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NHL Scores: Capitals smash Maple Leafs, Torres wins it for Sharks in a shootout

The Washington Capitals continued to roll, running right over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and an unlikely hero capped off a victory for the San Jose Sharks.

Greg Fiume

Potential MVP candidate Alexander Ovechkin led his team to an eighth-straight victory Tuesday night, as the Washington Capitals absolutely crushed the Toronto Maple Leafs, winning 5-1. Ovechkin was a beast all night long, with a goal and an assist in addition to a penalty he incurred jumping to the defense of his teammate after a nasty hit:

The Capitals lead the southeast by four points with only five games remaining, and are one of the hottest teams in the league heading into the season's final games.

Elsewhere in the NHL on Tuesday night, the Islanders won a statement game over the Panthers, the Blues won while still barely scoring, and the Kings and Sharks played a back-and-forth thriller that ended in a shootout victory for the Sharks, with the lone shootout goal coming from...Raffi Torres?

All The NHL Scores

Get caught up on Tuesday's NHL scores with recaps from our network of SB Nation team blogs. Here's a quick glance at the full day of action:

Panthers 2, Islanders 5

Maple Leafs 1, Capitals 5

Hurricanes 2, Senators 3

Rangers 2, Flyers 4

Lightning 3, Jets 4 (SO)

Canucks 1, Blues 2 (SO)

Wild 5, Oilers 3

Kings 2, Sharks 3 (SO)

Five Answers

Prior to Tuesday's games, we presented five burning questions regarding the day's action. Here are your cool, soothing answers.

1. Will the Boston Bruins and/or Toronto Maple Leafs clinch playoff berths?

The Jets ruined everybody's fun by winning their game, preventing both the Bruins and the Maple Leafs from clinching just yet.

2. Can the Washington Capitals extend their seven-game winning streak?

As mentioned above, the Capitals continued roaring and steamrolled the Maple Leafs. Washington doesn't always get a lot of respect because they play in the league's weakest division, but they're certainly looking like a scary team to face in the first round of the playoffs.

3. How will the Edmonton Oilers respond to Steve Tambellini's firing?

Not well. Now they just need to fire their coach:

4. Will the Eastern Conference's playoff picture look any different on Wednesday morning?

The Islanders and Senators both won their games, but the Rangers lost.

Here's what the point totals for the teams at bottom of the Eastern playoff picture currently looks like:

6. Senators 50

7. Islanders 49

8. Rangers 46

9. Jets 46

5. Who will control the fourth seed in the West?

The game went beyond regulation before the Sharks earned their victory with a Raffi Torres shootout winner, which means that the Kings retain the fourth seed by virtue of a tiebreaker.

Here's a look at the standings points for teams in the hunt for the bottom four playoff spots in the West:

4. Kings 53

5. Sharks 53

6. Wild 51

7. Blues 50

8. Red Wings 47

9. Blue Jackets 47

Impact Moment

What moment from Tuesday night's games will be making headlines in the coming days?

Jeff Skinner's injury is a major cause of concern for the Hurricanes, given his recent concussion.

Stat of the Night

Goaltending has not been a strong point for the Flyers this season:

Post to Post

  • Some of those "Top Tier" fans in Edmonton booed their home team after a disappointing performance.
  • Finally, Drew Remenda likes jam:

More in the NHL:

Six (!) outdoor games in 2014

Welcoming Craig MacTavish as Oilers GM

Jimmy Howard’s case for the Vezina

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