Jan 2 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Hockey League games.
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Blues 5, Kings 0
A day after he was named to the team that will represent the United States in the Olympics, St. Louis Blues right wing T.J. Oshie did his celebration on the ice.
Oshie scored two goals in a span of 1:31 in the second period to lead the Blues to a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Brian Elliott stopped all 30 Los Angeles shots as the Kings were shut out for the second time in three games and saw their losing streak reach a season-high five games.
The win allowed the Blues to break a five-game regular-season losing streak against the Kings, who also have eliminated the Blues from the playoffs the last two seasons.
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Islanders 3, Blackhawks 2 (Overtime)
Right winger Kyle Okposo scored 58 seconds into overtime to give the New York Islanders a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Okposo, one of the most controversial omissions from the U.S. Olympic hockey team, spared the Islanders yet another gut-wrenching home loss by putting back a rebound of center John Tavares' shot.
Center Casey Cizikas and left winger Thomas Vanek also scored for the Islanders (14-21-7).
Defenseman Brent Seabrook and right winger Ben Smith scored for the Blackhawks (29-7-8).
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Hurricanes 4, Capitals 3 (Overtime)
Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner was one of the hottest players in the NHL in December and he started off the New Year exactly where he left off, scoring a hat trick in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals.
Skinner scored two goals in regulation and netted his third of the game 1:20 into overtime when he converted a 3-on-1, tapping a perfect cross-ice feed from defenseman Ryan Murphy past Capitals rookie goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
The win was the second in a row for the Hurricanes (16-16-9), who had won just two of their previous 10 games. It also moved the Hurricanes within five points of the Capitals, who lost for the fifth time in six games.
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Bruins 3, Predators 2 (overtime)
The Boston Bruins woke up after a sleepy second period and wound up winning a game 3-2 in overtime over the Nashville Predators.
Left winger Brad Marchand scored off a nifty move 54 seconds into the extra period, making a winner of goaltender Niklas Svedberg in his NHL debut.
The win allowed the Bruins to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Down 1-0 and outshot 16-3 in the second period, the Bruins came out a different team in the third period. Goals by defenseman Johnny Boychuk, his first in 19 games, and right winger Jarome Iginla gave the Bruins the lead before Nashville tied the game.
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Senators 4, Jets 3
The Ottawa Senators equaled a season high with their third victory in a row, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-3.
The loss snapped the Jets' winning streak at three games.
Center Mika Zibanejad, winger Milan Michalek, center Zack Smith and winger Clarke MacArthur scored for the Senators. The Jets' goals were scored by defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, winger Evander Kane and center Olli Jokinen.
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Wild 4, Sabres 1
After a nightmarish end to 2013, the Minnesota Wild began the New Year on a better note, getting 19 saves from goaltender Niklas Backstrom in a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Defenseman Marco Scandella, right winger Jason Pominville and left winger Jason Zucker scored for the Wild (21-17-5), who lost their previous six games in a row. Backstrom lost his previous eight starts but improved to 3-9-2 for the season.
Buffalo (11-26-4) got 28 saves from goalie Ryan Miller and a goal by left winger Matt Ellis.
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Canadiens 6, Stars 4
Left winger Max Pacioretty and defenseman P.K. Subban each had four-point nights for the Montreal Canadiens in a hard-fought 6-4 win against the Dallas Stars.
Center David Desharnais also finished with a goal and an assist and goaltender Carey Price stopped 28 shots for the Canadiens.
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Blue Jackets 2, Coyotes 0
Nathan Horton banged home a power-play goal with 4:09 left in the second period and the Columbus Blue Jackets rolled to a 2-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.
The goal gave Horton 11 points (five goals) in nine career games against Phoenix.
Former Coyotes prospect Curtis McElhinney made 34 saves in the Columbus goal for his fourth career shutout.
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Avalanche 2, Flyers 1
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov had 29 saves, center Ryan O'Reilly scored the winning goal and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1.
Left wing Jamie McGinn also scored for the Avalanche, who have won two straight.
Right winger Wayne Simmons scored and goalie Steve Mason stopped 29 shots for Philadelphia.
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Sharks 5, Oilers 1
Five San Jose Sharks skaters scored goals, and goalie Antti Niemi made 23 saves to beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-1.
San Jose (26-9-6) beat last-place Edmonton for a sixth straight time while improving to 15-1-3 at home this season. Sharks left winger Joe Pavelski, recently named to the U.S. Olympic hockey team, scored his 17th goal of the season.
- - - (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
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