Streaking Flames scorching everything in sight

The Associated Press
NBC Sports Philadelphia
<p>We recap Thursday's top NHL action, including the Flames rolling over the NHL-best Lightning, 5-1, for their fifth straight win.</p>

Streaking Flames scorching everything in sight

We recap Thursday's top NHL action, including the Flames rolling over the NHL-best Lightning, 5-1, for their fifth straight win.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist, Mike Smith made 33 saves, and the Calgary Flames beat the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.

Micheal Ferland, Sam Bennett, Mark Jankowski and Matthew Tkachuk also scored to help the Flames improve to 11-5-4 on the road. Gaudreau has nine assists and 10 points during a five-game points streak.

Brayden Point scored for Tampa Bay.

The Lightning lost All-Star defenseman Victor Hedman midway through the second with a lower-body injury.

Hedman was hit on side of his left knee during a collision with Calgary's Garnet Hathaway and needed assistance to the locker room. In Tuesday night's game against Carolina, Hedman could not put any weight on his left skate heading to the bench with three minutes left in the second but returned two minutes later.

Ferland opened the scoring 29 seconds into the game during a 2-on-1 off a pass from Sean Monahan. Ferland added an assist and has a four-game points streak (four goals, eight points), while Monahan has points in five straight (five assists, eight points) (see full recap).

Hurricanes beat Caps on day team sale is finalized
WASHINGTON -- Victor Rask broke a tie on a delayed penalty with 9:06 left to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, hours after the team's sale to Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon was finalized.

Rask's 11th goal of the season came with goalie Scott Darling pulled for the extra attacker after Tom Wilson was whistled for a penalty. The puck pinballed off several players in front and went to Rask at the side of the net.

By improving to 9-7-8 in one-goal games, Carolina leapfrogged the idle Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins to move into a playoff position after 42 games. Winger Justin Williams, who left Washington after two seasons, said the difference between the Capitals being in first place in the Metropolitan Division and the Hurricanes down the standings was success in tight games.

Co-captain Jordan Staal also scored and Sebastian Aho added an empty-netter for Carolina, which got 26 saves from Darling. Lars Eller scored and Braden Holtby stopped 30 of 32 shots for Washington, which had its five-game winning streak and NHL-best 11-game home winning streak snapped.

It's the Capitals' first home loss since Nov. 30 (see full recap).

Okposo, Sabres snap 5-game losing skid
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kyle Okposo had a goal and assist, and the Buffalo Sabres snapped a five-game skid with a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Benoit Pouliot and Jack Eichel, with an empty-netter with 6 seconds left, also scored. Linus Ullmark stopped 44 shots in his first NHL game of the season.

Ullmark stopped the first 39 shots he faced before having his shutout bid foiled on Artemi Panarin's power-play goal with 6:15 remaining.

The Sabres ended an 0-4-1 skid and won in regulation for the first time in nine games. Buffalo's last victory was a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 22.

The Blue Jackets had a two-game win streak snapped and failed to complete their sweep of a three-game season series against Buffalo. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots, but had little chance in stopping either of the two goals he allowed (see full recap).

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