NEWARK, N.J. – With Sidney Crosby’s return still up in the air, the Pittsburgh Penguins turned to their other superstar.
Evgeni Malkin tied it with six seconds left in regulation and then scored the lone shootout goal to lift Pittsburgh to a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
Malkin’s 27th goal capped a furious third-period rally by the Penguins, who trailed by three with 13 minutes to play. The NHL’s leading scorer later flipped a wrist shot past Jonas Gustavsson in the second round of the shootout to extend Pittsburgh’s winning streak to eight games.
“You’ve got to win a lot of different ways,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. “I’m not sure we deserved the fate we got tonight.”
Neither did the Maple Leafs, who dominated play for long stretches against the NHL’s hottest team but collapsed over the final 13 minutes of regulation as the Penguins won their eighth straight.
“I thought we played an excellent game, and (Malkin’s) last goal was kind of lucky where hit him high in the shoulder,” Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. “We got sloppy toward the end.”
The Maple Leafs appeared to be in complete control after Tyler Bozak and Clarke MacArthur scored 19 seconds apart in the third period to give Toronto a 4-1 lead.
Pittsburgh put together a frantic rally that Malkin finished when James Neal’s slap shot caromed off his shoulder and into the net.
Matt Cooke snapped a 19-game scoring drought for Pittsburgh, and Steve Sullivan and Joe Vitale keyed the Penguins’third-period surge. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots and turned away all three Toronto chances in the shootout.
Mikhail Grabovski scored twice for Toronto and Gustavsson made 31 saves. The Maple Leafs became the first team in more than a month to outshoot the Penguins.
DEVILS 4, RANGERS 3
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ David Clarkson scored the tying goal for New Jersey in the final minute of regulation, and Ilya Kovalchuk netted the only goal in the shootout as the Devils snapped a three-game losing streak.
Kovalchuk had the first attempt in the shootout and beat New York backup Martin Biron between the pads. That was enough to give the Devils a 9-2 mark in the tiebreaker. Martin Brodeur preserved the win by stopping all three Rangers shooters: Derek Stepan, Brad Richards and all-star MVP Marian Gaborik.
Kovalchuk and Zach Parise also scored in regulation for the Devils, who trailed 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. Brodeur made 23 saves.
Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle and Michael Del Zotto had the Rangers’goals while Biron had 26 stops. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers.
JETS 2, FLYERS 1, SO
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Bryan Little had the only goal during a shootout, lifting Winnipeg over Philadelphia.
The Jets have won six straight games in Philadelphia, including four when they were the Atlanta Thrashers, since a 5-3 loss on Jan. 21, 2009. The franchise has beaten the Flyers in nine of 10 meetings.
Chris Thorburn scored his first goal in nearly a year for Winnipeg’s lone tally in regulation.
Brayden Schenn scored for Philadelphia in the first period. The Flyers have gone to a shootout in three straight games, winning one.
Ondrej Pavelec stopped Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr in the shootout.
Ilya Bryzgalov had allowed goals on all five shootout attempts he’d faced before stopping Kyle Wellwood and Blake Wheeler. But Little slid one under Bryzgalov’s pads to win it.
BRUINS 4, SENATORS 3
BOSTON (AP) _ Dennis Seidenberg scored the tiebreaking goal on a slap shot from centre ice in the third period, rallying Boston past Ottawa.
Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara had power-play goals, and Chara also had an assist for the Bruins, who fell behind 3-1 while being dominated in the second period.
Milan Lucic’s goal with 45 seconds left in the second got the Bruins within one, and Marchand’s power-play goal 2:20 into the third tied it.
Seidenberg put Boston ahead with 12:51 remaining.
Tim Thomas made 30 saves for Boston, which allowed 10 goals in its last two games heading into the All-Star break. Thomas settled down after the Senators scored three straight for a 3-1 lead.
Ottawa’s Craig Anderson finished with 26 saves.
ISLANDERS 5, HURRICANES 2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ John Tavares scored two goals and had two assists to lead the New York Islanders over Carolina.
P.A. Parenteau and Matt Moulson scored power-play goals to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead after two periods and help New York move two points ahead of Carolina at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
Carolina rallied with goals from Brandon Sutter and Tim Brent early in the third period to get even, but Tavares put the Islanders back in front. Kyle Okposo added an empty-net goal with 1:22 left.
Kevin Poulin made 26 shots to earn his first win of the season. The Islanders, who snapped a two-game losing streak, are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.
SABRES 3, CANADIENS 1
MONTREAL (AP) _ Paul Gaustad had a goal and two assists to lift Buffalo to a win against Montreal.
Ryan Miller made 27 saves for Buffalo, which won its second straight road game following a 12-game losing streak away from home.
Gaustad set up Ville Leino’s fourth goal 4:01 into the second period to tie it at 1. Gaustad beat Carey Price from the goal mouth to give the Sabres the lead 6:17 into the third and assisted as Patrick Kaleta scored into an empty net with 51.1 seconds remaining.
