PHILADELPHIA – Already missing stalwart defenceman Chris Pronger, the Philadelphia Flyers were dealt another blow with the loss of NHL leading scorer Claude Giroux.
The Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 Saturday to extend their winning streak to five games, but it came at a cost.
Giroux took an inadvertent knee to the head by teammate Wayne Simmonds in the last minute of the second period and did not return for the final period.
“I didn’t even know I hit him,” Simmonds said. “It was a split-second thing. I was trailing (Giroux) by a couple of steps, and all of sudden, he went down right in front of me. It was definitely bad, and I wish it hadn’t happened.”
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Giroux was held out of the third period for “precautionary reasons.”
Holmgren said “This is precautionary and we want to err on the right side of caution.”
Earlier, Giroux had two assists to add to his NHL-high points total of 39 (16 goals and 23 assists) and extended his points streak to five games (three goals and seven assists for 10 points
Danny Briere, Jaromir Jagr, Simmonds scored in the second period for the Flyers.
Matt Carle and Scott Hartnell also scored.
Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Shannon scored for the Lightning.
The Flyers won for the seventh time in their past eight games to remain atop the Atlantic Division, while Tampa Bay lost for the sixth time in its past seven games.
BLUES 1, SHARKS 0
ST.LOUIS (AP)—Brian Elliott made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and Kevin Shattenkirk scored on a 5-on-3 power play in the St. Louis Blues’ 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
The Blues have won seven of the last nine games to improve to 11-2-3 since Ken Hitchcock took over as coach following the firing of Davis Payne. St. Louis has points in 14 of the last 16 games.
St. Jose lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Elliott, tied for the NHL shutout lead with Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick, has won eight of his last nine starts to improve to 12-2. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of 14 starts. Elliott, who has 13 career shutouts, also beat the Sharks 4-2 on Oct. 15 in his first start of the season.
Shattenkirk, who sat out Thursday night against Anaheim because of the flu, put St. Louis ahead on the power play with 26 seconds left in the first period.
WILD 4, COYOTES 1
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Kyle Brodziak scored twice, Niklas Backstrom returned from a three-game absence to make 35 saves and NHL-leading Minnesota ran its franchise-record road winning streak to seven games.
Dany Heatley also scored and Mikko Koivu added a goal and an assist for Minnesota.
Backstrom, who missed three games because of a strained groin muscle, returned to appear in his 300th career game. Lauri Korpikoski scored with 3:57 to play for Phoenix.
CANADIANS 2, DEVILS 1
NEWARK, N.J. (AP)—Tomas Kaberle, acquired in a trade with Carolina on Friday, had two assists in his Montreal debut, leading the Canadiens past New Jersey.
The Canadiens snapped a two-game losing streak, while the Devils fell for the sixth time in their last eight games. It was only Montreal’s second win in the last eight games.
Kaberle, acquired for fellow defenceman Jaroslav Spacek, assisted on Max Pacioretty’s power-play goal in the second period and took the initial shot on Erik Cole’s third-period goal. Cole also had an assist on Pacioretty’s goal.
Carey Price made 28 saves, including a stop on Zach Parise’s penalty shot with 47 seconds left. Nick Palmieri had a third-period goal for New Jersey.
BRUINS 5, BLUE JACKETS 3
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Joe Corvo scored his first two goals of the season and Milan Lucic had three assists in Boston’ comeback victory over Columbus.
Nathan Horton, Chris Kelly and Zdeno Chara, who left after two periods because of an undisclosed lower-body injury, also scored for the Bruins. They bounced back from a rare two-game losing skid after gaining points in 15 games in a row. David Krejci added two assists.
Rick Nash, Jeff Carter and R.J. Umberger scored for the Blue Jackets.
RANGERS 4, SABRES 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)—Carl Hagelin scored twice to lead New York past Buffalo for the Rangers 2,500th regular-season win.
Hagelin, playing his eighth NHL game, and Ryan Callahan scored short-handed goals, and Martin Biron made 32 saves to help the Rangers become the fifth NHL team to reach the milestone.
Marian Gaborik added a power-play goal for New York. Biron, who played 300 games for Buffalo earlier in his career, improved to 9-3-1 against the Sabres. Thomas Vanek scored for Buffalo.
RED WINGS 7, JETS 1
DETROIT (AP)—Jiri Hudler scored twice and Detroit beat Winnipeg for its ninth straight home victory.
Valtteri Filppula, Todd Bertuzzi and Henrik Zetterberg each had a goal and an assist, and Chris Conner, Drew Miller also scored for Detroit. Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk each had two assists, and Jimmy Howard made 29 saves. Bryan Little scored for Winnipeg, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
PENGUINS 6, ISLANDERS 3
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—James Neal scored twice, and Pascal Dupuis had the go-ahead goal with 4:02 left in the second period to help Pittsburgh beat New York.
Steve Sullivan, Matt Cooke and Paul Martin added goals for the Penguins, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Pittsburgh, playing without Sidney Crosby, has beaten the Islanders all four times the teams have played this season. David Ullstrom, Milan Jurcina and Kyle Okposo scored for New York.
CANUCKS 4, SENATORS 1
OTTAWA (AP)—Ryan Kesler scored twice and Henrik Sedin had two assists for Vancouver.
Alexander Edler and Dale Weise also scored, and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves. The Canucks have won four straight and nine of 10. Colin Greening scored for Ottawa.
FLAMES 3, OILERS 0
CALGARY (AP)—Jarome Iginla scored twice and Miikka Kiprusoff made 21 saves for Calgary.
It was Calgary’s eighth straight win against Edmonton and 15th victory in the past 16 games. The Flames 10 consecutive wins over the Oilers at the Saddledome.
Tom Kostopoulos added a power-play goal for Calgary, 6-1-1 in its last eight games.
PREDATORS 3, DUCKS 2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Jordin Tootoo had a goal and an assist to lead Nashville.
Nick Spaling and Roman Josi also scored for the Predators. Nashville has won consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month, while the Ducks have dropped three of four.
Andrew Gordon and Francois Beauchemin scored for Anaheim.
STARS 2, KINGS 1
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Richard Bachman made 26 saves in his first NHL start, defenceman Trevor Daley scored the go-ahead goal and Jamie Benn connected on a power play, leading Dallas past Los Angeles.
It was the second game in a row that Los Angeles has lost at home to a goalie making his first NHL start. On Thursday night, Minnesota’s Matt Hackett stopped 42 shots in a 4-2 victory.
Brad Richardson ended a 34-game goal drought with a short-handed tally for the Kings and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his sixth start of the season. Los Angeles has lost four straight.