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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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McDavid hat trick leads Oilers over Avs

DENVER (AP) Connor McDavid had his third hat trick of the season, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Sunday to snap a six-game losing streak.

McDavid now has 11 goals in the last nine games and two hat tricks. His first two goals tied the game, and his last one was into an empty net at 18:34 of the third.

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Flyers beat Rangers 7-4 for 6th win in 7

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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Pens top Leafs, push home streak to 11

PITTSBURGH (AP) Olli Maatta has played five seasons with Evgeni Malkin and he's not sure he's ever seen his teammate play as well as he is right now.

Maatta scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and Malkin had three points to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

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Luongo lifts surging Panthers in return

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) The Florida Panthers have been on quite a roll since the All-Star break.

Mike Matheson scored twice, Aleksander Barkov had a goal and two assists, and the Florida Panthers beat the Calgary Flames 6-3 Saturday night for their seventh win in eight games.

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Lack saves 48 as Devils edge Lightning

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Eddie Lack found fault in a stellar performance that helped the New Jersey Devils win their third consecutive game.

Lack made a career-high 48 saves and the Devils beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday night.

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Kovalchuk scores 2 as Russia rolls by US

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) The blistering pace on the ice and the atmosphere in the arena was reminiscent of the epic showdown between the United States and Russia in Sochi four years ago.

That's where the similarities end.

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Blackhawks rip Caps to end 8-game skid

CHICAGO (AP) Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks finally broke out of a frustrating tailspin, and they did it convincingly against one of the NHL's top teams.

Toews had a goal and two assists and the Blackhawks ripped the Washington Capitals 7-1 on Saturday night to end an eight-game losing streak.

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