WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 49th goal of the season to snap a four-game drought and help Washington beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Tuesday night, increasing the Capitals’ division lead.

Ovechkin snapped a shot past Petr Mrazek for the go-ahead goal 4:31 into the third period for his third goal in 10 games. Fans chanted, “We want 50!” after Ovechkin’s goal was announced, but they’ll have to wait at least a couple of days for Washington’s captain to become the third player in league history with 50 in eight seasons.

Only Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy have done that.

Mrazek, who once made 15 saves on Ovechkin in a single game, stopped him several times before Ovechkin scored through a screen set by Evgeny Kuznetsov. With his 656th career goal, Ovechkin tied Brendan Shanahan for 13th on the all-time list.

Kuznetsov also set up T.J. Oshie’s first-period goal and helped on John Carlson’s insurance goal in the third to give him three assists on his bobblehead night. Braden Holtby made 27 saves and Nicklas Backstrom added an empty-netter off a pass from Ovechkin to give the Capitals their second consecutive victory.

BLUE JACKETS 4, ISLANDERS 0: Sergei Bobrovsky recorded his second consecutive shutout and host Columbus stayed in the playoff hunt by beating New York.

Ryan Dzingel, Artemi Panarin, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson scored, and Bobrovsky finished with 26 saves and his eighth shutout of the season for the Blue Jackets, who are fighting to get above the wild-card line in the Eastern Division with six games to play.

SENATORS 4, SABRES 0: Craig Anderson stopped 35 shots for his second shutout of the season and Ottawa beat visiting Buffalo.

Brian Gibbons had a goal and an assist, and Anthony Duclair, Rudolfs Balcers and Magnus Paajarvi also scored.

The Senators won the first of a four-game homestand after going 1-2-0 on a three-game trip through Western Canada.

Ottawa has won its last three home games and outscored those opponents 12-2.

Carter Hutton made 27 saves for Buffalo, which lost its fourth straight.

Coming off a disappointing 3-1 loss to New Jersey on Monday, the Sabres completed their three-game trip 0-3-0. Buffalo is 1-10-1 in its last 12 and 0-11-2 in its last 13 road games.

CANADIENS 6, PANTHERS 1: Tomas Tatar had two goals and an assist, and Carey Price made 33 saves as Montreal won at home.

The Panthers, who were eliminated from playoff contention when the Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders, have lost 4 of 5 and been outscored 20-9 during a three-game losing streak.


SABRES: The Buffalo Sabres signed Casey Fitzgerald to a two-year $1.85 million entry-level contract after the defenseman completed his senior season at Boston College.

Fitzgerald will initially sign an amateur tryout contract and report to Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester, New York.

Fitzgerald was selected by Buffalo in the third round of the 2016 draft. The two-time Eagles captain was selected as Hockey East’s best defensive defenseman in 2017-18, and finished his college career with 17 goals and 82 points in 151 games.

LIGHTNING: The NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning signed Coach Jon Cooper to a multiyear contract extension.

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