Sheary, Crosby Pace Penguins
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Conor Sheary scored two goals, Sidney Crosby had three assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
Phil Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak and Evgeni Malkin also scored for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, who have won three straight. Pittsburgh (39-25-4, 82 points) moved one point ahead of idle Washington and three in front of third-place Philadelphia.
Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek had goals for the Flyers, who lost their fourth in a row.
The teams combined for six goals in an electrifying second period.
Voracek netted his 15th of the season 2:07 into the period to tie it at 1. Nolan Patrick caused a turnover with strong backchecking, passed to Voracek and his shot from the side boards deflected off Pittsburgh’s Derick Brassard and past Tristan Jarry.
Konecny put Philadelphia ahead 3:54 later when he batted the puck over Jarry’s right pad.
But the Penguins scored three straight goals to take a 4-2 lead into the third.
Oleksiak tied it at 2 with 10:36 remaining with a slap shot that got through the screen of Crosby and Jake Guentzel and past Peter Mrazek.
Sheary gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead with his first of the night, finishing a 2-on-1 break with Crosby with 5:35 remaining in the period. Mrazek made a good pad save on Crosby’s initial shot. But the rebound went right to Sheary, who backhanded it in for his 13th of the season.
Sheary’s second goal from a sharp angle with 49.3 seconds left in the period put Pittsburgh ahead by two goals. Guentzel’s shot from the high slot deflected off Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning to a wide-open Sheary to the right of the net, and Mrazek couldn’t recover in time. Crosby got a secondary assist on the goal, his third of the night to give him 1,100 career points
Crosby continued to haunt the Flyers, upping his total to 91 points in 62 career games against Philadelphia.
Kessel, playing in his 900th NHL game, opened the scoring with 1:25 left in the first period on the power play on assists from Malkin and Crosby. Malkin set the goal up with a perfect pass across the crease, and Kessel converted the easy finish with a forehand shot for his 28th goal.
Malkin’s goal was an empty-netter with 1:41 remaining.
Flames 5, Sabres 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski scored three minutes apart in the first period and the Calgary Flames snapped a four-game skid with a win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Mark Giordano also had a goal and assist, while Sean Monahan and Dougie Hamilton also scored.
The Flames won at Buffalo for just the second time in 14 trips (2-8-3 and a tie), and first time in regulation since a 3-1 win on March 15, 1996.
Rookie David Rittich stopped 25 shots before having his first career shutout bid spoiled when Casey Nelson scored with 18 seconds remaining.
The Sabres came out flat in a first period in which they were outshot 17-6 and outscored 2-0. The margin could have been even larger had goalie Chris Johnson not stopped Michael Ferland and Michael Frolik driving alone to the net on chances two minutes apart.
Johnson, who spent last season with the Flames, stopped 18 shots before being pulled after Monahan scored to put Calgary up 4-0 at the 6:01 mark of the second period. Robin Lehner allowed one goal on 19 shots.