Lightning Keep Rolling in 3-1 Victory
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yanni Gourde scored a short-handed goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 29 saves to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to their ninth straight victory, 3-1 over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
Tampa Bay also won its 10th in a row at home.
Vasilevskiy improved to 18-0-2 in his past 20 starts. Pat Maroon and Cedric Paquette also scored for the Lightning, who won despite playing without top two scorers Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.
“Injuries are tough, but everybody has them,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s part of the game, so you can’t cry foul or say why us — everybody gets hurt. It’s tough that we’ve had some pretty big names go down for us, but it doesn’t look like, hopefully, it won’t be long.”
Caleb Jones scored for Edmonton, which played its second consecutive game without Connor McDavid, who is out 2-to-3 weeks with a thigh injury. Mike Smith finished with 34 saves for the Oilers, who lost for the fourth time in regulation in the past 16 games. “We had lots of compete in our game,” Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. “We had some chances there that were kind of around it, but didn’t capitalize on it. Mistakes end up being the dictator of the game and we came out on the short end.”
Gourde, who ended a 35-game drought on Tuesday, scored the winner on a short-handed breakaway at 13:01 of the second period, beating Smith with a backhander over the shoulder.
“I don’t think, I just go,” said Gourde, who scored his fourth career short-handed goal. “When I picked up the puck, I thought (Smith) had a good gap on me and the bottom of the ice was closed, so I was surprised the puck went that high.”
Maroon opened up the scoring at 4:39 of the second period with his seventh goal of the season. After a shot from the right point by Luke Schenn deflected off Cameron Gaunce to behind the goal line, Maroon quickly found the loose puck and stuffed it between the near post and Smith’s left pad. The assist for Gaunce was his first NHL point since March 24, 2017, when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Edmonton pulled even at 9:36 when Jones cut down the slot and after his initial shot was blocked, picked up the rebound and fired a shot to the top corner for his third goal of the season.
Paquette scored into an empty net with 55.1 seconds left.
Edmonton forward Zach Kassian could be facing a hearing from the league after he kicked Tampa Bay defenseman Erik Cernak in the chest during the first period. It happened during an incident inside the Oilers blue line when Josh Archibald, Kassian and Cernak were tied up down on the ice. Kassian was suspended two games last month for an aggressor penalty involving Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk.
“He was holding my leg, it was reactionary. I was just trying to get him off me, kick him off me,” Kassian said. “I was just trying to get my foot loose.”
NOTES: Stamkos missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury, though he took part in the team’s morning skate. … Vasilevskiy recorded his 7,000th career save in the first period. … Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson and Edmonton RW Kailer Yamamoto both hail from Spokane, Washington, where they train together in the summer. Thursday was the first time they’ve met in an NHL game.
STARS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 2
TORONTO (AP) — Tyler Seguin snapped a 17-game goal drought, Ben Bishop made 27 saves and Dallas beat Toronto for its third straight win.
Denis Gurianov and Radek Faksa also scored for Dallas.
Toronto dropped to 2-3-1 over its last six. Auston Matthews scored his 41st goal for the Maple Leafs, and Zach Hyman got his 17th.
Toronto’s Frederik Andersen stopped 16 shots after missing four games with a neck injury.
FLYERS 6, PANTHERS 2
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — James van Riemsdyk had a goal and two assists and Philadelphia beat Florida.
Robert Hagg, Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Tyler Pitlick scored for the Flyers. Carter Hart made 26 saves for his first road win in eight games.
Justin Braun had three assists and Matt Niskanen had two as the Flyers improved to 9-3-1 in their past 12 games.
Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed three goals on nine shots and was relieved by Sam Montembeault at the start of the second period. Montembeault made 16 saves. The Panthers dropped to 2-5-1 in their last eight games.
DEVILS 4, RED WINGS 1
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Wayne Simmonds scored twice in a four-goal third period outburst and New Jersey rallied to beat Detroit.
Andy Greene and Jesper Bratt also scored in the four-minute barrage as the Devils posted only their third win (3-20-0) when trailing after two periods.
Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, who had shutouts in his last two starts, made 25 saves in winning for the fourth time in five games (4-0-1).
Andreas Athanasiou ended Blackwood’s shutout streak at 171 minutes, 37 seconds with a shot from the right circle at 16:34 of the second period.
Jonathan Bernier finished with 22 saves.
BLUE JACKETS 3, OT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Rookie Victor Olofsson scored his second goal of the game 2:44 into overtime, and Buffalo beat depleted Columbus.
Jack Eichel had a goal and and two assists for Buffalo on a night when the Sabres honored members of their 2000 decade teams as part of the franchise’s season-long 50th anniversary celebrations. Evan Rodrigues also scored, and Carter Hutton stopped 28 shots to improve to 4-1 in his past five starts.
The Blue Jackets dropped to 0-1-2 in their past three games in their worst skid since losing four straight from Nov. 30 to Dec. 7.
Columbus squandered a 2-0 lead, but salvaged a point on Markus Nutivaara’s goal with 1:13 remaining in regulation. Nathan Gerbe and Boone Jenner also scored for Columbus.
Matiss Kivlenieks stopped 23 shots.
SENATORS 3, COYOTES 2
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Marcus Hogberg made 32 saves and Ottawa snapped a six-game winless streak with a victory over Arizona.
Vladislav Namestnikov, Brady Tkachuk and Nick Paul scored for the Senators, who opened a season-high six-game homestand by ending a four-game skid (0-2-2) at home.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jordan Oesterle scored for the Coyotes, while Antti Raanta stopped 28 shots.
Arizona wrapped up its four-game road trip Thursday with a 1-2-1 record.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Craig Smith recorded a hat trick, Juuse Saros made 31 saves and Nashville beat the Islanders.
Rocco Grimaldi had a goal and an assist and Mattias Ekholm also scored for Nashville, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
New York had won two in a row. Thomas Greiss allowed three goals on eight shots before he was replaced by Semyon Varlamov, who made 16 saves.
Making his fourth start in Nashville’s last five games, Saros recorded his second shutout of the season and ninth of his career.
RANGERS 4, WILD 3, SO
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mika Zibanejad scored with 1:06 to play in regulation to forece overtime and scored in the shootout, helping the Rangers erase a two-goal deficit in the third period and beat Minnesota.
Trailing 3-2, New York pulled goalie Alexandar Georgiev with 1:41 remaining for an extra skater and the move paid off when Zibanejad’s 24th goal of the season tied it
After a scoreless overtime, Zibanejad beat Alex Stalock with a backhander in the shootout. Artemi Panarin also scored to clinch New York’s first shootout win of the season.
Panarin added a goal in regulation, as did Pavel Buchnevich. Georgiev stopped 23 shots as the Rangers won their third straight.
Ryan Donato, Jonas Brodin and Jordan Greenway scored for Minnesota, which led 3-1 until midway through the third period.