NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – Jaromir Jagr has hit so many NHL milestones this season for the New Jersey Devils that he is starting to downplay them.
Jagr tied another one on Friday, setting up two goals to match former teammate Mario Lemieux for 10th on the NHL’s career assists in a 2-1 win that sent the Washington Capitals to their seventh straight loss.
Jagr’s response to the achievement was expected.
“I don’t know,” the remarkable 41-year-old Czech said. “I don’t pay attention.”
Jagr is having a season that makes it hard not to pay attention. Besides being the Devils leading scorer (16 goals, 26 assists), he has replaced Gordie Howe as the NHL’s all-time leader in game-winning goals (122), moved past Mark Messier for seventh place all-time in goals (697) and now tied Lemieux with 1,033 assists, seven behind Marcel Dionne.
Jagr was able to joke about the assists, noting: “I’m a great goal scorer.”
Flames 5, Predators 4 (SO)
In Calgary, a career night for Eric Nystrom was supposed to feel a lot better.
Sean Monahan scored the shootout winner for the Flames against Nashville.
“We had it in our hands and we let it slip away,” Nystrom said quietly, as he sat dejectedly at his locker.
Drafted 10th overall by the Flames in the 2002 NHL Draft, Nystrom had never scored more than twice in 457 career games.
“I’ve had some really bad luck this season so it’s nice to be rewarded but at the same time, it really means nothing when it comes to a win and a loss,” he said. “I’ll take the win every day of the week.”
Nystrom entered with one goal in his previous 19 games.
Monahan, the Flames’ 19-year-old rookie and leading scorer, beat Devan Dubnyk on a deke after Jiri Hudler scored in the shootout for Calgary and Roman Josi replied for the Predators to even it after three shooters.
“Huds came down and brought it to his backhand and something opened up so I tried to do the same thing and fortunately enough, I found a spot through his five hole,” said Monahan, who says he enjoys having the game on his stick.
Coyotes 4, Oilers 3
In Edmonton, Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist, Mike Smith made 36 saves and Phoenix held off the Oilers.
Mikkel Boedker, Radim Vrbata and Derek Morris also scored as Phoenix raced to a 4-0 lead. The Coyotes improved to 24-18-9, ending a two-game losing streak and a five-game road skid.
Matt Hendricks, David Perron and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton.
The Oilers have lost six in a row for the second time this season to drop to 15-32-6.
Red Wings 4, Canadiens 1
In Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Kronwall and Gustav Nyquist each had a goal and an assist and the Red Wings beat Montreal to win two straight at home for the first time since October.
Riley Sheahan also scored for Detroit, and Jonas Gustavsson made 30 saves.
Brendan Gallagher scored for the Canadiens, and Carey Price stopped 22 shots.
Avalanche 3, Panthers 2
In Sunrise, Florida, Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist in Colorado’s victory over the Panthers.
Jamie McGinn and Paul Stastny also scored for the Avalanche, while Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves. Colorado won for the fifth time in six games.
Scottie Upshall scored twice for Florida, and Tim Thomas stopped 22 shots.
Senators at ‘Canes — ppd.