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Blackhawks beat Canadiens, extend streak to 11

AP

Patrick Kane had a big grin on his face as he skated around the back of the net to congratulate Artemi Panarin on his nifty pass in the third period.

Lots of smiles for the Chicago Blackhawks these days.

The Blackhawks matched a franchise record with their 11th straight victory, using two goals from Jonathan Toews to beat the slumping Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Sunday.

“Every night’s a little bit different, but net-net I think we’re playing responsible, playing the score, playing the time, and got some momentum,” coach Joel Quenneville said.

Marian Hossa had an empty-net goal and two assists for Chicago, and Kane had a goal and an assist. Richard Panik scored his first goal of the season, and Corey Crawford, a Montreal native, made 27 saves while improving to 5-0-2 in seven career starts against his hometown team.

The Blackhawks (31-13-4) also won 11 straight from Feb. 15 to March 6, 2013, and then went on to the second of three Stanley Cup titles in the past six seasons. The defending NHL champions, who won 2-1 at Montreal on Thursday, go for 12 in a row at Nashville on Tuesday night.

“In 2013, we had an unbelievable stretch, but right now, definitely it’s another one,” Hossa said. “It’s another new chapter and it’s just nice to see everybody contributing in a different way. Overall, it’s a winning attitude, so it’s nice to see.”

Montreal (23-19-4) has lost four in a row and five of six. The Canadiens also dropped to 6-15-2 since star goaltender Carey Price was shelved by a lower-body injury in November.

“We’re going to get out of this,” forward Brendan Gallagher said. “It’s taken longer than we would have liked, but we’re going to get out of this. The only way we’re going to do that is sticking together as a group. Tonight we weren’t good enough.”

Capitals 5, Rangers 2

In Washington, Justin Williams had a hat trick and the Capitals survived the loss of starting goaltender Braden Holtby to extend their impressive streak of responding after losses by beating New York.

Penguins 5, Hurricanes 0

In Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby scored two goals, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots for his third shutout of the season and 41st of his career and the Penguins beat Carolina.

Kings 3, Ducks 2

In Anaheim, Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist, Vincent Lecavalier added a power-play goal and Los Angeles opened the Freeway Faceoff rivalry series for the season with a victory over the Ducks.

Lightning 3, Panthers 1

In Tampa, Nikita Kucherov had two goals and the Lightning extended a season-high winning streak to five games by beating Atlantic Division-leading Florida.

Canucks 2, Islanders 1 (SO)

In New York, Ryan Miller made 47 saves and Radim Vrbata scored in the shootout.

Flyers 2, Red Wings 1 (SO)

In Detroit, Claude Giroux scored in a shootout and in regulation.