WASHINGTON — Andre Burakovsky and Nicklas Backstrom scored, Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to six games with an ugly 3-0 victory over the last-place New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Burakovsky extended his goal streak to three games after he wasn’t traded at the deadline. Holtby made the coaching staff look smart for giving him a fifth consecutive start by robbing Devils All-Star Kyle Palmieri and making a handful of other important saves in a game that shouldn’t have been so close.

With his 35th career shutout, Holtby tied Olie Kolzig for the most in franchise history.

It wasn’t the prettiest performance for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who won despite taking six minor penalties. The Capitals had just three shots to show for more than four minutes of power-play time in the first period and didn’t look crisp in almost any aspect of the game.

Assistant coach Blaine Forsythe said on the team’s radio broadcast at the first intermission that the first period was “garbage” and the Capitals were outworked. Two valuable points broke a tie with the New York Islanders to put Washington in sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division.

PANTHERS 6, WILD 2: Aleksander Barkov set a franchise record with five assists, and MacKenzie Weegar and Mike Matheson each scored twice as Florida beat visiting Minnesota to snap a six-game losing streak.

Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and three assists, Mike Hoffman also scored and Evgenii Dadonov added three assists. Sam Montembeault made 26 saves in his second career start for his first NHL win.

Marcus Foligno and J.T. Brown scored for the Wild, who had their eight-game point streak stopped. Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on seven shots before he was replaced by Alex Stalock to start the second period. Stalock stopped 19 shots.


AVALANCHE: The playoff-chasing Colorado Avalanche will be without captain Gabriel Landeskog for 4 to 6 weeks with an upper-body injury.

Avalanche Coach Jared Bednar called missing Landeskog a “huge loss.”

The All-Star forward was hurt in the third period Thursday at Dallas when he collided with Stars goaltender Ben Bishop.

Landeskog has a career-best 33 goals this season, including an NHL-leading 19 in the third period.

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