Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, New Jersey 2
Newark, NJ - Matt Cooke tallied twice and Sidney Crosby added three assists for Pittsburgh as the Penguins won their NHL season-high 11th straight game with a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Pascal Dupuis also lit the lamp for the Penguins, who are in the midst of their longest winning streak since November 17-December 11 of last year, when they won 12 consecutive contests. The NHL record for most games won in a row is 17, set by Pittsburgh during the 1992-93 season. The Penguins are two points shy of the Eastern-Conference leading New York Rangers, who play the Avalanche later on Saturday. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 12 shots in the win. Andy Greene and Petr Sykora scored for New Jersey, which has lost two of its last three games after a four-game winning streak. Martin Brodeur allowed five goals on 44 shots in the loss.
Final Score: Boston 3, Philadelphia 2 (SO)
Boston, MA - Patrice Bergeron scored the decisive shootout goal as the Boston Bruins edged the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, at TD Garden. Boston jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind goals from Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin, but the Flyers battled back, tying the game on Jakub Voracek's deflection with 4:17 remaining in regulation. In the shootout, Seguin copied teammate David Krejci and beat Philadelphia's Ilya Bryzgalov high to the glove side. Like Boston, the Flyers' first two shooters, Matt Read and Claude Giroux, both scored on Bruins netminder Tim Thomas. Bergeron then beat Bryzgalov low to the blocker side, and Thomas denied Danny Briere to snap Boston's four-game losing streak. Thomas finished with 27 saves for the Bruins, who moved one point ahead of Ottawa for first place in the Northeast Division. The Senators host Toronto this evening. Bryzgalov made 31 saves but his seven-game winning streak game to an end. He suffered his first loss since February 28 at San Jose.
Final Score: Carolina 5, Minnesota 3
St. Paul, MN - Tim Brent scored a tie-breaking goal in the third period and the visiting Carolina Hurricanes rallied to beat the Minnesota Wild, 5-3. Drayson Bowman registered two goals and an assist for the Hurricanes, who have won back-to-back games for the first time since February 13-17. Brian Boucher earned his first win of the season with a 23-save performance. Carolina's backup goaltender missed a large portion of the season with a lower-body injury. Saturday marked just his eighth appearance -- sixth start. Kyle Brodziak had a goal and two assists for Minnesota, which fell to 1-7-1 in its last nine games. The Wild have lost five straight in regulation at Xcel Energy Center for the first time in franchise history. Matt Hackett stopped 29 shots in defeat.
Final Score: St. Louis 3, Tampa Bay 1
Tampa, FL - Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves as the St. Louis Blues downed the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1, at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Patrik Berglund, David Perron and Jaden Schwartz, who was playing in his first career game, recorded goals for St. Louis. T.J. Oshie added two assists as the Blues improved to 2-1-1 in a seven-game road trip. Also with the win, St. Louis became the first team in the NHL to clinch a playoff berth this season. Brendan Mikkelson lit the lamp while Dwayne Roloson stopped 18-of-21 shots in the Lightning's fifth loss in six games.
Final Score: NY Islanders 3, Montreal 2 (SO)
Montreal, QC - Josh Bailey scored the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout, lifting the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday. After Canadiens' defenseman Andrei Markov shot the puck wide in the top half of the sixth round, Bailey came down the ice with speed on his attempt and buried a wrister past the stick side of Peter Budaj for the winner. Bailey added an assist in regulation, while Mark Streit and Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders, who snapped a five-game slide. Al Montoya made 28 saves in the victory. Aaron Palushaj and Louis LeBlanc lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who have lost three of their last four games. Budaj stopped 36-of-38 shots in defeat.
Final Score: Colorado 3, NY Rangers 1
New York, NY - Semyon Varlamov turned away 41 shots and the Colorado Avalanche picked up a big road win with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Coming into Saturday's action, the Avs were clinging to a one-point lead over three other teams for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Now, they sit in the seventh spot with a one-point lead over Los Angeles and San Jose, both of which won on Saturday. Gabriel Landeskog scored the winner in the second period and Matt Hunwick lit the lamp in the first period for the Avalanche, who have won four of their past five games. The Rangers have seen their once comfortable lead for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division fall to just two points as the resurgent Penguins have won 11 straight games while the Rangers are just 5-5-1 during the same stretch. The Penguins also have a game in hand on New York. Mats Zuccarello had the lone goal of the game for the Rangers, who got 17 stops from Henrik Lundqvist in the loss.
Final Score: Florida 3, Buffalo 2 (SO)
Sunrise, FL - Dmitry Kulikov scored the game-winning goal in the seventh round of the shootout as the Florida Panthers squeezed past the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, on Saturday at BankAtlantic Center. Kulikov, playing in his first game after missing the previous 23 due to knee surgery, picked up the puck and went in slowly on Sabres netminder Ryan Miller. Kulikov waited for Miller to make his move, faked to the backhand, and lifted the puck over the outstretched glove of Miller for the winner. Drew Stafford had a chance to extend the shootout for Buffalo, but his low, hard wrist shot was stopped by the right pad of Jose Theodore to seal the victory for the Panthers. Mikael Samuelsson and John Madden scored for the Panthers, who have won four straight and extended their Southeast Division lead over the Washington Capitals to five points. Theodore made 24 saves. Tyler Ennis and Roy scored for the Sabres, who have lost two straight, but moved to within two points of eighth-place Washington for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Final Score: San Jose 3, Detroit 2 (OT)San Jose, CA - Martin Havlat scored a pair of goals, including the winner in overtime, as the Sharks got past the Red Wings, 3-2, on Saturday. Joe Pavelski also had a goal and Antti Niemi made 26 saves for San Jose, which earned its 82nd point and supplanted idle Phoenix in the Western Conference's final playoff spot. The Sharks are also even with the Kings with the same point total, but San Jose has one additional victory. Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula both scored and Jimmy Howard had 32 saves for the Red Wings, who have sit in fourth place in the Western Conference despite suffering their four straight loss.
Final Score: Los Angeles 4, Nashville 2Los Angeles, CA - Dustin Penner had a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings topped the
Nashville Predators, 4-2, at Staples Center on Saturday. Anze Kopitar, Dwight King and Kyle Clifford lit the lamp and Trevor Lewis added two assists for the Kings, who have won four straight games in their pursuit for a playoff spot. Jonathan Bernier made 19 saves in the victory. Martin Erat finished with a goal and an assist and Mike Fisher scored for the Predators, who have dropped two straight and remain in fifth place in the West with 90 points. Pekka Rinne gave up all four goals on 27 shots.