Washington goalie Brent Johnson shut down the Eastern Conference's top offense, and Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexandre Giroux scored, leading the host Capitals to a 3-1 victory against the Boston Bruins last night.
The only Boston goal came with 35 seconds left in the second period from a wide-open Milan Lucic. By then, the Capitals led, 2-0, and Ovechkin added an empty-netter in the final minute for his 15th goal.
Backstrom and Alexander Semin assisted on Ovechkin's goal. Semin was one of two key players who returned to the Capitals' lineup last night. He had not played since Nov. 14 because of an undisclosed upper-body injury. Before getting hurt, Semin led the NHL in points.
While Semin had missed 12 games, defenseman Tom Poti had missed six before returning and assisting on Giroux's goal.
• Rangers 3, Thrashers 2: Scott Gomez scored 15 seconds into overtime as visiting New York snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory against Atlanta. It was Gomez's fifth goal this season, but his third winner.
• Sabres 4, Lightning 2: Thomas Vanek scored twice, including his league-leading 22nd goal as host Buffalo rallied for a win against Tampa Bay to hand the Lightning its ninth loss in a row.
• Colorado captain Joe Sakic, already out with a herniated back disk that was expected to sideline him until at least mid-January, will be out at least three months after he sustained three broken fingers in his left hand while trying to clear his snowblower. ... Montreal defenseman Mathieu Dandenault had surgery on his broken left arm and will be out indefinitely.