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Dowd's OT goal lifts Capitals in Game 1

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) T.J. Oshie's goal song, John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads," echoed through Capital One Arena and its 25% capacity crowd. It turned out the credit technically belonged elsewhere, but Capitals fans were in no mood to nitpick.

Nic Dowd's deflection of Oshie' shot from the blue line found the back of the net 4:41 into overtime, giving the Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.

The Capitals weathered the loss of starting goaltender Vitek Vanecek to a lower-body injury early on, with backup Craig Anderson making 21 saves and allowing only a power-play goal.


MacKinnon on track to return for Game 1

DENVER (AP) Nathan MacKinnon returned to the ice for practice Saturday and all signs point to him being back in the lineup for Game 1 of a first-round series against the St. Louis Blues.

The difficult-to-contain Colorado Avalanche forward missed four of the final five games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. But coach Jared Bednar said he expects MacKinnon and forward Brandon Saad to be ready to go Monday night for the start of their best-of-seven series at Ball Arena. The top-seeded Avalanche went 5-3 against the Blues this season.


McDavid finishes season with 105 points

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Matthew Highmore scored twice in the third period to help the Vancouver Canucks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Saturday.

"He's tenacious on pucks, he's good in his own end and obviously you saw tonight that he can put the puck in the net when he wants to," Canucks captain Bo Horvat said. "He's been a great addition to our group, a good guy in the locker room and we're happy to have him."


Jets beat Leafs as Connor scores pair

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Kyle Connor scored twice and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Friday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.

"It's always good for confidence, everyone loves to score," Connor said.


Unique playoffs bring much familiarity

There will be no mysteries when Tampa Bay and Florida meet in the first round of the playoffs after facing off eight times this season and twice in the past week. Same deal for Montreal and Toronto, who have played 10 times since mid-January.

"I don't want to say it takes kind of some of the fun out it, but it does because you know a lot more what to expect," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.


Stars C Hintz to have groin surgery

FRISCO, Texas (AP) Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz will have surgery next week in New York to repair a tendon issue in his groin area that bothered him throughout the season while he was a point-a-game player.

General manager Jim Nill said Friday that Hintz played through "an avulsion injury of the left adductor tendon," which he explained was a small chunk of bone attached to the adductor pulling away where the tendon attaches to the pelvis area.


Rookie Kaprisov gives Wild big boost

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Wary of all kinds of pressure on Kirill Kaprizov and resolute in their team-first culture, the Minnesota Wild tried to keep a lid on the fanfare enveloping his arrival in the NHL.

"I was nervous about the incredible expectations, because our fan base has waited five years for this kid, and he's had such success," said general manager Bill Guerin, nodding to Kaprizov's game-winner that gave Russia the 2018 Olympic gold medal and back-to-back seasons leading the Kontinental Hockey League in goals.


Blues score 7 straight goals, beat Wild

ST. LOUIS (AP) David Perron, Brayden Schenn, and Jordan Kyrou each scored twice and the St. Louis Blues scored seven straight goals to erase a first-period deficit and beat the Minnesota Wild 7-3 on Thursday night.

Zach Sanford also scored Jordan Binnington made 17 saves. The Blues are locked into fourth place in the West Division, and will face Colorado in the first round of the playoffs.


Kraken plan to hire coach before draft

SEATTLE (AP) Now that the Seattle Kraken are full-fledged members of the NHL, general manager Ron Francis can start his wheeling and dealing.

Signing players? That started this week with the addition of 21-year-old Luke Henman. Trades and some of those side deals that Vegas negotiated during the last NHL expansion draft? Absolutely.


Preds can have 12,135 fans for playoffs

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