WASHINGTON – Not long after assisting on the go-ahead goal with 122 seconds remaining in a victory over his former team, Washington Capitals forward Justin Williams stood in a hallway not far from the visitor’s locker room and caught up with a couple of members of the Los Angeles Kings.
The reason the Capitals signed Williams as a free agent last offseason was to provide a late-game push in the sort of playoff-type atmosphere felt by both sides in NHL-leading Washington’s 3-1 comeback victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night. He used to do that sort of thing for the Kings.
“He finds a way to pull people into the fight. And he does it by example,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “He finds a way to get things done — and that’s his talent.”
Williams gathered the puck behind the net and slid it to Evgeny Kuznetsov for a goal that withstood a coach’s challenge for goalie interference and broke a 1-1 scoreline.
“Some guys have a knack for that, and he does. Probably had a little extra in him tonight, playing against his former team,” said Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik, who earned an assist in his return after missing 40 games with a lower-body injury. “He’s a competitive guy, and a guy you want on the ice at the end of the game.”
Sharks 4, Lightning 2
In Tampa, Matt Nieto and Joel Ward both had a goal and an assist as San Jose beat the Lightning.
Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson also scored for the Sharks, who are 7-2-2 over their last 11 games. Martin Jones improved to 11-2-1 in his last 14 decisions after making 28 saves.
Tampa, losers in four of its last five games, got goals from Ryan Callahan and Cedric Paquette.
Flyers 6, Devils 3
In Newark, New Jersey, Wayne Simmonds and Nick Cousins scored 50 seconds apart in a four-goal third period and Philadelphia got a big game from its special teams in snapping the Devils’ three-game winning streak.
Rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere extended his point scoring streak to 13 games with a goal, Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists and Claude Giroux added three assists as the Flyers won for the second time in seven games (2-3-2).
Bruins 2, Blue Jackets 1 (OT)
In Columbus, Loui Eriksson scored 33 seconds into overtime to lift Boston to a victory over the Blue Jackets.
Torey Krug and David Krejci assisted on the goal, which helped the Bruins earn their seventh win in their past eight road games.
Hurricanes 2, Jets 1
In Raleigh, North Carolina, Jordan Staal and Riley Nash scored power-play goals, and the Hurricanes earned a victory over Winnipeg.
Carolina swept the season series. The Hurricanes also beat the Jets 5-3 Feb. 5.
Senators 2, Sabres 1 (SO)
In Ottawa, Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris scored in the shootout and the Senators topped Buffalo.
Ryan Dzingel scored in the first period for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson made 38 saves.
Blues 2, Stars 1 (OT)
In St. Louis, Kevin Shattenkirk scored a power-play goal at 1:11 of overtime and Brian Elliott had another strong game in net for the Blues, who ended Dallas’ four-game winning streak.
Jaden Schwartz got the other goal for St. Louis on a fluke when a dump-in bounced off referee Kelly Sutherland’s ankle at 12 seconds of the second period. The Blues have won five of six against the Central Division-leading Stars, who won in overtime at Nashville on Monday.
Ducks 5, Oilers 3
In Edmonton, Andrew Cogliano scored a short-handed empty-net goal and Anaheim earned a victory over the Oilers.