By The Associated Press on December 31, 2023.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Alex Nedeljkovic made 37 saves, Lars Eller scored twice and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Sunday night in NHL action.
Nedeljkovic was spectacular at times to help the Penguins win for the fifth time in six games following a blowout loss to Toronto on Dec. 16.
Eller scored early in the first period and added an empty-netter in the final minute as Pittsburgh beat the Islanders for the second time in five days. Noel Acciari added his third of the season for Pittsburgh.
Samuel Bolduc drew the Islanders within one with 6:09 left with the third goal of his career, but New York could get no closer. Ilya Sorokin made 35 saves.
Pittsburgh has at least a point in each of its last six games and is 7-1-1 over its last nine to climb into wild-card contention as the season’s midway point nears following an iffy start.
Elsewhere in the NHL on Sunday:
LIGHTNING 4 CANADIENS 3
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Calvin de Haan ended his 46-game goal drought with the tiebreaking score in the third period, and Tampa Bay rallied past Montreal.
The defenceman put Tampa Bay up 3-2 at 7:49 off a pass from Nikita Kucherov, who became the first NHL player to reach 60 points this season.
Kucherov added an insurance goal before Nick Suzuki pulled Montreal to 4-3 with 2:05 left.
Tampa Bay backup Jonas Johansson made 27 saves in his first game since Dec. 7. The Lightning got also goals from Brayden Point and Austin Watson.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had an assist and set a franchise record by playing in his 1,038th game.
Johnathan Kovacevic scored from his own defensive zone and Cole Caufield had the other Montreal goal. Sam Montembeault stopped 16 shots.
SENATORS 5 SABRES 1
OTTAWA, Ont. (AP) – Anton Forsberg made 45 saves and Ottawa beat Buffalo in Senators interim coach Jacques Martin’s 1,300th NHL game.
Ottawa won after removing the interim tag and appointing Steve Staios as general manager Sunday. Martin took over as interim coach about two weeks ago after D.J. Smith was fired.
Zack MacEwen and Mark Kastelic each had their first goal of the season and Dominik Kubalik, Jakob Chychrun and Artem Zub also scored to help Ottawa improve to 15-18-0. Thomas Chabot had two assists in his return after missing 12 games because of a leg injury.
Tage Thompson scored for Buffalo, and Devon Levi made 26 saves. The Sabres are 15-19-4.
JETS 3 WILD 2
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Dominic Toninato scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and Winnipeg swept a weekend home-and-home series against Minnesota.
Adam Lowry and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for Winnipeg. Laurent Brossoit stopped 24 shots for the Jets, who are 6-0-2 in their last eight games.
Marcus Foligno and Frederick Gaudreau scored for Minnesota, which lost for just the third time in its last 10 games.
Marc-Andre Fleury, who was playing in his 1,000th NHL game, made 26 saves for the Wild.
BRUINS 5 RED WINGS 3
DETROIT (AP) – Trent Frederic scored twice, Charlie Coyle had the go-ahead goal and Boston beat Detroit for its third straight win.
Boston forward Pavel Zacha scored an empty-net goal in his 500th regular-season game. Jake DeBrusk also added an empty-netter and Charlie McAvoy had three assists for the Bruins. Jeremy Swayman made 25 saves.
Jake Walman scored his third goal in two games for Detroit. Ben Chiarot and J.T. Compher had the Red Wings’ other goals, and Alex Lyon stopped 23 shots.
AVALANCHE 3 SHARKS 1
DENVER (AP) – Valeri Nichushkin scored a tiebreaking goal late in the third period and Colorado beat slumping San Jose.
Nichushkin also had an assist, Mikko Rantanen scored and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists for Colorado. Alexandar Georgiev faced just 11 shots in his 19th win.
MacKinnon extended his home point streak to 19 games, the longest to start a season in franchise history. He matched his longest home point streak, set from Jan. 2 to March 24, and is four games shy of tying Joe Sakic for the club record.
Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen made 30 saves. Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose, which has lost eight straight games – all in regulation.
FLAMES 4 FLYERS 3
CALGARY, Alta. (AP) – Mikael Backlund, Dennis Gilbert, Nazem Kadri and Blake Coleman scored and Calgary outlasted Philadelphia.
Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves to help the Flames improve to 15-16-5. Andrew Mangiapane had three assists and Jonathan Huberdeau added an assist to snap a 12-game points drought.
Rasmus Ristolainen, with his first of the season, and Bobby Brink and Egor Zamula scored for Philadelphia. Sam Ersson made 28 saves. The Flyers dropped to 19-12-5, failing to earn points for the first time in their last 10 road games.
OILERS 7 DUCKS 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Warren Foegele had two goals and a career-high five points, Leon Draisaitl scored for the third straight game and Edmonton extended its winning streak to five games.
Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse each had two assists, and Ryan McLeod had a goal and an assist. Evander Kane, Zach Hyman and Brett Kulak also scored for Edmonton. Calvin Pickard stopped 28 shots.
Connor McDavid had an assist and needs two points to reach 900 for his career. The Oilers have won 15 of 21 games since Kris Knoblauch took over as coach.
Max Jones and Frank Vatrano had the goals for Anaheim, which has dropped four of five on its eight-game homestand. John Gibson made 32 saves.
STARS 7 BLACKHAWKS 1
DALLAS (AP) – Mason Marchment had three goals and an assist, Scott Wedgewood made 24 saves to improve to 11-2-2 and Dallas routed Chicago.
Tyler Seguin had a goal and two assists and Roope Hintz, Ryan Suter, Craig Smith and Sam Steel also scored. The Stars matched a season high in goals in their sixth consecutive home victory, two nights after topping the Chicago 5-4 in overtime at American Airlines Center.
Philipp Kurashev scored for the Blackhawks. They have lost 11 consecutive road games (0-10-1) and have the second-fewest points in the NHL at 24.
Chicago’s Connor Bedard assisted on the power-play goal 39 seconds into the third period for his rookie-leading 33rd point.
Petr Mrazek allowed six goals on 32 shots. He was replaced almost five minutes into the third period by Arvid Soderblom, who gave up two goals on 10 shots.
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