WASHINGTON’S Jack Hillen, left, and Pittsburgh Penguins’ Beau Bennett (19), play in an NHL hockey game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

WASHINGTON’S Jack Hillen, left, and Pittsburgh Penguins’ Beau Bennett (19), play in an NHL hockey game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 37th goal and assisted on Joel Ward’s winner with just more than four minutes remaining to lift the Washington Capitals to a testy 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

Ovechkin beat Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway in the first period. The three-time MVP then helped set up Ward’s first career goal against the Penguins as Washington improved to 3-0 against Pittsburgh. John Carlson added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 11 seconds remaining.

Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the Capitals, who pulled within a point of the third-place Penguins in the crowded Metropolitan Division.

Steve Downie scored his 10th goal of the season for Pittsburgh. Fleury stopped 29 shots but allowed a pair of power-play goals, including Ward’s during a 5-on-3 with 4:13 to play.

The Capitals are 3-0 against Pittsburgh this season.

B-Jackets 5 Flyers 2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Calvert scored two goals, including the winner midway through the third period, to lift Columbus over Philadelphia.

Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Johansen and James Wisniewski also scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped Philadelphia’s nine-game points streak.

Wayne Simmonds and Michael Del Zotto had goals for the Flyers, who remained six points behind idle Boston for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

Islanders 4, Hurricanes 1

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Backup goalie Chad Johnson made 37 saves and four players scored to lead the Islanders.

Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Michael Grabner and John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who took a 3-0 lead in the season series between the first- and lastplace teams in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders improved to 19-3 against the Metro Division behind Lee’s 19th goal of the season, Nelson’s 16th and Grabner’s sixth for a 3-0 lead.

Carolina, coming off a 6-3 win at Ottawa, outshot New York 18-8 in the second period and 38-30 overall, but couldn’t dent Johnson until Jiri Tlusty’s goal with 8:46 remaining.

Predators 5, Sharks 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pekka Rinne made a season-high 42 saves and Nashville extended its winning streak to a season-best six straight games by beating San Jose.

The Predators scored five unanswered goals for the win.

Stars 4, Blues 1

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jamie Benn had his first career hat trick and Kari Lehtonen was stingy in net again for Dallas in a rout of St. Louis.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock yanked goalie Brian Elliott in favor of Jake Allen after the Stars took a 3-0 lead before the midway mark of the first period, the last two goals coming in a 20-second span.

Devils 2, Sabres 1 (SO)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Scott Gomez and Jacob Josefson scored in the shootout, and Cory Schneider denied both Buffalo attempts as New Jersey snapped a four-game losing streak.

Patrik Elias scored for the Devils in the first period and Schneider finished with 24 saves as New Jersey.

Panthers 3, Maple Leafs 2

TORONTO (AP) — Nick Bjugstad scored the go-ahead goal on a power play early in the second period and Florida defeated struggling Toronto.

Jussi Jokinen and 2008 Maple Leafs draft pick Jimmy Hayes also scored for the Panthers, who moved within two points of idle Boston for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.