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Buchnevich scores hat trick on birthday in Rangers' 6-3 win

Pavel Buchnevich celebrated his birthday with his first career hat trick and the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 on Saturday for their third win over their Hudson River rivals in five days.

Artemi Panarin had a goal and three assists and Ryan Strome had a goal and an assist in a three-goal first-period outburst as the Rangers improved to 12-4-3 in their last 19 games.

The question after the quick start was whether rookie Igor Shesterkin would get his third consecutive shutout. The Russian’s shutout streak was stopped at 152 minutes, 37 seconds when Michael McLeod scored on a second-period rebound.

New Jersey then got within 4-3 when P.K. Subban and Yegor Sharangovich scored in a 64-second span in the third period with the teams playing 4-on-4 to cut the lead to a goal. However, Buchnevich and Chris Kreider added late empty-net goals to seal the win.

The victory extended the Rangers’ point streak to a season-high five games (4-0-1) and pulled them within four points of idle Boston in the race for the last playoff berth in the East. The Rangers have 12 games left in the regular season, two fewer than the Bruins.

CAPITALS 6, FLYERS 3

Alex Ovechkin scored twice to move within one goal of Marcel Dionne for fifth place on the NHL’s career goals list.

Dmitry Orlov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Conor Sheary and Anthony Mantha each added goals while John Carlson had four assists for Washington, which increased its lead in the East Division to four points over the New York Islanders.

Ivan Provorov, James van Riemsdyk and rookie Wade Allison, who got his first NHL goal, scored for the Flyers.

Ovechkin now has 730 regular-season goals in his 16-year career. Dionne finished with 731 during 18 seasons with the Red Wings, Kings and Rangers from 1971-89. Saturday’s goals increased Ovechkin’s career total against Philadelphia to 42, one of six teams that he’s scored 40 or more goals against.

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