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Smith-Pelly: Racial taunts 'disgusting'

(AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) This wasn't the first time Devante Smith-Pelly has had racial taunts directed at him during a hockey game.

And the Washington Capitals forward knew immediately what the intent of the message was when a few fans began chanting "basketball, basketball, basketball," while Smith-Pelly sat in the penalty box during a 7-1 loss at Chicago on Saturday night. Smith-Pelly, a black player in a sport dominated by white athletes, heard a similar taunt years before while playing in a tournament in British Columbia.

"It's pretty obvious what that means. It's not really a secret," Smith-Pelly said after the Capitals practiced in Buffalo on Sunday. "Whether it's that word or any other word, I got the idea. And I'm sure they got the idea, too. Just one word, and that's really all it takes."

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Pens win fifth straight, move atop Metro

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The Pittsburgh Penguins won without goals from Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or the other three top scorers. Instead, they created opportunities for some guys who are usually in the background.

Third-line center Riley Sheahan scored twice in the first period and Pittsburgh went on to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Sunday night. Their fifth straight victory moved the Penguins past Washington into first place in the Metropolitan Division.

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Devils' Hall scores in OT, streak at 18

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Taylor Hall has had the hottest stick in the NHL for the past month, but on Sunday his streak almost came to an end.

Then came overtime.

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McDavid hat trick leads Oilers over Avs

DENVER (AP) Late in the second period, with his team outplaying Colorado, Edmonton coach Todd McLellan couldn't believe his Oilers were trailing 2-1.

"Jay Woodcroft and I looked at each other and said, `How are we losing this game?'" McLellan said.

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Jets rout Panthers, take Central lead

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Kyle Connor scored twice, Blake Wheeler and Tyler Myers each had three assists and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Florida Panthers 7-2 on Sunday night to take the Central Division lead.

Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele, Bryan Little, Mathieu Perreault and Patrik Laine also scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves to help the Jets win their third straight. They are 6-2-1 with a game left on a 10-game homestand.

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Matthews scores late as Leafs edge Wings

DETROIT (AP) To Jeff Blashill, the outcome came down to one simple fact.

"They made one more play than us," the Detroit coach Blashill said.

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Sharks score 4 in 1st, defeat Stars 5-2

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Mikkel Boedker might be playing his best hockey with the Sharks.

"Yeah, I think that's pretty fair to say," Boedker said after scoring twice in San Jose's 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday. "I think it's going well, capitalizing on the chances and paying real well. Our line has been very good and we're fortunate to get a lot of chances, so we got to keep going."

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Flyers beat Rangers but G Neuvirth hurt

NEW YORK (AP) Pressed into action after Flyers starter Michal Neuvirth left with a lower-body injury, rookie goaltender Alex Lyon was confident at Madison Square Garden having played there before for Yale.

In his fourth NHL game, Lyon calmly went out over the next 40 minutes and made 25 saves for his first NHL win as the surging Flyers rolled past the slumping Rangers 7-4 on Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.

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Devils' Wood banned 2 for blindside hit

NEW YORK (AP) New Jersey forward Miles Wood has been suspended for two games by the NHL for a blindside hit on Tampa Bay forward Vladislav Namestnikov.

The league's department of player safety issued its ruling Sunday, a day after the Devils' 4-3 win at the Lightning.

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NHL-best Vegas still plays with urgency

LAS VEGAS (AP) The Vegas Golden Knights have done an excellent job of not looking too far ahead in their inaugural season.

It has served them well during their amazing run as an expansion team, all the way to the top of the NHL standings.

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