Best of NHL: Capitals Crush Blackhawks to Push Win Streak to 8

WASHINGTON -- Jay Beagle scored twice to lead a balanced blowout for the Washington Capitals as they won their eighth consecutive game, beating the Chicago Blackhawks 6-0 Friday night in a matchup of the NHL's hottest teams.

Nicklas Backstrom, Brett Connolly, Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie also scored for Washington, which snapped Chicago's winning streak at four.

The Capitals have ended five different opposing win streaks of three games or more already in 2017 while playing their best hockey of the season.

Philadelphia Flyers

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With the victory, they reached 61 points and passed the Columbus Blue Jackets for the most in the league.

Braden Holtby stopped all 24 shots he faced and got the benefit of goaltender interference on Vinne Hinostroza's would-be goal for his fifth shutout in the past 14 games. The Vezina Trophy winner is 9-2-2 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .950 save percentage over that time (see full recap).

Tavares posts hat trick in Islanders' victory
SUNRISE, Fla. -- John Tavares scored three goals for his sixth career hat trick and the New York Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

Nick Leddy had a goal and two assists, and Jason Chimera also scored for the Islanders. Thomas Greiss made 26 saves.

Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Reilly Smith also scored for Florida, Keith Yandle added a pair of assists and Jaromir Jagr recorded his 1,138th NHL assist. Roberto Luongo stopped 37 shots.

Tavares' second goal gave the Islanders a 4-2 lead at 7:50 of the third for his 500th NHL point.

Tavares added an empty-net goal with 1:44 left for the hat trick (see full recap).

Maple Leafs ride hot start to win over Rangers
NEW YORK -- William Nylander and James van Riemsdyk scored in the first period, Frederik Andersen stopped 34 shots and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Rangers 4-2 on Friday night.

Connor Brown and Connor Carrick also scored to help the Maple Leafs win for the seventh time in nine games (7-1-1). Toronto moved four points behind Philadelphia for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Tyler Bozak and Mitch Marner had two assists each.

Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 23 saves. New York had won five of six overall, and four in row against Toronto.

Toronto, which came in sixth in the league on the power play at 22 percent, were 2 for 4 and held the Rangers to 0 for 6 (see full recap).

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