Fleury, Pens Shut Out Sabres
By DAN SCIFO
PITTSBURGH – Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots for his fourth shutout and Chris Kunitz and Deryk Engelland scored second-period goals, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Monday night.
Kunitz scored his 26th goal and Engelland netted his fourth. Tanner Glass scored his first goal in 26 games, a late empty-netter that sealed it for the Penguins, who won for the 15th time in 16 games at home.
Sidney Crosby, who leads the NHL with 73 points, added an assist to extend his points streak in games against Buffalo to 16 games, matching his longest streak against any team.
Fleury, who leads the NHL with 29 wins, registered his 27th career shutout. He helped preserve the win, denying Buffalo’s Brian Flynn two minutes into the third period before following it up with a right-pad stop on Matt Moulson on a partial breakaway a couple minutes later.
Ryan Miller stopped 31 shots for last-place Buffalo, which has lost seven of nine.
The Penguins are in command of the Eastern Conference, leading Boston and Tampa Bay by seven points in addition to a 15-point cushion on the New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division entering Monday.
But Pittsburgh has struggled recently with a lackluster home effort last Monday against Florida – 15th in the 16-team Eastern Conference – and a 3-0 loss Saturday at Dallas.
The Sabres, who scored at least three goals the previous six games, won for the first time five games on Saturday, scoring a 5-2 victory at Columbus and stopping the red-hot Blue Jackets’ franchise-record eight-game winning streak, but they couldn’t sustain the momentum.
The Penguins, after a scoreless opening period, scored at 14:16 of the second.
Brian Gibbons, who missed five games with a lower-body injury, hit the post on a one-timer from Crosby. The red goal-light behind the net momentarily turned on before Kunitz swept the rebound into a partially empty net.
Engelland scored later in the period, forcing a turnover in the Sabres’ zone before lifting a pass from Glass over a sprawled Miller.
Bruins 6, Islanders 3
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) – The line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith combined for three goals and six assists to lead the Boston Bruins to a seesaw 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Monday night.
All three linemates scored, and Loui Eriksson, Carl Soderberg and Zdeno Chara added goals as the Bruins avoided a three-game series sweep against the Islanders. Chad Johnson gave Tuukka Rask the night off and made 34 saves.
Chara’s goal 8:12 into the third made it 6-3 and chased Kevin Poulin from the net in favor of Evgeni Nabokov, who came off the injured list earlier Monday following his second groin injury. The goal was Chara’s 500th NHL point.
Boston, which has won four of five (4-0-1), has 12 goals in two games.
Hurricanes 3, Blue Jackets 2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Jordan Staal scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:55 remaining to help the Carolina Hurricanes rally for a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
Eric Staal scored twice in the third period as the Hurricanes erased a two-goal deficit for their fourth consecutive victory. Anton Khudobin made 22 saves.
R.J. Umberger and Derek MacKenzie scored for the Blue Jackets. Columbus lost its second straight after stringing together eight wins in a row.
After shutting out Carolina in the teams’ last meeting, reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves for Columbus. The Blue Jackets had won seven in a row against the Hurricanes.