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WASHINGTON — Ryan McDonagh scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, Kevin Lankinen made 30 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 Friday night for their third straight win.

Lankinen was sharp, even though he did not have to face as heavy a workload as teammate Juuse Saros in Nashville’s previous game. Saros stopped a franchise-record 64 shots Thursday at Carolina and got some much-deserved rest.

The rest of the players did not get that break, with the Predators and Capitals each playing on the second half of a back-to-back. McDonagh’s goal with 3:16 left was a highlight-reel move to the net and finish by the defensive defenseman far more known for keeping the puck out of his team’s net.

Thomas Novak and Yakov Trenin also scored for Nashville, which is 4-0-1 in its last five games to inch closer to a playoff position in the Western Conference.

Sonny Milano and Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored for the Capitals, making the case they deserve to stay in the lineup when top forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson make their season debuts. Anthony Mantha, another candidate to get scratched when Backstrom and Wilson are back from long-term injuries, played just 9:48.

PANTHERS 3, RED WINGS 2: Aaron Ekblad scored twice on the power play Florida recorded its eighth straight win over Detroit, beating the host Red Wings.

Ekblad had his first multi-goal game since Dec. 2, 2021, against Buffalo. Gustav Forsling also scored for the Panthers and Eric Staal recorded his 600th career assist on Forsling’s goal. Alexsander Barkov had two assists, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves.

Robby Fabbri scored in his second game this season after recovering from ACL surgery. Jonatan Berggren added a goal Detroit, which has lost three of its last four games. Ville Husso made 17 saves.

BLACKHAWKS 2, COYOTES 0: Alex Stalock stopped 22 shots for his 17th career shutout — first in nearly three seasons — and host Chicago beat Arizona.

Jake McCabe and Tyler Johnson scored to help the Blackhawks snap a five-game losing streak with just their second win in 15 games.

Connor Ingram had 30 saves for Arizona, which has lost four straight.

Despite the win, Chicago remains at the bottom of the NHL standings, and first in the running for the best chance for the first selection in the draft.


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