Dallas Stars beat Nashville Predators 5-1 to extend Central Division lead


AP

DALLAS, Texas — Dallas extended its lead atop the NHL Central Division to nine points by beating Nashville 5-1 on Thursday, helped by rookie Mattias Janmark scoring his sixth December goal to break a tie late in the second period.

Tyler Seguin added two insurance goals in the third period for the Stars, who boosted their lead over St. Louis, who lost at home against Minnesota.

Third-placed Chicago closed in on St. Louis by winning in overtime at Colorado, while Washington missed a chance to broaden its already significant lead in the Metropolitan Division by losing at Carolina, ending a run on nine straight victories.

Dallas’ Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves also scored for the Stars, who moved one point ahead of East-leading Washington in the overall league standings.

The Stars kept up their record of not losing consecutive games all season, having dropped their previous game at Columbus.

Craig Smith briefly gave Nashville the lead in the second period.

Minnesota’s Erik Haula broke a personal 18-game scoring drought by putting the Wild ahead to stay en route to a 3-1 victory over St. Louis.

Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves while Nino Niederreiter and Thomas Vanek also scored to help the Wild start a four-game trip with just their sixth road win of the season.

Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues’ leading scorer, sat out the game with a stomach ailment. St. Louis had won seven of its previous eight home games against Minnesota.

Carolina’s Eric Staal scored the go-ahead goal in the first minute of the third period and the Hurricanes went on to beat Washington 4-2.

Phillip Di Giuseppe, Jeff Skinner and Andrej Nestrasil also scored, and Eddie Lack made 30 saves for the Hurricanes.

Alex Ovechkin had his 21st goal of the season for Washington, and Nicklas Backstrom also scored for the Capitals.

Chicago’s Jonathan Toews scored a power-play goal at 3:29 of overtime to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over Colorado.

Patrick Kane extended his NHL points lead with a goal and two assists while Artem Anisimov and Andrew Desjardins also scored for Chicago, which snapped a four-game losing skid against Colorado.

Carl Soderberg and Cody McLeod scored for Colorado and Erik Johnson netted to send the game to overtime and earn the Avalanche a point.

Los Angeles wrapped up a perfect four-game road trip with a 4-1 win at Calgary.

Leading 1-0, the Kings opened up a three-goal cushion early in the second period on goals 78 seconds apart.

Tyler Toffoli curled out from behind the goal and put a shot on net that the goalie stopped, but Milan Lucic swatted in the rebound.

Marian Gaborik, Andy Andreoff and Tanner Pearson, into an empty net, also scored for the Kings, who opened a 12-point lead over San Jose in the Pacific Division; their biggest division lead in franchise history.

Mark Giordano scored for Calgary.

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored goals 34 seconds apart in the third period to help lift the Penguins to a 5-2 win over Detroit.

New York’s Nikolay Kulemin scored for the third straight game as the Islanders defeated Buffalo 2-1.

Arizona’s Shane Doan scored twice and passed Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk for the franchise career goals record as the Coytes beat Winnipeg 4-2.

Anaheim goalie John Gibson made 21 saves for his second consecutive shutout, leading the Ducks to a 1-0 win against Edmonton.