BUFFALO, N.Y. — Braden Holtby made 31 saves and Alex Ovechkin scored to lead the Washington Capitals over the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Monday night for their eighth straight win.

Ovechkin scored 19 seconds into the second period and Jay Beagle scored about 12 minutes later to help the Eastern Conference-leading Capitals improve to 27-6-2, the best start in franchise history.

Washington has earned a point in 15 of its last 16 games and trails the Dallas Stars by one point for the NHL lead.

Holtby leads the NHL with 23 victories and is 15-0-1 in his last 17 games.

WILD 3, RED WINGS 1: Mikko Koivu scored twice, Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves in a surprise appearance as Minnesota won at home.

Charlie Coyle scored for the third time in four games for Minnesota.

CANADIENS 4, LIGHTNING 3: Max Pacioretty won it in the third round of a shootout as visiting Montreal ended a six-game losing streak.

Brian Flynn also scored in the shootout for Montreal. Valtteri Filppula had a shootout score for Tampa Bay.

The Canadiens got goals from Tomas Plekanec, Alex Galchenyuk and Dale Weise.


DUCKS: Defenseman Cam Fowler has a sprained knee, and the club has recalled top prospect Shea Theodore.

The Ducks will determine his recovery time later in the week, but he isn’t expected to be on their three-game road trip beginning Tuesday in Calgary.

CANADIENS: Montreal traded forward Zack Kassian to the Edmonton Oilers for goaltender Ben Scrivens.

SABRES: Forward Evander Kane says he’s done nothing wrong and looks forward to clearing his name after being the subject of a sex offense investigation. Kane spoke for about 30 seconds in the Sabres locker room Monday morning.