WASHINGTON // The surging Washington Capitals beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a shoot-out on Wednesday to continue their rise in the Eastern Conference. Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom scored in the extra session and the goalie, Jose Theodore, denied both Canadiens' attempts to help the Capitals win their third straight match and take sole possession of second place in the conference. Washington (37-16-5) trail the Boston Bruins by nine points in the East.
Elsewhere, the All-Star Rick Nash netted his team-leading 24th goal of the season and added an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets posted a 4-3 triumph over the St Louis Blues in a battle of Central Division rivals. In Anaheim, the captain Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar scored a power-play goal nearly six minutes apart in the third period to propel the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 triumph over the Ducks in a Pacific Division battle.
Jarett Stoll recorded a goal and two assists and Patrick O'Sullivan also tallied as Los Angeles ended a three-game losing streak. The defenceman, Matt Greene, notched two assists and Jonathan Quick finished with 28 saves for the Kings. The All-Star, Ryan Getzlaf, registered a goal and two assists and Teemu Selanne and Chris Kunitz also tallied for Anaheim. Jonas Hiller turned aside 22 shots for the Ducks, who dropped their second consecutive contest.
Meanwhile, the All-Star Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves and collected an assist as the New York Rangers pulled out a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders. Nigel Dawes, Scott Gomez and Fredrik Sjostrom each scored and captain Chris Drury had three assists for the Rangers. Finally, Johan Franzen scored two of five power-play goals as the Detroit Red Wings ended a two-game losing streak with a 5-2 thrashing of the Nashville Predators.