Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins started quickly

MONTREAL (AP) — — and then just kept going against the Montreal Canadiens.Crosby had a goal and three assists , Jake Guentzel scored two goals and had two assists and the Penguins cruised to a 5-1 victory Saturday night.Evgeni Malkin and Jared McCann — into an empty net — also scored for Pittsburgh, and Matt Murray stopped 36 of 37 shots.“Murray was terrific in goal and Sid had a monster night,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “His line was really good. Throughout the lineup, it was a good, solid effort.”Both the Penguins and Canadiens have 77 points in the standings. Pittsburgh is in the first wild-card spot with the victory, while Montreal dropped down into the second slot.“You want to get out and get a good start like that,” said Guentzel, who reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time. “Especially in their building. It was key for us to come out and do that.”Brendan Gallagher scored the only goal for the Canadiens. Carey Price gave up four goals on 24 shots and remained one victory away from tying Jacques Plante’s franchise record with 314.“We did have a push,” said Gallagher, who scored his team-leading 29th. “We had some breakaways Youth Matt Nieto Jersey , we hit some posts. Looking back, if we just get one of those to go in, maybe we get some momentum going and they tighten up a little. It’s a big win for them and a bad loss for us.“We’re in a tight race here. There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We didn’t get the result, so we move on to the next one.”It was the second of back-to-back games for both teams. Pittsburgh lost 4-3 in overtime in Buffalo on Friday, while Montreal defeated the New York Rangers 4-2.The Canadiens outshot the Penguins 37-25, but Pittsburgh took better advantage of their chances and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on its first four shots of the game.The Penguins needed just 21 seconds to beat Price after a bad giveaway by Jordie Benn in his own zone led to Crosby’s deflected goal.“(Crosby) is the best 200-foot player in the game,” Sullivan said. “He plays on both sides of the puck. And he understands the stakes are high at this time of year and he’s doing everything he can to help us win.”The Penguins doubled their lead on the power play when Malkin’s slap shot changed course on a deflection by Joel Armia at 4:38.Pittsburgh finished 1 for 3 with the man advantage.Guentzel went five-hole on Price at 8:51 right after a faceoff win by Crosby for his first goal of the night and 30th of the season, his first time reaching the milestone.The Penguins went the next 11:09 of the first period without firing a shot on net — but still led 3-0 at intermission.Guentzel netted his second of the game 6:24 into the second period with a precise wrist shot into the top corner of the net.Pittsburgh’s leading scorer nearly completed a hat trick late while on a breakaway in the second, but Price made a nice glove save.The Canadiens scored their only goal when Gallagher beat Murray for his team-leading 29th of the season with a shot from inside the left face-off circle.McCann added the empty-netter with 1:24 left.NOTES: Crosby has 10 points on his current four-game scoring streak. He also moved into second place on Pittsburgh’s all-time scoring list with his 440th career tally. “This time of year, you’re motivated every night for sure Mikko Rantanen Jersey ,” said Crosby, who is one point shy of 1,200 in his career. “Everyone is just trying to raise their game. Sometimes it goes like that for you. You want to keep that going but right now it’s all about getting wins.”UP NEXTPenguins: host Florida on Tuesday night.Canadiens: at Los Angeles on Tuesday night. WASHINGTON (AP) — Evgeny Kuznetsov wanted to win so badly Sunday he was even willing to get in Alex Ovechkin’s way.Kuznetsov scored at 4:20 of overtime, just beating his star teammate’s stick to the puck, and the Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers 6-5 in their return from their longest road trip this season.“Those two points are really big for us,” Kuznetsov said of the victory, which came after Washington twice gave back two-goal leads. “I feel especially today between one and two points it will be a huge difference at the end of the season.”Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist tried to block Kuznetsov’s pass back to Ovechkin in front of the net.But the puck trickled away from Lundqvist and into the crease. Ovechkin first attempted to knock it in for what would’ve been his 45th goal before Kuznetsov guided it across the goal line from inches out for his 16th of the season.“I don’t think it matters who scores, right?” Kuznetsov said. “As long as we got a win.”Nicklas Backstrom scored his 14th and 15th goals as the second-place Capitals moved within two points of the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders, having played two more games.Tom Wilson added his 17th goal, and Nic Dowd and Michal Kempny also scored for Washington. Pheonix Copley made 26 saves as the Capitals won a day after losing in Buffalo to finish their six-game trip at 3-3-0.“We know it’s a big time of the year Nathan MacKinnon Jersey ,” Backstrom said. “The last 20 games here, we need to get going, we need to collect points. We need to start playing better.”Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei scored multiple goals for the first time in his career, his second tying the game with 31 seconds remaining in regulation.Chris Kreider added his 26th, Jimmy Vesey contributed his 15th, and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for New York.Lundqvist stopped 29 shots for the Rangers, who nearly pulled off a surprising victory despite going into the trade deadline Monday in rebuilding mode.They dealt forward Mats Zuccarello to Dallas on Saturday for a pair of draft picks, and sat forward Kevin Hayes and defenseman Adam McQuaid for a second straight game Sunday.“There’s an awful lot of good to take out of tonight,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “The fact that we fought back from two-goal deficits twice. … We weren’t pushed around physically or mentally. These are the things you’re going to have to do moving forward to have success.”Backstrom hadn’t scored in 12 games entering Sunday, but he gave Washington a 5-3 lead when he beat Lundqvist over his glove from in close early in the third for his second of the game.Namestnikov redirected Neal Pionk’s effort past Copley on a Rangers power play a few minutes later.While the Capitals killed off another New York man advantage inside the final four minutes Authentic Alexander Wennberg Jersey , Skjei’s deflected shot forced overtime and set off wild celebrations on the visitors’ bench after the Rangers emptied their net.“It’s been an emotional 48, 72 hours for everybody,” Quinn said. “And that felt really good, that goal.”NOTES: Ovechkin’s goal streak was snapped at five games. … Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen and Rangers forward Ryan Strome received fighting majors at 6:23 of the third, after Strome reacted to Niskanen’s check into the boards. … Newly acquired D Nick Jensen made his Capitals debut in a third defensive pairing alongside Brooks Orpik. … Backup goalie Copley picked up his fourth straight victory.UP NEXTRangers: Host Tampa Bay on Wednesday.Capitals: Host Ottawa on Tuesday.