NHL lead, Maple Leafs roll

By The Associated Press

TORONTO — Auston Matthews scored his 15th and 16th goals to pad his NHL lead and had two assists to help the league-leading Toronto Maple Leafs thump the last-place Ottawa Senators 7-3 on Thursday night.

Matthews has scored those 16 goals in just 17 games played, and has scored 15 times in his last 13 contests.

Toronto beat Ottawa for the second straight night after blowing a 5-1 lead in a 6-5 overtime loss in the series opener Monday night.

Mitch Marner had a goal and three assists, Joe Thornton a goal and two assists, William Nylander a goal and an assist, and John Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev also scored.

Michael Hutchinson made 34 saves for Toronto in place of No. 1 goalie Frederik Andersen, who had started 10 straight with Jack Campbell sidelined because of a leg injury. Joseph Woll backed up Hutchinson as the North Division leaders gave Andersen a break from having to dress.

Tim Stutzle had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, and Connor Brown and Drake Batherson also scored.

Marcus Hogberg allowed a goal on five shots before leaving the game with a lower-body injury midway through the first period. Matt Murray made 20 saves in relief.

Blues 3, Sharks 2, OT

ST. LOUIS — Brayden Schenn tied it late in the third period and David Perron scored on a power play in overtime in St. Louis’ victory over San Jose.

Mike Hoffman also scored, and Jordan Binnington made 29 saves for the Blues, coming off a record seven straight games against the Arizona Coyotes.

Noah Gregor and John Leonard scored, and Martin Jones made 38 saves for the Sharks.

Perron ended it with a minute left in overtime, beating Jones through the legs on a one-timer off a feed from Hoffman. Perron also had two assists.

With Binnington pulled for an extra attacker, Schenn capitalized on a rebound off Hoffman’ shot to tie it with 39.2 seconds left in the third.

Penguins 4, Islanders 1

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby scored his sixth goal of the season, Tristan Jarry stopped 31 shots and Pittsburgh held off New York.

Teddy Blueger, Jason Zucker and Bryan Rust also scored for the Penguins. Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves for New York, and Brock Nelson scored late.

Devils 3, Bruins 2

BOSTON — Kyle Palmieri scored two goals, one of them short-handed, to lead new Jersey past Boston for the Devils’ second straight victory since returning from a two-week COVID-19 pause.

Pavel Zacha scored for the second consecutive game for the Devils, who had their first seven games in February postponed, with a total of 19 players added to the NHL’s COVID-19 list. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 25 shots for New Jersey.

Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy scored for Boston.

Rangers 3, Flyers 2, SO

PHILADELPHIA — Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin scored in the shootout to lift New York past Philadelphia.

Colin Blackwell and Brendan Smith scored in regulation to help the Rangers snap a four-game skid.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Joel Farabee scored for the Flyers. They were playing for the first time since Feb. 7 because of COVID-19. Philadelphia was without six players who are still in the COVID-19 health and safety protocol, including captain Claude Giroux, whose streak of playing in 328 consecutive games ended.

With goalie Carter Hart pulled for an extra skater, Philadelphia tied it with 1:14 left in regulation on Farabee’s seventh of the season. Sean Couturier had Philadelphia’s lone goal in the shootout.

Capitals 3, Sabres 1

WASHINGTON — Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Conor Sheary scored, Vitek Vanecek made 22 saves and Washington beat Buffalo for its second consecutive victory.

Backstrom’s goal came on the power play in the first period, Wilson’s short-handed in the second and Sheary at even strength in the third.

Victor Olofsson had a power-play goal for Buffalo.

Kings 3, Coyotes 2, SO

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Gabriel Vilardi scored in the fourth round of a shootout, Jonathan Quick stopped 20 shots and Los Angeles beat Arizona.

Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter scored for Los Angeles in the first period, and Phil Kessel and Conor Garland’ countered for Arizona in the second. Darcy Kuemper made 27 saves for the Coyotes.

The Coyotes were glad to see someone else across the ice after playing St. Louis in the first seven-game, regular-season series in NHL or NBA history. Arizona took that series 4-3, closing out Monday’s seventh game with a 1-0 victory behind Kuemper.

The Kings and Coyotes will finish the two-game series in the desert Saturday.

Blue Jackets 3, Predators 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Elvis Merzlikins made 32 saves in his first start since coming off injured reserve, Cam Atkinson scored his team-leading seventh goal and Columbus beat Nashville.

Merzlikins had his sixth career shutout. He hadn’t started since Jan. 31 because of an upper-body injury.

Max Domi and Eric Robinson also scored for the Blue Jackets.

Wild 3, Ducks 1

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala scored 38 seconds apart in the first period, Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 16 shots and Minnesota beat Anaheim.

Marcus Foligno added a power-play goal for the Wild, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Minnesota played its second game since a two-week pause because of COVID-19 protocols.

Sam Steel scored for Anaheim.

By Paul Wager