WASHINGTON – Andrei Markov’s resurgence continued with a goal and an assist, and the Montreal Canadiens cruised to a 4-1 win Thursday night over the Washington Capitals, who are 0-3 for the first time in nearly two decades.
Finally healthy after twice tearing the ACL in his right knee, Markov was part of a second-period spree in which the Canadiens scored in all sorts of ways against a Capitals team that is out of sorts. In order, Montreal’s goals came five-on-three, five-on-four and five-on-five in a little over six minutes to take a 3-0 lead.
Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges scored for the Canadiens, and Carey Price made 30 saves. Montreal, the worst team in the Eastern Conference a year ago, has won two straight under new coach Michel Therrien since opening the season with a loss to Toronto.
HURRICANES 6, SABRES 3: Eric Staal scored three goals, Jeff Skinner added two and host Carolina earned its first victory of the season by handing Buffalo its first loss.
Skinner and Staal scored nine seconds apart during Carolina’s four-goal second period that also included a short-handed score by Justin Faulk.
Jordan Staal, Joni Pitkanen and Zac Dalpe each had two assists, and Cam Ward made 30 saves for the Hurricanes.
Jason Pominville’s second goal made it 4-3 with 13:54 left. Eric Staal restored Carolina’s two-goal lead at 10:34.
FLYERS 2, RANGERS 1: Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek scored to help Philadelphia win its first game of the season over New York.
The Flyers not only avoided their first 0-4 start in team history, they beat the Rangers for the first time in two seasons. The Rangers defeated the Flyers all six games last season.
The Flyers needed the good news after they learned All-Star forward Scott Hartnell is expected to miss up to eight weeks because of a broken left foot.
Forward Brayden Schenn also served a one-game suspension for charging New Jersey defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Philadelphia also played without forward Danny Briere (broken left wrist).
ISLANDERS 7, MAPLE LEAFS 4: Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner scored two goals each, and the New York rallied at Toronto.
Moulson had one of the four third-period goals for the Islanders, who overcame a 3-1 first-period deficit. Grabner had two goals, and Keith Aucoin also scored in the third for New York.
Grabner gave New York a 4-3 lead at 3:27 of the third, firing a wrist shot past Ben Scrivens for his second of the season. Aucoin scored his first just 1:08 later to put the Islanders ahead 5-3. That was it for Scrivens, who allowed five goals on 20 shots in his third start of the season.
In other bad news for Toronto, forward Joffrey Lupul will miss at least six weeks because of a broken arm suffered in Wednesday’s 5-2 win against Pittsburgh.
SENATORS 3, PANTHERS 1: Erik Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period and Ottawa won a third straight to start the season.
Chris Phillips also scored for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson made 25 saves. Jason Spezza added an empty-net goal.
Tomas Fleischmann scored and Jose Theodore stopped 34 of 36 shots for host Florida.
BLUES 3, PREDATORS 0: Patrik Berglund scored on a penalty shot and goalie Jaroslav Halak bounced back from a poor game to lead host St. Louis.
COYOTES: Phoenix recalled goalie Chad Johnson and defenseman David Rundblad from the Portland Pirates.
Johnson is 14-8 with 2.80 goals- against average and a .912 save percentage in 24 games with the Pirates, while Rundblad has six goals and 17 assists in 32 games.
Phoenix also advanced goalie Mike Lee from the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL) to Portland. Lee is 12-11-1 with a 2.13 GAA and a .926 save percentage for the Gladiators in this, his first professional season.
STARS: Jamie Benn and Dallas have agreed to a $26.25 million, five-year contract.
The 23-year-old Benn was a restricted free agent who set career highs with 26 goals, 37 assists and 63 points last season. He played 19 games for the Hamburg Freezers in Germany during the lockout and is expected to play Saturday against St. Louis.