CAPITALS BEAT KINGS AT HOME, 5-0
T.J. Oshie scored his 20th goal of the season and Philipp Grubauer made a season-high 38 saves as the League-leading Capitals earned their ninth consecutive home victory and improved to 21-5-1 at Verizon Center this season.
Washington (36-11-6, 78 points), who have recorded four shutouts and outscored opponents 45-12 during their home win streak, also extended their home point streak to 11 games (10-0-1). They hold a seven-point cushion atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Grubauer recorded his third shutout of the season to improve to 10-3-2 in 15 appearances this season (1.98 GAA, .931 SV%). He had a 15-15-6 record in his first 42 career outings before this season.
In other NHL news . . .
RANGERS EMERGE IN WILD THIRD PERIOD
The Rangers scored three times during a five-goal third period – including the game-winning goal by Jesper Fast – to improve to 5-2-0 in their last seven contests.
At 33-18-1 (67 points), the Rangers hold an eight-point lead on the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and sit four points back of second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Michael Grabner (1-1—2) scored his 23rd goal of the season, tops on the Rangers and tied for seventh in the League.
Chris Kreider scored for the third straight game to match his career-high with 21 goals this season (21-16—37 in 46 GP).
KINGS' BUDAJ NAMED NHL THREE STAR
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Peter Budaj, Carolina Hurricanes right wing Sebastian Aho, and Minnesota Wild center Mikael Granlund have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 5.
Budaj went 3-1-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and two shutouts as the Kings, who hold the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, improved to 27-22-4 (58 points). Budaj opened the week by stopping 30 shots in a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Jan.31. He then recorded consecutive shutouts in a 5-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 1 (22 saves) and a 1-0 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 4 (17 saves). He finished the week by stopping 11 shots over two periods as the Kings fell 5-0 to the Washington Capitals on Feb. 5.
Budaj, a 34-year-old Banska Bystrica, Slovakia native has posted a 25-15-3 record this season with a 2.02 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and a League-leading seven shutouts.
SEBASTIAN AHO, RW, CAROLINA HURRICANES
Aho tied for the League lead with four goals (4-1—5) including two game-winning tallies as the Hurricanes (24-20-7, 55 points) won all three of their games. On Jan. 31, Aho recorded his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, and added one assist in a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. He added another game-winning goal in a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 3 before being held pointless in a 5-4 overtime victory over the New York Islanders on Feb. 4. Chosen 35th overall by Carolina in the 2015 NHL Draft, the 19-year-old Rauma, Finland native ranks third among rookies with 16 goals and tied for sixth with 31 points (16-15—31).
MIKAEL GRANLUND, C, MINNESOTA WILD
Granlund finished the week tied for first in points with 3-3—6 as the Western Conference-leading Wild (34-12-5, 73 points) won two of three contests. On Jan. 31, Granlund recorded one assist in a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers and on Feb. 1, he registered one assist in a 5-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. Granlund closed out the week by recording his first career hat trick and added one assist in a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 4. In his fifth NHL season, all with Minnesota, the 24-year-old Oulu, Finland native leads the Wild with 48 points (15-33—48) and is riding a franchise-best 12 game point streak (5-12—17), the longest such run in the NHL this season.
KINGS PLACE JORDAN NOLAN ON INJURED RESERVE
The Los Angeles Kings have placed forward Jordan Nolan on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 1, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced.
The 6-3, 219-pound native of Garden River, First Nation, Ontario has appeared in 41 games this season with the Kings, recording eight points (4-4=8) and 44 penalty minutes. He missed the last game due to an undisclosed injury.
Drafted in the seventh round (186th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Kings, Nolan has played in 287 career NHL games, collecting 42 points (20-22=42) and 264 penalty minutes.
SUNDAY’S RESULTS (Home Team in Caps)
WASHINGTON 5, Los Angeles 0
Edmonton 1, MONTREAL 0 (SO)
NY RANGERS 4, Calgary 3
MONDAY’S ACTION (All Times Eastern)
Buffalo @ New Jersey, 7 p.m., MSG+, MSG-B
Toronto @ NY Islanders, 7 p.m., SN, MSG+ 2
St. Louis @ Philadelphia, 7 p.m., TVAS, NBCSN, CSN-PH
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services