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Hot Isles blank Caps in Trotz's return

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) Barry Trotz returned to his old home arena to face the team he coached to the Stanley Cup. He left with his new team in first place.

Trotz's New York Islanders beat the defending champion Washington Capitals 2-0 on Friday night to win their fourth in a row and leapfrog his former team into first place in the Metropolitan Division. In true Trotz fashion, the Islanders suffocated the Capitals to win for the 14th time in their past 17 games.

"We just talked about climbing," Trotz said. "It just happened that the Caps were the next team in front of us. Two weeks ago we were talking about Buffalo and other teams like Montreal and just said, `Let's keep climbing and don't look up and just keep going,' and the guys have been really good."

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Habs win 4th straight, end Jackets' run

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Carey Price was terrific for the Montreal Canadiens on a night his team was outplayed for much of the game and outshot by the Columbus Blue Jackets. That's how it happens sometimes when things are going right.

Price stopped 34 shots as the Canadiens won their fourth in a row, beating the Blue Jackets 4-1 on Friday night. Surging Montreal has won five of the last six while trying to move out of the middle of the pack in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens are a point out of second place behind Toronto.

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Bennett leads surging Flames over Wings

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Led by Sam Bennett, it was long-awaited and much-needed big night for the Flames' secondary scorers.

Bennett scored twice, including the go-ahead goal late in the third period, and added an assist to lead Calgary to a 6-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

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Kessel lifts Penguins over Coyotes in OT

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan did not like his team's effort in a loss to San Jose earlier this week. A parade to the penalty box in the first period did not lift his mood.

A dominating second period and a big goal from Phil Kessel had Sullivan feeling a lot better.

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Panthers top Leafs in Trocheck's return

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Vincent Trochek's return gave the Florida Panthers the spark they desperately needed.

Mike Matheson scored the winning goal and Trocheck had an assist on the play to help the Panthers snap a seven-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Friday night.

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Demko stops 36, helps Canucks top Sabres

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Thatcher Demko was nervous before stepping on the ice.

It sure didn't show.

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Sens score 2 in 13 seconds, beat 'Canes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) After their worst stretch of the season, the Ottawa Senators are beginning to play some of their best hockey.

Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone scored 13 seconds apart in the second period, and the Senators beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 Friday night.

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Preds C Johansen banned 2 for high stick

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Nashville Predators forward Ryan Johansen has received a two-game suspension without pay for high-sticking Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele.

The NHL announced Johansen's suspension Friday. Johansen committed the penalty Thursday during the first period of the Predators' 5-1 loss to the Jets.

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Concussion settlement deadline extended

The deadline for retired players to opt in to the $18.9 million settlement of the concussion lawsuit against the NHL has been extended.

Players' attorneys confirmed the extension to The Associated Press on Friday night. It was not immediately clear what the new deadline was.

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Berglund at peace after leaving Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Patrik Berglund tells Sweden's Hockeypuls.se he feels at peace and has no regrets after abruptly ending his hockey career by walking away from the Buffalo Sabres a little over two months into the season.

"I just knew I had to go home to find myself again," Berglund told the publication in speaking for the first time since the Sabres terminated the final three-and-a-half years left on his contract last month. The Sabres acted after suspending Berglund on Dec. 15 when he failed to report for the game at Washington.

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