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NHL: Vasilevskiy strong in return, Lightning top Maple Leafs 4-1

Tampa Bay Lightning center J.T. Miller (10) loses control of the puck as he goes in for a shot on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Dec. 13, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 48 saves in his return from a broken left foot and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night in a matchup of the NHL's top two teams.

Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson both scored for Tampa Bay during the final 36 seconds of the second period to make it 4-1. Vasilevskiy, who missed the previous 14 games, stopped all 23 shots he faced in the period.

Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov also had goals for the Lightning (25-7-1), who have won eight in a row and lead Toronto by eight points in the Atlantic Division. The franchise record is a nine-game winning streak in 2016.

Toronto got a goal from Kasperi Kapanen, and Frederik Andersen stopped 17 shots. The Maple Leafs have lost three of four (1-2-1) after a five-game winning streak.

SABRES 3, COYOTES 1

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Jeff Skinner scored his 22nd goal of the season as Buffalo defeated Arizona.

Casey Mittelstadt and Evan Rodrigues also had goals for the Sabres, who won their second straight following a five-game skid. Carter Hutton returned after missing Buffalo's previous two games with an upper-body injury and made 25 saves.

The Sabres improved to 11-3-2 at home, matching their win total from last season at KeyBank Center.

Christian Fischer scored for Arizona and Darcy Kuemper stopped 30 shots. The Coyotes have lost four in a row after a four-game winning streak.

BLUE JACKETS 4, KINGS 1

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Artemi Panarin scored twice, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 29 shots and Columbus topped Los Angeles.

Lukas Sedlak and Josh Anderson also scored and Cam Atkinson assisted on both of Panarin's goals as the Blue Jackets snapped a two-game skid and held onto second place in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind Washington.

Dustin Brown had the lone goal and Jonathan Quick made 37 saves for the injury-ravaged Kings, who have lost three in a row and seven of their last nine while slipping to the bottom of the Pacific Division.

CANADIENS 6, HURRICANES 4

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jeff Petry scored twice and Casey Price made 28 saves for his fourth consecutive victory as Montreal got past Carolina.

Matthew Peca, Brendan Gallagher, Artturi Lehkonen and Andrew Shaw also scored for the Canadiens, who have won four of five. Phillip Danault and Kenny Agostino each had two assists.

Andrei Svechnikov had two goals, and Jaccob Slavin and Sebastian Aho also scored for the Hurricanes. Petr Mrazek made 34 saves in place of injured Curtis McElhinney.

WILD 5, PANTHERS 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Nino Niederreiter scored twice, Ryan Suter had three assists and Devan Dubnyk finished with 30 saves as Minnesota downed Florida.

Eric Staal, Zach Parise and Jonas Brodin also scored for the Wild, who were coming off a 7-1 win over Montreal on Tuesday. Niederreiter added an assist and has four goals in the last three games.

Denis Malgin scored his second goal of the season and James Reimer stopped 21 shots but the Panthers dropped their fourth straight.

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