Washington The slumping Washington Capitals couldn't have asked for a better confidence-builder.
Olaf Kolzig made 28 saves for his fifth shutout of the season as the Capitals beat the Florida Panthers, 3-0, Thursday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Steve Konowalchuk, Jeff Halpern and Dainius Zubrus scored for the Capitals, who had lost eight of their last 10 games. Sergei Gonchar had two assists.
Now the Southeast Division champions have two games remaining to turn one victory into a winning streak heading into the playoffs.
"It's important to establish the confidence again," said Kolzig, who recorded his 21st career shutout. "We've got two games to go before the playoffs and we need to build off this get that timing and everything rolling."
The Panthers, who have lost three of their last four, had a season-high five-game (3-0-2) road unbeaten streak halted.
Washington won its 40th game of the season for the 10th time in franchise history and the third time in four years.
The Panthers were 0-for-6 on the power play against the Capitals and have converted only one of 21 man-advantage chances in five games against Washington this season.
"We had chances. It wasn't a stale power play, that's for sure. But the bottom line is you have to capitalize," said Florida coach Duane Sutter.
The Capitals failed to convert two early power-play opportunities, then took a 1-0 lead on Konowalchuk's extra-man goal 12:24 in.
Konowalchuk tied his career high with his 23rd goal, lofting a shot from the edge of the left circle over goalie Trevor Kidd's right shoulder.
Blues 4, Blue Jackets 1
St. Louis Scott Young scored twice to reach the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career as St. Louis defeated Columbus, snapping a five-game winless streak. Pierre Turgeon scored his 30th goal and had an assist. Turgeon, who extended his scoring streak to five games, has scored 30 goals nine times in his career.
Young, who entered the game with 38 goals, has 29 points in his last 29 games.
Keith Tkachuk added a goal and an assist for St. Louis.
Predators 4, Flames 0
Nashville, Tenn. Goaltender Mike Dunham stopped 33 shots and Cliff Ronning had a power play goal and two assists as Nashville shut out Calgary.
It was the first time in their three-year history that the Predators won their final home game of the season. Nashville got three goals in the second period against goalie Mike Vernon in setting a franchise record with 16 home victories despite winning only six of their first 24.
Red Wings 4, Thrashers 0
Detroit Martin Lapointe scored two goals and Nicklas Lidstrom had three assists as Detroit beat Atlanta. The Red Wings are unbeaten in 18 games at Joe Louis Arena, where they have not lost since Dec. 27. Their streak ties the franchise record set in 1931-32 and 1954-55.
Detroit is an NHL-best 18-4-5 since the All-Star break.
The Red Wings play Colorado on Saturday at home in their regular season finale in a relatively meaningless game between the top two seeds in the Western Conference. The Red Wings have already secured the No. 2 seed while the Avalanche will be the top seed. The playoffs begin April 11.
Rangers 4, Lightning 3, OT
Tampa, Fla. Manny Malhotra scored with 1:37 left in overtime as New York beat Tampa Bay. Malhotra, moving down the left wing, took a pass from Adam Graves and got a shot off from close range despite being hit by Tampa Bay defenseman Adrian Aucoin.
New York's Michal Grosek had tied the game at 3 with 8:08 left in the third period. Martin St. Louis opened the scoring with a goal 1:05 into the second period.
Canadiens 3, Flyers 2, OT
Montreal Saku Koivu scored his 17th goal with 7:59 left in the third period and Brian Savage scored in overtime as Montreal defeated Philadelphia, denying the Flyers a crucial point in their bid for home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. Savage scored his 21st goal 3:49 into overtime to seal Montreal's comeback win.