BUFFALO, N.Y. — Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 35th goal, and the Washington Capitals reclaimed the top spot in the Metropolitan Division with a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday.

John Carlson had a goal and assist and Philipp Grubauer stopped 32 shots in a game Washington led 2-0 after two periods.

Evgeny Kuznetsov sealed the victory by scoring into an open net with 26 seconds remaining, and the Capitals ended a four-game trip at 2-1-1 and bounced back from a 7-1 loss at Chicago on Saturday.

Washington improved to 34-18-7 for 75 points, moving one ahead of the idle Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kyle Okposo spoiled Grubauer’s shutout by having Scott Wilson’s shot from the high slot deflect in off him with 7:18 remaining to cut Washington’s lead to 2-1.

Evander Kane then closed the scoring with a goal with 4 seconds left in a final period in which Buffalo managed 17 of its 34 shots.


Backup goalie Chad Johnson stopped 27 shots.

The Sabres dropped to 2-7-1 in their past 10 home games.

Washington’s first two goals had to be reviewed.

WILD 5, ISLANDERS 3: Matt Cullen and Tyler Ennis scored in Minnesota’s three-goal second period, and the Wild won at New York.

Jason Zucker added two goals for the Wild, who have earned at least a point in six of their past seven games.



TRADES: Washington acquired defenseman Michal Kempny from Chicago for a conditional third-round draft pick.

The 27-year-old Kempny had a goal and six assists in 31 games for Chicago this season.

• The Philadelphia Flyers  acquired goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Detroit Red Wings for two conditional draft picks.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall made the move a day after losing his second goalie to injury in less than 10 days. Starter Brian Elliott had core muscle surgery last Tuesday and is expected to miss up to 6 weeks. Backup Michal Neuvirth was injured in Sunday’s win at the New York Rangers. The team didn’t update his status before making the trade.

Mrazek was 8-7-3 with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage this season for Detroit. He’s 72-58-20 with a 2.60 GAA and a .912 save percentage in 166 appearances in six seasons for the Red Wings.

The Flyers sent a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2018 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2019 to Detroit.

BLACKHAWKS: The team says four fans ejected from Chicago’s United Center for making racist taunts against a black player, Devante Smith-Pelly of the Capitals, during Saturday’s game have been banned from attending Blackhawks home games.

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