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NHL: Backes scores hat-trick as Blues top Leafs

Toronto: David Backes scored a hat-trick to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-3 victory over Toronto on Tuesday that sent the Maple Leafs to their sixth straight loss.

T.J. Oshie and former Leafs forward Alex Steen also scored for St. Louis, who passed Boston for the most points in the NHL with 105.

Joffrey Lupul, Carl Gunnarsson and James van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto, who dropped out of a playoff spot for the first time since January 14, coupled with Washington’s shootout loss to Los Angeles.

Phoenix goalie Thomas Greiss stopped 23 shots — including all 15 he faced over the final two periods — as the Coyotes edged the sloppy Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2.

David Moss, Antoine Vermette and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Coyotes, who never trailed, while picking up two vital points in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Jussi Jokinen and Taylor Pyatt scored for Pittsburgh.

At Washington, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter scored in the shootout as the Los Angeles Kings came back after allowing Alex Ovechkin’s two early power-play goals to beat the Capitals 5-4.

The shootout score was 2-0, because Kings goalie Jonathan Quick caught Eric Fehr’s attempt, after rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov whiffed on his opening shot for Washington.

Kuznetsov had levelled the game with 41.5 seconds left in regulation with his first NHL goal.

Mike Richards, Dwight King, Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings in regulation.

The New York Islanders edged the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 after Colin McDonald had two goals and an assist, and Matt Martin also scored twice.

McDonald scored both of his goals in New York’s four-goal first period. Cal Clutterbuck and Martin also scored in the burst that produced four goals in a span of 7:15.

Andrei Loktionov had a goal and an assist, Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin each scored power-play goals, and Nathan Gerbe added a goal for Carolina.

Carey Price made 24 saves and Max Pacioretty and Daniel Briere scored third-period goals for Montreal as Canadiens earned a 2-0 victory against the Buffalo Sabres.

Pacioretty’s goal was the 100th of his career as Montreal extended their winning streak to three and won for the sixth time in seven games.

Florida’s Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri scored in a shootout to lift the Panthers past the Ottawa Senators 3-2, while Cam Atkinson scored a goal confirmed by video replay in the third period to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Detroit Red Wings 4-2.

In other games, the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Dallas Stars 4-2, the Colorado Avalanche edged the Nashville Predators 5-4 and the San Jose Sharks were 5-2 winners over the Edmonton Oilers.


St. Louis 5 TORONTO 3

Phoenix 3 PITTSBURGH 2

Los Angeles 5 WASHINGTON 4

NY Islanders 5 CAROLINA 4

MONTREAL 2 Buffalo 0

FLORIDA 3 Ottawa 2

COLUMBUS 4 Detroit 2

CHICAGO 4 Dallas 2

Colorado 5 NASHVILLE 4

San Jose 5 EDMONTON 2

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