Hockey

Stars rout Capitals 5-0 to maintain playoff push

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tyler Seguin scored his 33rd goal, Dustin Jeffrey got his first two of the season, and the Dallas Stars routed the Washington Capitals 5-0 Tuesday night in a game between a pair of ninth-place teams trying to leapfrog into a playoff spot.

Ray Whitney and Ryan Garbutt also scored, Alex Chiasson had three assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves for his fourth shutout of the season for the Stars. Dallas began the day one point behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the final postseason berth in the Western Conference. The Coyotes hosted Winnipeg later Tuesday.

The Stars have won five of six in their push to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008 — the same year the Capitals began streak of postseason appearances that is in danger of coming to an end.

The Capitals, who also started the game one point away from a playoff spot, were shut out for the seventh time this season. Washington has lost four straight, and Alex Ovechkin — the league's leading goal-scorer — hasn't scored a 5-on-5 goal in more than a month.

The Capitals were booed heavily by their fans, particularly after an abysmal stretch in the second period in which they allowed several odd-man rushes, took a slashing penalty and gave up two goals in 34 seconds.

Seguin scored the only goal of the first period. He redirected Jamie Benn's wrister from the left circle after the Capitals were unable to clear the puck. Benn was credited with his 41st assist. Capitals miscues were aplenty in the second period, and the Stars took advantage. Alex Goligoski's long pass sprang a 2-on-0 break, with Chiasson sliding the puck to Whitney for the easy goal.

A little more than a half-minute later, Jeffrey stuffed in a rebound amid a crowd in front of the crease. The goal prompted Capitals coach Adam Oates to replace goaltender Jaroslav Halak with Braden Holtby.

Jeffrey, claimed off waivers from the Penguins in November, scored again in the third period off a feed from Whitney, and Garbutt added a short-handed goal on a breakaway. Ovechkin last had a 5-on-5 point on Feb. 27, a streak of 16 games. He's had seven power-play goals, one power-play assist and a short-handed assist during his even-strength drought. Nicklas Backstrom, who leads the teams in points, is also without a goal since Feb. 27.

Notes: Dallas has outscored opponents 23-11 over its last six games. ... D Patrik Nemeth made his NHL debut for the Stars as D Aaron Rome sat out with an injury. Dallas F Erik Cole remains sidelined with an upper-body injury. . Capitals D Patrick Wey sat out after taking an uppercut in a fight that forced him out of Saturday's loss at Nashville. Washington RW Dustin Penner (illness) and D Jack Hillen (upper-body injury) also missed the game. ... Capitals F Chris Brown played after getting called up from the AHL earlier in the day.

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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