MONTREAL – The Philadelphia Flyers have a lot of practice winning games without Chris Pronger this season.
They’re going to need it.
Andrej Meszaros scored 8:08 into the third, Mathieu Carle had three assists and the Flyers extended their winning streak to seven with a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday
The win was tempered by the news that their captain will miss the rest of the season with severe post-concussion syndrome.
Veteran forward Scott Hartnell called that news ”devastating.”
”He’s a presence in the room and on the ice,” Hartnell said after the Flyers’ 4-3 win in Montreal on Thursday. ”He was a big factor in our run (to the Stanley Cup final) a couple of years ago. When he’s in the lineup be brings a lot of intangibles. We’re upset about it.”
Pronger, who had knee surgery last month, has one goal and 11 assists in 13 games this season.
But the Flyers have managed to go 12-4-1 without him in the lineup.
Maxime Talbot, Harry Zolnierczyk and Wayne Simmonds also scored for the Flyers.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots for Philadelphia, which blew 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads in the second period.
The Flyers have won nine of 10 and are first overall in the Eastern Conference with 43 points, two ahead of Boston and a point behind Minnesota for the overall NHL lead.
Erik Cole scored the Canadiens’ third tying goal of the second with 15.5 seconds left in the period.
Louis Leblanc got his first NHL goal and David Desharnais also scored earlier in the middle period for Montreal, which lost in regulation for the first time in seven games (3-1-3).
In addition to learning they had lost Pronger for the rest of the season, the Flyers also are without star forward Claude Giroux, the NHL scoring leader with 39 points. He missed his second game in a row and is out indefinitely with a concussion after taking an inadvertent knee to the head from Simmonds on Saturday.
CAPITALS 1, JETS 0
WINNIPEG (AP)—Alex Ovechkin scored with 1:14 left, and Michal Neuvirth made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season in Washington’s victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.
Ovechkin took a drop pass from Marcus Johansson at the Winnipeg blue-line and fired a shot through Ondrej Pavelec’s pads for his 10th of the season.
Washington improved to 4-4 since Dale Hunter took over as coach.
Pavelec made 27 saves for Winnipeg. The Jets had won five straight at home.
BLUES 4, RANGERS 1
ST. LOUIS (AP)—Brian Elliott made 25 saves for his ninth victory in the last 10 games, and Alex Steen had a goal and an assist for St. Louis.
Elliott lowered his NHL-leading goals-against average to 1.43 and increased his league-best save percentage to .950. The Blues (7-0-1) have 15 of a possible 16 points against Eastern Conference foes this season. St. Louis also has beaten up the Rangers over the past 10 years, going 9-1-3 since 2000-01.
Patrik Berglund, David Perron and Jamie Langenbrunner also scored for the Blues, who have points in 14 of their last 16 games. Michael Del Zotto scored for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves.
PREDATORS 4, RED WINGS 3
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Shea Weber scored two goals late in the third period to lift Nashville.
Detroit native David Legwand and Jordin Tootoo also scored for Nashville in its fourth straight victory.
Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom scored for the Red Wings.
Nashville got its only power play of the game with 4:46 remaining in the third when goalie Jimmy Howard was called for hooking Tootoo. Only 22 seconds after the penalty was called, Weber’s blast from above the left faceoff circle beat a screened Howard on the glove side. Weber’s wrist shot from the right point just under 3 minutes later bounced in front of the net and slipped by Howard.
KINGS 2, BLUE JACKETS 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Dustin Brown scored on a redirect midway through the third period and Jonathan Quick had 24 saves to help Los Angeles beat Columbus, ending the Kings’ five-game losing streak and giving interim coach John Stevens his first victory.
Brown added an assist on Davis Drewiske’s goal for the Kings, who fired Terry Murray on Monday. There is wide-spread speculation that general manager Dean Lombardi is close to hiring former San Jose coach and Calgary GM Darryl Sutter as the permanent coach.
After a 5-1-1 start, the Kings have gone 9-12-3.
Jeff Carter scored for Columbus.
COYOTES 4, OILERS 2
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Shane Doan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the third period, and Phoenix ended a three-game losing streak with a victory over Edmonton.
Phoenix played the night before and Edmonton had five days off, but it was the Coyotes who had the extra jump, outshooting the Oilers 42-20.
Lauri Korpikoski scored in the first period, Radim Vrbata in the second, then Doan and Ekman-Larsson put it away with goals 3 minutes apart in the third. Ray Whitney had three assists in Phoenix’s eighth win in its last nine games against Edmonton. Taylor Hall scored twice for Edmonton after missing the previous seven games with a left shoulder injury. The Oilers have lost seven of nine.
HURRICANES 4, CANUCKS 3
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)—Drayson Bowman scored two goals and Carolina rallied to beat Vancouver to give Kirk Muller his first coaching win on home ice and snap a slide in which they had lost 16 of 20.
Tuomo Ruutu added a deflected goal and an assist, and Jaroslav Spacek scored his first goal since being acquired by the last-place Hurricanes. They scored four straight goals to rally from a 2-0 deficit.
Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond each had a goal and an assist, Kevin Bieksa also scored and Henrik Sedin had two assists to reach 700 career points for the Canucks, who entered 9-1-1 in their previous 11.
Cam Ward made 33 saves for the Hurricanes.
SHARKS 5, AVALANCHE 4
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture scored in a 4:29 span of the third period and San Jose overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Colorado.
Ryane Clowe and Michal Handzus also scored to help the Sharks win for the third time in 10 games.
Paul Stastny scored twice, and Ryan O’Reilly and Daniel Winnik added goals for Colorado, up 4-2 after two periods. The Avalanche, coming off a shootout victory over San Jose in Denver on Tuesday night, have lost nine straight on the road.
STARS 3, ISLANDERS 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—Jamie Benn scored the go-ahead goal 4:33 into the third period and also had an assist in Dallas’ victory over New York.
Loui Eriksson and Brenden Morrow also scored and Richard Bachman made 25 saves to improve to 3-0 in the NHL and help the Stars run their winning streak to three games.
Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo scored for New York. The Islanders have lost four in a row.
New York’s Brian Rolston left the game because of a concussion in the first period.
LIGHTNING 5, FLAMES 4, OT
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Steven Stamkos scored his 19th goal of the season 30 seconds into overtime to lift Tampa Bay past Calgary. Stamkos got the winner from in close off a nifty pass from Eric Brewer.
Teddy Purcell, Tom Pyatt, Ryan Malone and Nate Thompson also scored Tampa Bay. The Lightning had lost seven of eight. Matt Stajan, Jarome Iginla, Rene Bourque and Olli Jokinen scored for the Flames.