Penguins Too Much For Rangers
By DAN SCIFO
PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby capped Pittsburgh’s three-goal outburst in the first period, and the Penguins beat the New York Rangers 5-1 Sunday night.
Crosby scored his eighth of the season, Kasperi Kapanen netted his sixth and John Marino his first as Pittsburgh scored three goals on six shots in the opening period.
Evgeni Malkin and Zach Aston-Reese scored in the third period as the Penguins won for the ninth time in 13 games. Casey DeSmith made 22 saves in his second start since Feb. 11.
Pittsburgh, which recently took two of three from Philadelphia in the highly competitive East Division, have eight wins and points in 11 of their last 12 games against the Rangers.
Mika Zibanejad scored his third of the season for the Rangers, who had their season-best three-game winning streak halted.
Alexandar Georgiev started the game in net for the Rangers, but was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots. Keith Kinkaid made 16 saves in his first NHL action since Nov. 30, 2019. Igor Shesterkin remains day-to-day with a groin injury.
Zibanejad scored at 1:18, on the first shot of the game, but Pittsburgh closed the first with a three-goal flurry in just 1:01 to open a 3-1 lead.
Marino tied the game at 16:13 with his first goal since March 3, 2020, and Kapanen gave Pittsburgh the lead 39 seconds later on a breakaway.
Kapanen has points in six of his last eight games against the Rangers.
Crosby split a pair of New York defensemen 22 seconds later and chased Georgiev from the game with a glove-side wrist shot.
PENS’ THREE-GOAL BURST
Sunday’s game against the Rangers was the second time in three games that Pittsburgh scored three first-period goals in less than 90 seconds.
Pittsburgh scored three times in 1:11 on Thursday at home against Philadelphia. But the Flyers overcame the early deficit and rallied to stun the Penguins with a 4-3 win.
The Penguins were able to hold on following their three-goal, 61-second first-period outburst on Sunday against the Rangers. But it didn’t come without tense moments, after Zibanejad missed an open net and hit a post in the second period, which would’ve made it a one-goal game. Pittsburgh also failed to capitalize on two second-period power plays, keeping it close.
McCANN LEAVES EARLY
Penguins’ F Jared McCann left Sunday’s game with about five minutes to play in the second period and did not return.
McCann, who scored the game-winning goal Saturday against Philadelphia, entered Sunday’s game on a three-game point streak. He had four points in five games and returned to the lineup on Feb. 27 after missing seven games with a lower-body injury.
TROUBA RETURNS FOR RANGERS
Rangers’ D Jacob Trouba returned to the lineup on Sunday after missing eight games with a broken thumb. Jack Johnson, who spent the last two seasons with Pittsburgh, was scratched.
Trouba, a first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, last played during a Feb. 16 home loss against the New Jersey Devils. The 27-year-old defenseman, who was initially expected to miss four-to-six weeks, had a secondary assist on Zibanejad’s game-opening goal. He has four assists in 15 games this season.
Pittsburgh concludes a five-game homestand on Tuesday against the Rangers. Pittsburgh is scheduled to play 12 home games in March, most in a calendar month in franchise history and second-most in NHL history. The Rangers are in the midst of a six-game trip.
HURRICANES 4, PANTHERS 2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Vincent Trocheck and James Reimer continued to torment their former team, lifting the Carolina Hurricanes to their fifth straight victory with a win over the Florida Panthers.
Trocheck, who was traded to Carolina just over a year ago, scored for the fourth time this season against the Panthers. Nino Niederreiter, Sebastian Aho and Warren Foegele also had goals for the Hurricanes, who have won eight of 10 home games (8-1-1) this season.
Reimer, who made 21 saves, came to Carolina less two years in ago in a trade from Florida. He’s 3-0-0 since then against the Panthers.
MacKenzie Weegar and Mason Marchment scored for Florida, which had a five-game points streak snapped. Chris Dreidger made 22 saves for the Panthers.
ISLANDERS 5, SABRES 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Anders Lee and Brock Nelson scored 62 seconds apart early in the second period and rookie Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves as the Islanders earned their fifth straight win.
The victory was also the Islanders’ sixth straight over the Sabres this season.
Casey Cizikas increased the lead to 3-0 at 16:56 with his fourth goal. Cal Clutterbuck, who also scored in Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Sabres, added his third of the season. Nelson scored his second of the game and ninth of the season into an empty net to complete the scoring.
Sorokin, the 25-year-old netminder, earned his fourth win of the season as the Islanders improved to 10-0-2 at Nassau Coliseum. Jeff Skinner’s goal at 5:41 of the third period ruined his shutout bid.
Colin Miller also scored for the Sabres, who are 2-10-1 since a forced two-week delay in their season during early February because of COVID-19 protocols.
LIGHTNING 6, BLACKHAWKS 3
CHICAGO (AP) — Yanni Gourde, Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman each scored a power-play goal in the second period, helping Tampa Bay win.
Pat Maroon added his 100th career goal in the third period, giving Tampa Bay a season-high four goals with the man advantage. Gourde finished with two goals and two assists, and Alex Killorn scored for the third straight game.
The Lightning improved to 3-0-1 on their season-long six-game trip and stretched their point streak to a season-high eight games. They took two of three in the series between Central Division contenders.
Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks. Philipp Kurashev and Pius Suter also scored.
DEVILS 1, BRUINS 0
BOSTON (AP) — Scott Wedgewood made 40 saves, Kyle Palmieri scored out of a scramble with 4:37 left and the Devils snapped a five-game losing streak.
Boston’s Tuukka Rask made 24 saves and remained stuck at 299 career victories. The Bruins have lost four of six games.
All four games between the teams have been decided by one goal, including one in overtime and another by a shootout.
Palmieri scored about two minutes after Wedgewood robbed Craig Smith’s bid at the end of a Bruins’ power play. Boston pulled Rask and had the puck in the Devils’ zone for nearly all of the final 90 seconds, but Wedgewood blocked several good chances to preserve his fourth career shutout.
CAPITALS 3, FLYERS 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov and Nick Jensen scored to lead Washington.
T.J. Oshie had two assists and Ilya Samsonov stopped 36 shots for the Capitals, who have won eight of 11. Washington was without forward Tom Wilson, who served the first game of a seven-game suspension for Friday’s hit on Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo.
Joel Farabee scored for Philadelphia, which lost its second straight and finished 3-3 during a grueling nine-day, six-game stretch. The Flyers welcomed back about 3,000 fans to their home arena for the first time since last March 10.