St. Louis Blues forward David Backes, right, celebrates his goal with teammate T.J. Oshie while playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs during second period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
TORONTO - David Backes completed a hat trick with an empty-net goal to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-3 victory Tuesday night that sent the Toronto Maple Leafs to their sixth straight loss.
T.J. Oshie and former Leafs forward Alex Steen also scored for St. Louis, which passed Boston for the most points in the NHL with 105.
Ryan Miller made 21 saves to improve to 32-15-3 in his career against Toronto. The Blues have won 10 of 13 games since acquiring Miller and forward Steve Ott from Buffalo before the trade deadline.
Joffrey Lupul, Carl Gunnarsson and James van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto, which dropped out of a playoff spot for the first time since Jan. 14, coupled with Washington's shootout loss to Los Angeles.
The loss ruined the return of Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier, who made 44 saves in his first game since reinjuring his groin on March 13.
COYOTES 3, PENGUINS 2
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Thomas Greiss stopped 23 shots—including all 15 he faced over the final two periods—and the Phoenix Coyotes edged the sloppy Pittsburgh Penguins.
David Moss, Antoine Vermette and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Coyotes, who never trailed while picking up two vital points in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Greiss was sharp and received plenty of help from his defence as Phoenix rebounded a night after losing starting goaltender Mike Smith indefinitely with a right leg injury in a loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night.
Jussi Jokinen and Taylor Pyatt scored for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves, but the Penguins looked lifeless at times without centre Evgeni Malkin, who is out 2-3 weeks with a foot injury.
KINGS 5, CAPITALS 4
WASHINGTON (AP)—Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter scored in the shootout, and the Los Angeles Kings came back after allowing Alex Ovechkin's two early power-play goals to beat the Washington Capitals.
The shootout score was 2-0, because Kings goalie Jonathan Quick caught Eric Fehr's attempt, after rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov whiffed on his opening shot for Washington.
Kuznetsov had tied the game with 41.5 seconds left in regulation with his first NHL goal.
After trailing 2-0 only 7 1/2 minutes in, then 3-1 entering the third period, the Kings wound up winning their seventh consecutive road game. They also have seven victories in a row over Washington.
Mike Richards, Dwight King, Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings in regulation.
ISLANDERS 5, HURRICANES 4
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)—Colin McDonald had two goals and an assist, and Matt Martin also scored twice for the New York Islanders, who held on to beat the Carolina Hurricanes.
McDonald scored both of his goals in New York's four-goal first period. Cal Clutterbuck and Martin also scored in the burst that produced four goals in a span of 7:15. The Islanders led 4-0 in the wild matchup of the bottom two teams in the Metropolitan Division. A combined 20 players had a point.
Andrei Loktionov had a goal and an assist, Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin each scored power-play goals, and Nathan Gerbe added a goal for Carolina.
CANADIENS 2, SABRES 0
MONTREAL (AP)—Carey Price made 24 saves and Max Pacioretty and Daniel Briere scored third-period goals and the Montreal Canadiens earned a victory against the Buffalo Sabres.
Pacioretty's goal was the 100th of his career as Montreal extended its winning streak to three and won for the sixth time in seven games.
The Sabres have one win in their past 10 games. They played their fourth game of a five-game road trip that ends Thursday in Nashville.
PANTHERS 3, SENATORS 2, SO
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)—Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri scored in a shootout to lift the Florida Panthers past the Ottawa Senators.
Trocheck also scored in regulation and Sean Bergenheim scored a goal for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo made 37 saves.
Clarke MacArthur and Mark Stone scored for the Senators and Robin Lehner stopped 39 shots. Kyle Turris scored in the shootout for Ottawa, but Luongo turned aside attempts by Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek.
The Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak. The Senators have lost nine of 10.
BLUE JACKETS 4, RED WINGS 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Cam Atkinson scored a goal confirmed by video replay in the third period, and Ryan Johansen added an empty-netter for his second of the game to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Detroit Red Wings.
The Blue Jackets pulled even with the Red Wings with 80 points in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race.
Brandon Dubinsky and Johansen also had power-play goals, and Curtis McElhinney stopped 22 of 23 shots in relief of Sergei Bobrovsky for the Blue Jackets, who had lost three of four.
Gustav Nyquist, last week's No. 1 star in the NHL, maintained his hot hand with two goals for the Red Wings, who were 3-0-1 in their previous four. He has 20 goals in his last 24 games.
BLACKHAWKS 4, STARS 2
CHICAGO (AP)—Andrew Shaw and Duncan Keith each had a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks held on for a win over the Dallas Stars.
Kris Versteeg and Marian Hossa also scored for Chicago, which needs just one more point to clinch a playoff berth for the sixth straight season. Patrick Sharp added two assists to help Chicago finish 4-1 against Dallas in the Central Division rivals' regular-season series.
Ryan Garbutt scored twice for the Stars, who fell three points behind Phoenix for the final Western Conference playoff berth. Tyler Seguin set up Garbutt's goal in the second period to extend his point streak to 10 games. He has seven goals and 10 assists during the run.
Blackhawks top prospect Teuvo Teravainen didn't record a point in his NHL debut.
AVALANCHE 5, PREDATORS 4
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals in regulation and then netted the winner in the shootout to lead the Colorado Avalanche over the Nashville Predators.
Cody McLeod and Nick Holden also for Colorado, which ended a three-game losing streak.
With the shootout tied 1-1, Landeskog beat Pekka Rinne with a wrist shot from the right side.
Roman Josi and Matt Cullen each had two goals for Nashville, which had a two-game winning streak snapped.
SHARKS 5, OILERS 2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—Joe Pavelski scored three goals and set up another as the San Jose Sharks snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over the struggling Edmonton Oilers.
Patrick Marleau and Marty Havlat also scored for the Sharks (47-18-9) who moved four points up on idle Anaheim for the Pacific Division lead and remained two points behind St. Louis for first in the Western Conference.
David Perron and Taylor Hall scored for the second-to-last place Oilers (25-39-9), who have lost three in a row. Edmonton was beaten 8-1 by the Calgary Flames on Sunday after a 3-1 defeat to the last-place Buffalo Sabres.