Max Pacioretty scored his 18th goal for Montreal, which went into the All-Star break on a 2-0-1 run.
Price stopped 37 shots.
Thomas Vanek, who leads the Sabres with 19 goals, left after the first period because of an undisclosed upper body injury and didn’t return.
LIGHTNING 4, CAPITALS 3, OT
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 33rd goal at 2:45 of overtime, and Tampa Bay beat Washington.
Martin St. Louis had a second-period goal and assisted on the game-winner, sending a point-blank shot off goalie Tomas Vokoun’s pads and giving Stamkos an opportunity to tap in the rebound. The sequence began with Tampa Bay goalie Mathieu Garon stopping two shots at the other end.
Matt Hendricks, Mathieu Perreault and Troy Brouwer scored for the Capitals, who rallied from a two-goal deficit to force overtime despite playing without suspended star Alex Ovechkin.
PREDATORS 5, WILD 4
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Mike Fisher scored two of Nashville’s three goals in the last 3½ minutes and the Predators stunned Minnesota for their fifth straight victory.
Dany Heatley’s first two-goal game for Minnesota was wasted when the Wild squandered a 4-1 lead they held until the halfway mark of the third period. Brandon Yip’s first goal for Nashville since being picked up on waivers brought the Predators within two after a video review reversed a dead-puck call on the ice.
Patric Hornqvist scored his team-leading 15th goal, and Fisher added a goal 21 seconds later.
Fisher connected again with 21 seconds remaining.<
Matt Halischuk had a goal and an assist for the Predators.
Cal Clutterbuck added a goal in the second period for the Wild, Kyle Brodziak also scored, and Heatley notched an assist for his second three-point game in the last three.
DUCKS 4, COYOTES 1
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Andrew Cogliano scored three straight goals in the second period and Anaheim opened the second half of the season with a win over Phoenix.
Phoenix had the jump in the first period, and Cogliano took it away quickly in the second, notching his first career hat trick in a 7-minute span.
Teemu Selanne scored late and Jonas Hiller stopped 24 shots in Anaheim’s ninth win in 11 games.
Ray Whitney scored in the first period for the Coyotes, but had a second goal waved off early in the third after Martin Hanzal was called for interfering with Hiller.
RED WINGS 3, FLAMES 1
CALGARY (AP) _ Jiri Hudler scored the go-ahead goal at 11:29 of the third period to lift Detroit past Calgary.
Drew Miller made it a two-goal cushion four minutes later, converting a pretty goal mouth pass from Danny Cleary. Cory Emmerton also scored for Detroit (34-16-1).
Jimmy Howard made 28 saves for his NHL-leading 31st victory. It was a solid bounce-back outing for Howard, who was pulled after the first period in his last game before the all-star break after surrendering four goals to Montreal on 12 shots.
The Red Wings are 1-1 on their five-game road trip that continues Thursday night in Vancouver.
Mike Cammalleri scored the lone goal for Calgary (23-22-6), which has lost three straight at home following an eight-game winning streak there.
OILERS 3, AVALANCHE 2
EDMONTON (AP) _ Taylor Hall scored in the third period to give Edmonton a two-goal cushion and a win against Colorado.
Jordan Eberle and Eric Belanger also scored for the Oilers, 2-0-1 in their last three games after losing eight of nine. Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves.
Peter Mueller and Gabriel Landeskog had goals for the Avalanche, who have lost three in a row and fallen below the post-season cutoff in the Western Conference.
CANUCKS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2, OT
VANCOUVER (AP) _ Daniel Sedin scored 3:37 into overtime to lift Vancouver past Chicago.
Ryan Kesler and Cody Hodgson scored in regulation for Vancouver, and Cory Schneider stopped 37 shots to improve to 5-0 this season in games decided in overtime.
Jamal Mayers and Viktor Stalberg had goals for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 30 saves. The Blackhawks have lost three straight.
Daniel Sedin was right in front of Crawford, and snapped in the winning goal of a centring pass from behind the net from brother Henrik Sedin. That gave the Canucks their third straight victory.
SHARKS 6, BLUE JACKETS 0
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Joe Thornton scored twice to get San Jose off to a fast start out of the All-Star break and Antti Niemi posted his 17th career shutout in the Sharks’rout of Columbus.
Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Jamie McGinn and Michal Handzus also scored for the Sharks, who have beaten the Blue Jackets 19 times in 21 home games.
Four of San Jose’s goals came on second chances as Steve Mason struggled to control his rebounds all game. Mason finished with 37 saves as the NHL-worst Blue Jackets lost their fifth straight.
San Jose came out strong as the struggling power-play unit delivered a goal, the team tied its second-highest scoring game of the season, and Niemi made 30 saves for his second straight shutout.