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WASHINGTON (AP) — Tom Wilson missed Washington’s first 16 games due to a suspension for an illegal check. In the five games since his return Mikko Rantanen Jersey , Wilson has shown just how valuable he is to the Capitals.Wilson scored 54 seconds into the contest to set the pace and Washington defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 Wednesday night for its first three-game winning streak of the season.Andre Burakovsky, Michal Kempny and Devante Smith-Pelly added goals for the defending Stanley Cup champions.This win was easier for the Capitals, whose previous two victories came in overtime. Braden Holtby stopped 37 shots for Washington.Wilson was originally suspended for 20 games for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist in the teams’ preseason finale. That suspension was reduced to 14 games by a neutral arbitrator, but by the time the decision was rendered, Wilson had already missed 16 games.Had the 20-game suspension stood, this would have been Wilson’s first game. Instead, it was his first home game, and he got a loud reception.Wilson, who scored in his first game, upended Chicago goalie Corey Crawford on the way to the goal. Crawford stopped 23 shots. In his previous three games, he’d allowed just two goals.“Sometimes when you have to watch some games for a while Nathan MacKinnon Jersey , you pick up some different things you can add,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said.“He’s played great since he’s been back, and we’re fortunate to get him back earlier than expected.”Washington has had an uneven start in its defense of the Cup. With Wilson’s suspension and injuries to key players, they’re hoping to get on a roll now.“We’re demanding of each other to get back there,” Wilson said of the team’s quest for back-to-back Stanley Cups.“There was adversity at the beginning of last year,” he said. “That’s how you build a team.”Burakovsky knows how difficult the Capitals’ task is.“Obviously, it was a shorter summer for us and a shorter time to prepare ourselves for the season,” Burakovsky said. “So, just to get back after a year that we had, I think it’s tough to get in and get going right away. So, we’re building our game slowly and tonight I think we did exactly what we wanted.”Brandon Saad and Erik Gustafsson scored for Chicago Authentic Alexander Wennberg Jersey , which began a streak of seven road games in its next nine contests.Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton replaced longtime coach Joel Queeneville on Nov. 6, and the team is 2-3-2 since. Chicago has lost eight straight games in Washington.“I thought the effort was there and we looked like we were going to climb back into it multiple times during the game,” Colliton said. “Some self-inflicted wounds there that made it difficult on the road against a cup winner. That’s kind of the story today.”Kempny whose goal midway through the second period gave Washington a 3-0 lead, was happy his first goal of the season came against his former team.“It feels really nice,” Kempny said. I have to say, it wasn’t an easy game for me to play. I know a lot of guys from Chicago. I was there almost two seasons. . It feels a little bit weird. The first period I was really excited from the game. After the first I was trying a little bit to settle down and keep playing my game and help my team to win.”NOTES: Washington forwards Evegeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie were out with upper body injuries for the third straight game. . Forwards Luke Johnson, Chris Kunitz and D Brandon Manning were all healthy scratches for Chicago for the second straight game. . Capitals F Alex Oveckhin was penalized for slashing in the second period, just his fourth penalty in 21 games. … Washington F Jakub Vrana had two assists, Oveckhin had one.UP NEXT:Blackhawks: Visit Tampa Bay in the second game of a three-game road trip on Friday.Capitals: Host Detroit on Friday afternoon. NEW YORK (AP) James Reimer has been coming up big for the surging Panthers the last six weeks. His latest effort was his second shutout this month and it helped Florida move closer to a playoff spot.Reimer stopped 32 shots for his fifth straight win as the Panthers beat the reeling New York Islanders 3-0 Monday night.”I just tried to be big in there and try to read the puck as best as I could and be on it,” Reimer said. ”And then rely on your D-men to clear any garbage, and they did a great job.”It was the backup goalie’s fourth shutout this season and 21st of his career Los Angeles Kings T-Shirts Womens , improving his record to 7-1-0 since returning from an injury Feb. 12.”Reims has answered the bell every time,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. ”This is the part of the season you need guys stepping up and he’s been one of our guys that’s stepped up for us. … His preparation is real good and you can see he was focused right from the drop of the puck tonight, made some big saves.”Evgenii Dadonov and Keith Yandle each had a goal and an assist, and Nick Bjugstad also scored to help Florida win for the 13th time in 17 games (13-3-1).The Panthers moved within one point of idle New Jersey for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. They have eight games remaining, one more than the Devils, over the final 13 days of the season.”I really haven’t been paying much attention to what’s going on with the Devils and those other teams, but obviously we know it’s tight and you can’t afford to lose at this point,” Bjugstad said. ”There’s not much breathing room here at the end of the year. … We’ve got a tough schedule coming up here, a lot of games, but it’s going to be a fun challenge.”Christopher Gibson finished with 38 saves for the Islanders, who were eliminated from postseason contention for the second straight year with their 14th loss in 16 games (2-10-4).”It’s tough Sam Reinhart Jersey ,” coach Doug Weight said. ”It’s tough for us, and it’s not good enough. It’s tough for the fans, it’s tough for everybody involved. All we can say is we’re going to be better. … I think we have the ingredients and we have the drive and we’re going to work at it.”Leading 1-0 after one period, Florida pulled away with two goals in the second while outshooting New York 19-11.After Islanders rookie Mathew Barzal was given a double-minor for high-sticking Vincent Trochek 1:24 into the middle period, Florida took advantage just 23 seconds later. Bjugstad got a pass from Jamie McGinn, skated into the right circle and fired the puck past Gibson for his 18th goal.Dadonov made it 3-0 at 6:09 as he sent a pass from the left side boards toward the net for a streaking Bjugstad, but the puck deflected off the skate of Islanders defenseman Brandon Davidson and past Gibson. It was Dadonov’s 24th goal of the season, and ninth goal and 21st point in his last 17 games.The Panthers outshot the Islanders 16-10 in the first period, with both teams getting solid chances.Gibson denied Derek MacKenzie in front 3 1/2 minutes in, and then stopped MacKenzie Weeger’s shot from the left circle and Maxim Mamim’s follow attempt on the rebound in front a little more than two minutes later.The Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck hit a post 2 1/2 minutes in. Reimer also turned away Andrew Ladd’s tip attempt in front 4 1/2 minutes in, Anders Lee’s backhand two minutes later Zemgus Girgensons Jersey , and two tries in close by John Tavares shortly after that.Reimer acknowledged that being in the thick of the playoff race has helped elevate his game.”When it’s going like this you just come to the rink ready to go,” he said. ”You’re excited to play, every game means something, and those are the fun games to play.”Yandle got the Panthers on the scoreboard with 8:22 left in the opening period as he sent a long wrist shot from between the circles in front of the blue line past Gibson’s glove side for his eighth.NOTES: Aleksander Barkov had an assist on Yandle’s goal, giving him 15 assists and 21 points in his last 17 games. He is one away from becoming the first Panthers player with 50 assists since Olli Jokinen had 52 in 2006-07. … The Panthers improved to 10-3-1 this month, tying the franchise record for wins and points (21) in March set in 2006. Florida has three more games remaining this month. … Florida is 20-6-1 in its last 27 games. …. The Panthers improved to 26-1-0 when leading after two periods. … Tavares snapped a five-game point streak in which he had two goals and seven assists.UP NEXTPanthers: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night in the second of a four-game trip.Islanders: At the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.—Follow Vin Cherwoo at

Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:20 am
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