Saturday, December 12, 2015
The Washington Capitals currently have a three-point lead in the NHL's Metropolitan Division, and they remain within one point of the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Canadiens.
Braden Holtby made 14 of his 35 saves in the third period to secure the Caps' 2-1 triumph at Tampa Bay on Saturday. Holtby improved to 18-4-1 by backstopping the Capitals' eighth victory in 10 games.
The Canadiens stayed ahead of Washington in the conference race and stretched their lead in the Atlantic Division to five points over Detroit by defeating Ottawa 3-1. Goals by Brian Flynn, Max Pacioretty and Jeff Petry helped the Habs halt a four-game losing streak.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
- Jake Allen picked up his fourth shutout of the season by stopping 26 shots in the Blues' 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars in St. Louis. David Backes had a goal and an assist in the Blues' second victory in six games.
- Los Angeles had won six straight before Ryan O'Reilly tallied 3:19 into overtime to lift Buffalo past the Kings 2-1. O'Reilly also assisted on Jamie McGinn's power-play goal as the Sabres won for just the fourth time in their last 14 games.
- Kyle Okposo capped his two-goal, three-point night by scoring at 2:16 of overtime to give the New York Islanders a 3-2 victory at Columbus. The Islanders improved to 7-0-2 in their last nine games, but only after the Blue Jackets had a potential game-winning goal disallowed in the final minute of regulation.
- Ryan Spooner scored twice and Tuukka Rask stopped 26 shots as Boston won for the eighth time in 11 games, downing Florida 3-1. Rask improved to 6-0-2 in his last eight starts.
- Colorado blew a 2-0 lead before Andreas Martinsen scored midway through the third period to send the Avalanche past Nashville 3-2. Francois Beauchemin had a goal and an assist to back Semyon Varlamov, who finished with 34 saves.
Mike Johnston has been fired as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's being replaced by Mike Sullivan, who was head coach of the Boston Bruins from 2003-06 and was serving as the coach of Pittsburgh's affiliate in the American Hockey League.
General manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement the Penguins, who feature former MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, have underachieved.
Johnston went 58-37-15 during his brief stint with Pittsburgh.
Defenceman Spencer Abraham had the shootout winner as an all-star team from Canadian Interuniversity Sport upset Canada 5-4 in an exhibition game at Canada's world junior selection camp. Julien Gauthier had a power-play goal and two assists in regulation time for Canada. Leafs prospect Travis Dermott, Mitchell Stephens and Anthony Beauvillier also scored.
Alabama Derrick Henry has won the Heisman Trophy, becoming just the third running back to take the college football player of the year award in the last 16 years. The six-foot-three, 242-pound Henry is the second Alabama player to win the Heisman, joining 2009 winner Mark Ingram.
Blake Griffin and J-J Redick each scored 21 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers ended a seven-game, road losing streak against the Brooklyn Nets with a 105-100 victory. Chris Paul had 15 points and 14 assists for the Clippers, who hadn't beaten the Nets on the road since December 11th, 2007, back when the Nets played in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Montreal lightweight John (The Bull) Makdessi lost a split decision to Yancy Medeiros on the UFC 194 undercard in Las Vegas. The judges scored it 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 for the Hawaiian, who knocked Makdessi down in the dying seconds of the 155-pound bout.