Martin Necas lifts returning Hurricanes past Lightning, 1-0 in OT

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Martin Necas beat Andrei Vasilevskiy at 1:12 of overtime and Carolina beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 on Thursday night in the Hurricanes’ return from a pause due to COVID-19 concerns.

Necas scored off a perfect feed from Jordan Staal on the left side, charging in to put the puck past Vasilevskiy’s attempted save. That came after both Vasilevskiy and Carolina’s Petr Mrazek stopped everything that came their way through three periods.

Vasilevskiy made 34 saves, and Mrazek had 32.

The Hurricanes had played just three games before having to shut down workouts and postpone four games due to COVID-19 protocols, the first coming nine days ago. Carolina ultimately had six players go on the NHL’s daily unavailability list, with Staal returning in time to play this game but five others — including forward Teuvo Teravainen and defenceman Jaccob Slavin — still sidelined.

CAPITALS 6, ISLANDERS 3

WASHINGTON (AP) — Zdeno Chara scored for the first time with his new team to cap a five-goal second period, and Washington came back to stun New York.

The Islanders led 3-0 before Washington scored four goals in 5:09. Conor Sheary scored his first two with the Capitals, Garnet Hathaway tied it and John Carlson gave them the lead on the power play.

Then Chara’s slapper from just inside the blue line beat Semyon Varlamov clean, making it five straight goals in under 10 minutes. The 43-year-old former Boston Bruins captain was mobbed by teammates at the bench.

Vitek Vanecek made 27 saves, and Tom Wilson scored an empty-netter.

Oliver Wahlstrom, Casey Cizikas and Anders Lee scored for New York.

CANADIENS 4, FLAMES 2

MONTREAL (AP) — Carey Price made 23 saves, Brendan Gallagher, Shea Weber, Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli scored and unbeaten Montreal beat the Flames in the Canadiens’ home opener.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jonathan Drouin each had two assists to help the Canadiens improve to 5-0-2.

Sam Bennett ended Price’s shutout bid with 1:18 left. Rasmus Andersson added a second power-play goal with 22.7 seconds to play.

The teams will meet again Saturday night in Montreal.

BRUINS 4, PENGUINS 1

BOSTON (AP) — Anders Bjork’s pass deflected off a defender’s rear end and Sean Kuraly’s leg to break a second-period tie in Boston's victory over Pittsburgh.

Patrice Bergeron had two goals and Chris Wagner also scored to help Boston win its fourth straight. Jaroslav Halak stopped 16 shots for the Bruins’ second victory over Pittsburgh in three days.

Cody Ceci scored for Pittsburgh.

FLYERS 3, DEVILS 1

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Carter Hart made 33 saves and fourth-line forward Michael Raffl scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period in Philadelphia's victory over New Jersey.

Captain Claude Giroux scored his first of the year and defenceman Nate Prosser had his first since April 2018 to help the Flyers sweep the two-game series in New Jersey.

Damon Severson scored for New Jersey.

RANGERS 3, SABRES 2, OT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — No. 1 draft pick Alexis Lafreniere scored his first goal 2:47 into overtime to lift New York past Buffalo.

Artemi Panarin had a goal and set up Ryan Strome’s goal, and the Rangers snapped an 0-3-1 skid to win for just the second time this season.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 23 shots for his first win since taking over the starting duties following Henrik Lunqvist’s off-season departure.

Sam Reinhart had a goal and assist and Jack Eichel also scored for Buffalo.

BLUE JACKETS 3, PANTHERS 2, SO

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Alexandre Texier slickly beat Chris Driedger in the fourth round of a shootout to help Columbus beat Florida.

Texier skated slowly in on Chris Driedger and poked the puck between his pads with the back of his stick. Columbus’ Elvis Merzlikins sealed it by denying Patric Hornqvist, who scored the winning goal in a shootout between the teams Tuesday night.

Florida’s Eetu Luostarinen tied it in the third period, and Carter Verhaeghe also had a goal for the Panthers. Driedger finished with 29 saves.

Mikko Koivu and Max Domi scored, and Merzlikins had 33 saves for Columbus.

The Associated Press